Sustainable transportation and green cities - project "Voltaro"

What was this?

Since 2017, Voltaro has been a landmark event in the Region of Central Macedonia and specifically of the deputy regional director of Development and Environment, for sustainable transportation in Greek cities. Voltaro takes place on the coastal front of Thessaloniki to highlight the local ecosystem and new technologies that have been developed in the areas of mobility, sustainable transport, circular economy, green cities and more. More than 80 organizations, businesses and educational institutions have actively participated in Voltaro. Also, more than 3.000 citizens attend each year, with this year's number of attendees counting over 4.000.

The Region of Central Macedonia (RCM), motivated by the 17 goals of the Paris Agreement for Sustainable Development, launched Voltaro in 2017. The events' strategy is to facilitate the development of micro-mobility in the Region, giving incentives to the organisations that are active in these sectors to converge towards effective and sustainable development. Micro-mobility is based on the choices citizens make, offering great potential for reducing emissions and prospects for restructuring the urban fabric. Therefore, it is necessary to support citizens in "smart" decision-making. Voltaro has been designed according to two principles, co-creation and gamification. Co-creation, because Voltaro is the result of a process, in which organisations, volunteers, businesses, research centers, experts and executives in the Region of Central Macedonia participated in. It's very important for us that each organisation's work is presented equally, as participatory processes contribute to a deeper level of connection and dialogue between responsible citizens.

The event takes place on one of the days during the European Mobility Week. Citizens, companies and organisations are creating a new field of synergies for electromobility and alternative modes of transportation, leading to effective policies and solutions. On the other hand, the "gamification" element transforms Voltaro into a unique experience. Citizens exploring different mobility stations learn about new technologies, discuss and answer interactive questions in order to participate in a game. A key point in this process is that the questions are designed both to inform and to collect information/data about citizens' opinions and behavior. The results of this process are used for the evaluation of each year's awareness impact, as well as to make better decisions on mobility policies in the future.

This year, Voltaro 6 was developed on 2 levels, a seminar of good practices alongside the awareness campaign. The seminar was about the operation of the Regional Innovation Hub for Urban Mobility, co-organized by the technical coordinator of the CERTH Hub and the Region of Central Macedonia. At the conference, the Municipalities had the opportunity to learn about funding possibilities for the implementation of sustainable urban mobility solutions and also about the opportunities for innovative startups.




6 months of preparation


80+ partners in total


For us, Voltaro isn't just a project. It is a practical case study (example) of 6 years of substantial cooperation with the Region of Thessaloniki, civil society organisations, private companies and the academic sector.

Each year the project preparations are based on a co-designing process, which starts with this year's goal and foundations of the event. The digital management of an event this size requires very good planning using digital programs (asana, miro, google drive, slack) managed by a group of different partners.

Improvement and feedback is a key element of our projects, so incorporating feedback we received last year is very much a building block of the process.



The implementation of this event for the 6th year in a row, has made Voltaro a landmark-event of the city!

In 2022 the participants exceeded 4.000. The qualitative impact grew, as we were honored with the presence of institutions and research centers with modern projects in the field. With the presence of important organisations of sustainable mobility in Northern Greece, each year we are given a particularly important opportunity to educate on issues around sustainable cities.

Practically, the results are evident from the number of electric vehicles that have been registered in the "KINOYME ILEKTRIKA'' program, as 67% of those were sold in the last 4 years. It is noteworthy that 20% of the vehicles subsidized by the event are from the islands.

The promotion of new and alternative forms of transport is based on the successful awareness of citizens on these issues and on their proper informing regarding the benefits for the environment, the economy and society, in the short and long term. The challenge for the Municipalities and Regions is a great one, as the process of raising citizens' awareness should be continuous, scientifically documented and integrated into a wider Strategic Plan for sustainable development.