Ioannina is the capital and largest city of the Ioannina regional unit and of Epirus, an administrative region in north-western Greece. According to the 2011 census, the city population was 65,574, while the municipality had 112,486 inhabitants. It lies at an elevation of approximately 500 metres above sea level, on the western shore of lake Pamvotis. Ioannina is located 410 km (255 mi) northwest of Athens, 260 kilometres (162 miles) southwest of Thessaloniki and 80 km (50 miles) east of the port of Igoumenitsa in the Ionian Sea.

One of the specific goals of the municipality’s Strategic Plan is “the Protection, rehabilitation and strengthening of the natural environment and history of the city and its cultural heritage as factors of enhancing competitiveness and employment promotion.” In that framework, the nature-based solutions have the potential to play a crucial role for fulfilling these targets. Although the concept of nature-based solutions is relatively new in the city, the Connecting Nature Project is an excellent opportunity to introduce them to Ioannina and showcase their importance and effectiveness in the sustainable development of the city.

NBS Exemplar:
Pirsinela Park is a neglected park located in the urban boundaries of the city of Ioannina. It is considered the largest area of existing greenspace (almost 250.000 m2). Historically, this region offered opportunities for physical activities (running, tennis) and access to nature. However, the last fifteen years the park has been totally abandoned. The Municipality of Ioannina will plan and implement urban green interventions for the reuse and growth of the park as part of the Connecting Nature project.

The objectives of this exemplar project are:

  • Connecting nature-people: restore the experiential relationship of residents with the largest green park in the city. In terms of architectural planning, some focal points are: redesign the existing lanes, add new paths, stops and special areas of interest throughout the park, improvement of the overall park structure.
  • Connecting people: Turning the park into a hub of a multitude of cultural, sports and educational activities. The aim is to promote social cohesion through a variety of opportunities that will arise from the different uses of the park.
  • Connecting nature: Conservation, protection and further enhancement of the park's green space based on resilience.
  • Sustainable economic development through the integration of commercial and social actions in the site. Possible value outcome: job creation, increase in the value of the land property, revenue for the Municipality, increased number of visitors.
  • Upgrade the quality of city’s life, by providing a neglected park with historical significance to the citizens.

Using the Connecting Nature Framework:
The CN Framework Report addresses to a wide audience which includes both the internal structure of the municipality, but also the general public. Internally, the Report is used as a tool for the information of all the colleagues involved in the exemplar regarding the current status of the Project and also as a valuable guiding document in the meetings with the elected leadership of the municipality. Moreover, the Report is used as a dissemination tool in reaching the general public and increasing public awareness regarding both our exemplar and the nature-based solutions in general.

Connecting Nature Partner: 
Municipality of Ioannina


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This Deliverable details the implementation of the Connecting Nature Framework in the Fast Follower Cities. Generally speaking, the cities have highlighted that the Connecting...
This document provides a detailed overview of knowledge transfer activities between the FRCs and FFCs. The report will also outline some key innovations and next steps – including...
Nature-based entrepreneurship is a core element of the Connecting Nature Framework and supports the planning, delivery, and stewardship of large-scale nature-based solutions in...
This report summarises 1) the progress and results of the fast follower cities (A Coruna (ES), Burgas (BR), Ioannina (GR), Malaga (ES), Nicosia (CY), Pavlos Melas (GR) and...
This Deliverable presents a cross-city analysis of how the cities have adapted and applied the Connecting Nature Framework for the large-scale implementation of nature-based...