#14 INCIRCLE: a Circular Tourism Project to "Make All Voices Heard"

Episode 20 October 12, 2022 00:39:31
#14 INCIRCLE: a Circular Tourism Project to "Make All Voices Heard"
Smart in the City – The BABLE Podcast
#14 INCIRCLE: a Circular Tourism Project to "Make All Voices Heard"

Oct 12 2022 | 00:39:31


Hosted By

Tamlyn Shimizu

Show Notes

In this episode, we talked with Katerina Nikolopoulou about INCIRCLE, an Interreg MED project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund which supports INsular and low-density areas in the transition towards a more CIRCular tourism Economy.

Katerina works for the Greek-speaking branch of the CIVITAS Initiative, CIVINET Greece-Cyprus as the network manager.


Register now for our new online training course: SMARTER CONNECTED PLACES - experiential learning for tomorrow's urban leaders which will take place from 15.11.2022 to 06.12.2022.


Overview of the episode:

02:55 - Teaser: Learn a fun fact about circular tourism economy.

04:18 - What is CIVINET Greece-Cyprus and what does it do?

06:10 - What is a circular tourism economy?

08:20 - What are the pillars of the project?

09:18 - What are the specific challenges related to insular areas?

19:38 - Which cities are involved and what are the similarities and differences that they face?

14:18 - How are challenges in Greece different than in other countries?

17:25 - How do we overcome the challenge of data collection?

20:07 - What can cities and those working in this space learn from this project?

24:21 - What are the limitations to this kind of project?

29:19 - Can tourism be really sustainable?

31:49 - Trial and Error: what went wrong? What mistakes were made along the way, and more importantly, what lessons were learned?

36:30 -  Ending Question: To you, what is a Smart City?


