Minister Pierrakakis: Trikala's digital transformation a model for the country


The Digital Governance ministers visited on Friday the city of Trikala, one of two Greek cities along with Athens to pilot the digitisation of cities and citizen services through the European project Harmony.

Trikala mayor Dimitris Papastergiou gave Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakakis, Deputy Ministers Giorgos Georgantas and Thodoris Livanios, and General Secretary Leonidas Christopoulos a tour of e-Trikala SA's control room.

There they saw maps of "smart" traffic lights, the lighting system of the city, the water supply network, parking stations and environmental data including the level of water at local rivers.

At the central square of Trikala, the ministers were given more details on initiatives, including use of an electric bike by people with special needs, an open-air market (laiki agora) with Wi-Fi capabilities, an information pavilion, and a defibrillator.

On the bridge over the river Litheos, Mayor Papastergiou also used his cellphone to shut down water flow at the waterfall.

At GiSeMi hub, the city's innovation and entrepreneurs center run by e-Trikala, the ministers were also briefed on the Harmony program, funded by the European Commission in tandem with Horizon 2020.

The program provides services by drone, including delivery of pharmaceuticals and other pilot applications.

In statements during the tour, Pierrakakis said: "We admire and appreciate Mayor Papastergiou's work a lot, and have come here in the context of the smart cities program that we plan for all of Greece - with a budget of 320 million euros for the country's 332 municipalities - and to see how Trikala has implemented a series of smart solutions that aid citizens' everyday life."

"Trikala's paradigm serves as a model for the entire country, he added, saying he was most impressed "by the mayor and the city council's great zest for innovation, change, and new initiatives," he added.

Trikala, which piloted the first driverless bus in a Greek city, is one of six European cities to act as demonstration sites for the Harmony program, along with Athens, Oxfordshire, Rotterdam, Turin and Upper Silesian-Zaglebie.

While at Trikala, the e-governance minister also presented the new logo for the country's Citizen Services Centres (KEP).

READ MORE: Athens Provides Free Wifi in More Areas as Part of Digital Push.