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Larissa, Greece

  • City population: 
    162,000
  • City/Urban area: 
    335
  • Population Density: 
    More than 500 inhabitants per km²
  • GDP – city: 
    Between USD 15,000 and USD 25,000
  • GDP - country: 
    USD 18,035
  • Average number of years of schooling: 
    12

Growing a learning city culture

Learning city projects meet the varying needs of Larissa’s citizens and their families in a friendly learning environment.

Vision and Motivation

As a response to the financial and social crisis, the learning city of Larissa puts its citizens at the centre of their community and promotes opportunities for learning, education and participation in everyday activities.

A capable network is being established between public sector, civil society organisations and citizens, leading to creative, successful projects based on the people’s needs and interests especially in favour of vulnerable groups (disabled, deprived, ethnic minorities such as Roma people).

Challenges and Goals

Despite current economic and social challenges, the learning city of Larissa aims to continuously:

  • invest in culture and education in a friendly learning environment;
  • work on building successful networks; and
  • initiate projects for all citizens that combine joy and learning.

Plan and Implementation

In the last two years, two successful conferences on lifelong learning with local, national and international participants were organised in the city and a number of innovative projects were implemented. Larissa has managed to interact and cooperate with city stakeholders and also coordinate the Greek municipalities which share the lifelong learning philosophy.

“Summer camp in the city” is a successful paradigm of effective collaborations amongst local stakeholders which led to a creative and educative curriculum for children who spent their summer holidays in the city (visits to museums and monuments, public libraries, observatory etc.). A similar programme will be implemented during winter.

Larissa now faces the challenge to properly utilise the experience so far, strengthen the local network and effectively communicate the importance of embracing the culture of lifelong learning at local and national levels. For this purpose, Larissa is planning to establish a committee under the aegis of the City Council in the next months. Another current challenge for Larissa is to implement actions for multi-cultural populations (refugee crisis management and Roma integration).

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