Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and is an important metropolitan region, with an active port, a respected university and a robust tourist industry. The historical city has been affected by the economic, political and refugee crises that have rocked Greece in recent years. Growing unemployment and a lack of opportunities for young people have increased social needs, while resources to provide services have decreased. The main provider of childcare services, in the form of municipal kindergartens, is the public sector, followed by private childcare facilities. There are many low-income families in need of affordable childcare services, making the city a specific use case for Families_Share. At the same time, precarious contracts and unstable working hours are having a negative impact on work/life balance. Migration rates have risen in the last few years, adding social inclusion to the list of challenges that Thessaloniki needs to tackle in its resilience strategy.
The Thessaloniki CityLab will build on and expand existing communities through Families_Share activities. One of the participating communities will be a network of female entrepreneurs supported by the Ergani Center in Thessaloniki, one of the project partners.
Alongside this community of working women, the Thessaloniki CityLab will involve communities that recently participated in a time-banking project implemented by the Thessaloniki municipalities of Sykies and Neapoli.