Greece is a country with very few cyclists and a very poor cycling infrastructure. This is due to the hostile conditions prevailing in the road environment and the overall car-centric development of Greek cities. Streets are narrow, and there is little provision of off-street parking; hence streets are packed with cars. Due to the economic crisis, public transport is not sufficient and people tend to use the car more and more. Victims of this situation are cyclists and pedestrians. Moreover, there are no bike trails to promote bike tourism even though the Greek economy relies largely on tourism development.
Greek cities and decision-makers are well aware of the fact that the absence of cycling provision, among others, shows that Greek cities suffer from serious environmental problems. This is one of the key drivers why more and more Greek cities tend to implement Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs). The Greek Government has already funded 162 municipalities to implement SUMPs, while 10 more cities are promoting SUMPs with their own resources.
It is a fact that for SUMP’s cycling is a key pillar, along with walking and public transport. Greek cities prepare themselves to reduce car dominance and to reach higher standards in liveability, walkability, bikeability and social cohesion. There is an overall optimism that through this strategy, Greece will present significant changes in urban mobility and cycling infrastructure and bicycle use will grow in most urban areas.
Cyclurban partners in Greece:
National Technical University of Athens
National Observatory of Athens