N.Y. Urban Planner Shows Greece How

ATHENS – Hoping to promote more effective partnership between cities and citizens to solve pressing urban problems, the U.S. Embassy in Athens is cooperating with the Athens Municipality Civil Society Networking Office SynAthina & the Athens Municipality Europe Direct Centre to organize a workshop December 3-4 entitled Active Cities – Engaged Citizens.

The workshop will bring together municipal authorities, volunteer organizations and community groups, and will feature experts from New York, London, Amsterdam, Nicosia, and around Greece.

The aim of the event is the exchange of best practices between cities in the field of municipal-civil society relations, the promotion of mechanisms that encourage citizens to participate in solving urban needs, and the strengthening of relations between participating cities for the creation of a European network of cities of service.

Visiting American experts include Diahann Billings-Burford, the U.S.’ first-ever municipal Chief Service Officer, and the leader of NYC Service – the City’s initiative to promote a new era of service and volunteerism.

With more than a decade of experience working in the nonprofit sector, she oversees the implementation of nearly 40 service initiatives. Billings-Burford will discuss the concept and strategy behind the New York City Service Office and also address common urban challenges, different approaches and methods each city adopts in engaging with citizens and community groups.

The workshop will take place at ΕU-topia cafe, Europe Direct Center, Akadimias 50. Those interested in attending are invited to register via email at: synathina@cityofathens.gr. The event is admission-free and presentations will be in English.