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Athens, Greece

  • City population: 
    664,046
  • City/Urban area: 
    38.964
  • Population Density: 
    More than 500 inhabitants per km²
  • GDP – city: 
    Between USD 15,000 and USD 25,000
  • GDP - country: 
    USD$ 18,002
  • Average number of years of schooling: 
    12

A magical city admired by gods and people

The city of Athens, capital of Greece, historical capital of Europe and cradle of democracy, is a magnetic ancient and modern metropolis. It is famous for its millenniums-old culture and unique monuments.

Vision and motivation

The municipality regards education and lifelong learning as a means of driving sustainable development and creating a just and inclusive society. Athens believes that its inclusion in UNESCO’s Global Network of Learning Cities will broaden its learning vision and strengthen the work that is already being undertaken in collaboration with the city's local and collective bodies.

Challenges and goals

In recent years, Athens has been facing a variety of problems, including an enduring socio-economic crisis, high unemployment, refugee and immigrant influxes, and brain drain.

A further challenge is the decentralization of education and lifelong learning.

Plan and implementation

The municipality has implemented a Lifelong Learning Programme for the period 2015-2019 to assess citizens’ needs and wishes. Cooperating with local bodies and making use of all available structures and spaces, the programme supports citizens of all ages and from all backgrounds. It prioritizes marginalized groups and combats unemployment through the provision of training and job opportunities.

Open Schools provide activities for families; adults can improve their skills in the Vocational Training Centre; and the Open Centre for Culture & Children supports children and families while creating community bonds. Disadvantaged groups receive support through the Disability Support Office, the City of Athens Homeless Shelter and the Dependent Substance Use Prevention Centres.

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