Chania, Greece

The City

Chania is located in the crossroads of civilizations, full of natural beauties, unique tradition and architecture. Built on the location of the ancient Minoan settlement of “Kydonia”, the city occupies an area of 11 sq km with a population just over 50.000 inhabitants, making Chania the second largest city in Crete. The old Venetian port with its Egyptian Lighthouse is one of the city’s most iconic features, while the gulf of Souda to the north is the largest natural harbor in the Mediterranean Sea. Its unspoiled landscapes and cultural identity have lately rendered the city as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

The pilot

Public spaces in Chania are being upgraded to both bring nature to the citizens, and citizens to nature. A mobile urban living room will be designed as a flexible multifunctional pilot, to increase the accessibility and use of public spaces and improve citizens’ health and well-being. Convertible furniture will be digitized by making them part of the Internet of Things (IoT). Their position and use will be monitored, allowing the citizens to interact both with the urban space and VARCITIES via mobile apps and games. With the ability to offer high-quality services and multifunctionality, the pilot will be designed to host different activities. These convertible spaces can be easily dismantled and then repositioned in different parts of the city. Sensors on public bikes and bike-stations combined with weather station data, prediction models and bike sharing systems usage data will also be employed to create a healthy city.

The future city vision

Thanks to VARCITIES project, Chania has the opportunity to implement innovative solutions, consistent with the goals of increasing citizens’ awareness, sense of respect for public spaces, and integrating green spaces into the everyday life. Developing a healthy green mindset for children and improving economic opportunities through green-digital strategies learning comprise the additional goals of the project and of the city.

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