Integrated Interventions of Sustainable Mobility in the Municipality of Rethymno

Integrated Interventions of  Sustainable Mobility in the Municipality of Rethymno


The Municipality of Rethymno was composed in 2011 from the merge of the municipality of Arkadi, Lappaion, Nikiforou Foka and Rethymno with approximately 62.000 population. 


Read more:  www.rethymno.gr

Objective Action

The municipality of Rethymno cooperating with the National Technical University of Athens in 2007 developed a Sustainable Mobility Action Plan (SMAP) which has now upgraded to a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP). The goal of the SMAP is the implementation of an innovative policy for the Greek standards following the European policy which will transform Rethymno city, in a city for humans, attractive, hospitable and financially healthy for both locals and visitors.

The main goal is the radical change of the city’s development model with the car as a main pillar, providing priority to the pedestrians safety reducing the car traffic and parking zones.

The new axes of the SMAP which is still in the implementation phase are:

·         Establishment of a reliable public transport system.

·         Pedestrianization of the historical and modern city center.

·         Regeneration of the coastal zone

·         Management of the car parking areas and parking system

Creation of a cycling network covering the city area.


Target Audience

The target audience is the residents of Rethymno, all locals and visitors of the Municipality of Rethymno. The interventions have been implemented in public spaces and are ready for public use, therefore there is an increase in public space resulting in a shift from car usage. The permanent population of Rethymno municipality is about 62,000 residents with a very large number of visitors throughout the year.



The project started in 2011 with the preparation and funding claim phases. The implementation of the interventions started the following years and the works finished by the end of 2017.


The strategic sustainable mobility plan highlighted the problems and weaknesses in Rethymno city and proposed solutions for interventions in specific areas, leading to the mitigation of these problems by promoting walking and cycling as the main options for commute in the city. This was achieved by a series of interventions and reformations implemented in the eastern entrance of Rethymno with the interventions in squares and public spaces all along the city and extend to the south and western entrances of the city. All the actions executed were related to the reconstruction of roads, pavements (a 17.5 km long network was constructed), 5 big squares, more than 10km of underground electricity cables and the establishment of an extensive cycle network of 12km long and another 3.5km network in the historical center of Rethymno. To encourage the alternative ways to car usage, a municipal bike sharing system was introduced in the city.

Ten distinct projects were executed and fully funded by the NSRF with total budget of approximately €32.080.000,00.

The pedestrianisation of the historic centre and the coastal road of Rethymno for 7 months every year is a policy which targets the sustainable transport in the city.


Impact on Society

The results up to now are very positive with citizens able to capitalize the projects mentioned above. Increased pedestrian traffic and movement comfort is now a new reality. The 17.5Km network of new pavements with the required width and based on specification for movement without discrimination and the 12Km network of new cycle paths, fulfill some of the sustainable mobility action plan objectives of Rethymno municipality. The most important impact was that people’s perception has changed, the commute is different from before, people have shifted to walking and cycling and drivers’ mentality has changed. The pedestrian has priority and drivers stop at the pedestrian crossings which forms the new reality in Rethymno. The speed limit along the coastal road of the city has been defined to 30km/h which has impacted the accidents of the city. Over the last 10 years the road accidents have reduced by 80% which is a significant achievement.

Initiative Location

The intervention area is the city of Rethymno which is the capital of Rethymno Prefecture. An integrated network of pavements and cycle paths in the city was implemented with this project.


Working with Organization

The Technical Service Department of the Municipality of Rethymno was the implementing body for these interventions. All the project actions were funded by the NSRF with total budget of approximately €32.080.000,00. For the implementation of the above actions the cooperation with various public authorities was required mainly for the projects execution approval (environmental, archaeological, urban planning authorities etc.), cooperation of the Region of Crete and the Interim Management Authority of the NSRF.


Workers Participation

During the implementation of the municipality strategic plan for promoting sustainable mobility a number of consultants and subcontractors were involved. The employees of the Technical Department of the Municipality of Rethymno succeeded to carry out this demanding task. Twenty employees (scientists, engineers, administrative staff) were involved in the planning, preparation, funds claiming, auctioning and supervising of the projects promoting sustainable mobility in the city. The Administration and Finance Management cooperated impeccably with the Technical Services Department with a series of administrative and finance actions achieved for this project. 


Benefits for Οrganization

The main benefits for the municipality are the experience and knowledge gained during the implementation of all these measures as well as the development of team spirit within the municipality and between the municipality and politicians.

Connection with Global Goals

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