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Episode Transcript

Tamlyn Shimizu 00:00:06 Welcome to Smart in the City, the BABLE Podcast. I am your host, Tamlyn Shimizu. And really at BABLE, we aim to connect the players in the smart city industry with high quality information and ideas through our platform and services. This podcast is really an extension of this goal and mission to drive the change for a better urban life. First, a quick announcement from BABLE. We are delighted to announce a new interactive online training course, Smarter Connected Places experiential Learning for Tomorrow's Urban Leaders. You can find the link for more information and how to register in the show notes. Make sure to register by the 14th of October for an early bird discount now onto our regular programming. So today I have a very special guest with us all the way from Greece, my second Greek, uh, guest on the show so far. Um, and her name is Cat Nilo. Um, and she works for the Greek speaking branch of the CTA initiative, which is the C net Cypress as the network manager, but she really does it all. So, <laugh> welcome, cat. Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:01:24 Hello to lean, Nice to see you again, <laugh>, and to be here with you, <laugh>. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:01:30 Yeah, always lovely to see you. Um, and yeah, thanks so much for coming on the show. We, I'm really looking forward to hearing about, uh, a very special project to you. Um, and that's gonna be the subject of our, of our podcast really. And that project is called incircle, and it's an med project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. And it's all about supporting insular and low density areas in the transition towards a more circular tourism economy. So, And you're working as a financial manager for that project? Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:02:04 Yeah, exactly. But, um, not just, that's my main, let's say role, but, uh, because the saving net, uh, the network of receiving net has, uh, the communication work packets, uh, is the lead of the communication work packets. Um, let's say that we do a little bit, uh, of everything. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:02:27 Yeah. Yeah. And I, I feel like that's your role with a lot of things is you're just doing it all right. Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:02:32 <laugh>. We're right. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:02:33 <laugh>. Yeah. Yeah. That's my experience so far. So, um, yeah, really interested to dig into this project. Um, I think it's a new topic for maybe not a topic that's talked about enough, or a topic that's quite so in the forefront of when we speak about smart cities. Um, so really excited to learn more about it. Also, um, maybe to get us started before, um, we really dig in. I, I was wondering if you know about kind of fun fact or something about circular tourism economy. Um, do you have one in mind? Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:03:06 Well, I do. I don't know if, uh, it's exactly like a fun fact, but, but it's a very interesting fact, um, which is that, uh, recycling one tone of, uh, solid waste, uh, can pay $101 more in salaries than disposing of it, uh, in landfill. And if, if you think about it, um, if you re, if you find a way to reuse it, and, uh, actually you can increase significant, uh, jobs, the number of jobs, like for every 1000 to of municipal solid waste, you can, uh, provide 80 jobs. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:03:54 Wow. Yeah. That is, um, that's, that's, that is fun. I mean, it's interesting <laugh> No, but it's, it's a good, it's a good fact. And, um, inspiring to know, like, to look at it from the economic lens, right? Um, to see how we can really use these type of solutions also to boost our economy. Um, so, uh, yeah. Maybe to get us started on your background, can you explain, uh, just briefly about cnet, Greece, Cypress, and what it does? Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:04:25 Of course. Uh, C net, as you said, Uh, Cypress is the Greek speaking branch of CTA of the initiative, uh, which is, uh, developed, uh, from the European Commission. Uh, so in a way, we are part of, uh, the European Commission, all, all of the s and, uh, here in Greece. Um, we are trying to, uh, actually we have more than 120, uh, cities, municipalities as members. And, uh, our main goal is to promote, uh, sustainable, uh, mobility in the Greek and Thetic, um, community, of course, uh, through that. In order to do that, we're helping the municipalities, uh, these days mostly with, uh, the, the sounds, the sustain uber mobility plants. Uh, but we also, we work for them for other projects, for European projects as well. Um, and this is our main goal, the, let's say, the prosperity of, uh, of our cities and to make our cities better, especially the Greek cities, because as most of, uh, the people know we lack of infras, we lack in a lot of things. So I think that it's like, uh, a good goal <laugh> to try to help the Greek cities. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:05:51 Yeah, absolutely. So what you lack in, now, you, um, excel in tourism, right? It's a huge tourism, uh, destination. Um, exactly. So I, I guess that's where this comes in, is trying to make a, a circular tourism economy, um, like trying to make it sustainable. Right. Um, so can you talk a little bit about what is a circular tourism economy? Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:06:18 Yeah, of course. Uh, I understand that yes, Greek is a very, uh, place, but, uh, all the Mediterranean area is very, is is one of the most areas in the, in the world. So you can understand that, um, all the flow of the tool, the, the huge flow of the tourist, uh, that comes usually in the summer, creates, uh, a lot of problems for, for those places. And they change the place actually a lot. It's, uh, let's say if you go to Greek Island, it's way better, uh, during this it's way, uh, uh, different during the summer and way different, uh, during the winter. So you can understand that there's a very, uh, huge need to, to balance this, uh, this difference, this gap. So circular, uh, works like, um, let's say how everyone knows recycling, everyone knows that, uh, it's better to, to use something and then not just throw it out, not just throw it away, but find a way to, to use it again. Uh, let's say that this, this very simple, uh, example is, uh, like how circular circularism works. You need to find ways to, to reuse, to renew, to regenerate, uh, and to be more innovative in order to, to balance exactly what I said to the difference, uh, between, uh, the different seasons in this kind of areas. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:07:57 Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. So it's really a balancing act, um, and you have to balance a lot, I suppose, with that huge influx of people coming in. Also, people when they're on holiday are just rude, aren't they? They just leave a bunch of trash around and, um, <laugh>, they're not the most respectful guests a lot of times, um, when they come in. So, I, I guess my next question is also, um, so the project, what areas does it really focus on? Like does it focus mostly on waste management? Is it all related to also energy, water, mobility? Um, what would you say are the, the biggest topic areas? Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:08:36 Well, there are, uh, four pillars and, uh, at least this is how we perceive it. Uh, at the Circle project, it's, uh, the water, it's waste, it's energy, and it's mobility. And I think that, uh, if, if you really think about it with these four pillars, you cover everything, everything in an area and everything that, uh, not only, of course, the tourist, but of course the inhabitants of a place, uh, are using, are doing. It's, uh, it's everything in their everyday life. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:09:13 Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Um, so this project also focuses really on the insular and low density areas. Um, so what are the specific challenges related to that versus more a more high dense area? Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:09:30 Well, usually in a, you know, in a place, um, let's say in an island, but in a big island or, uh, in a place that, in a city that it's, uh, next to the sea, and it's a big city, usually you have the, the infrastructure, uh, and the policies that they're not, uh, there only for the tourist. They're there for the inhabitants in general, and for, uh, the prosper and the wellbeing of their inhabitants in general, because those places, they're not active only in summer or only in during seasons, holidays. So the, but in places where they're smaller or with lower, uh, with urine inhabitants or, um, that you can see that it's activity of this area is, uh, is more, uh, intense during summer or during, uh, periods, uh, of vacation. As I said before, uh, you can see that there's a lack of a lot of things. Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:10:38 And, uh, it's not just that the, that they don't have the infrastructure or the policies or the measures or the good practices or the good examples, but, uh, they're usually, most of these places, they're so far, uh, behind the rest of, uh, the cities that it's difficult for, um, for the community during the rest of the period, you can see that there's a lack in, uh, let's say in water, at least in Greek, uh, islands. Uh, water is a very huge issue. You can see that, uh, during summer, uh, even if you're a tourist and you are to a village, to an island, during the days that you'll be visiting this island, you might also experience, um, lack of, uh, water, uh, like, uh, small breaks during the day or for a whole day or stuff like that. So you realize that this is, this is something very important and very huge not, not to have water at the, an entire area or, or even at an entire island. So it's, it's very crucial. It's very crucial to, to try to balance this kind of, um, let's say not just differences, but inequalities or even in a way, injustices to have places that work like that and to, to be attractive just for the tourists to, to go and do their holidays while there's people over there that they live and experience and experience these places, uh, on a daily basis, and of course, all year long. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:12:18 Yeah. So really building a, an infrastructure and a, a, a place that's really for the citizens, the residents of the, of the area, not just for the tourists, but having them also in cohesion. Right. Yeah. Really cool. Uh, really interesting. So what can you talk about with, um, who, yeah, which cities have you, which cities and other areas have you involved in, in the project so far? Um, and what have you seen have been like the similarities that they face and also kind of the differences? Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:12:50 So we have, um, in general, we have 17 partners, but, uh, the project partners that, uh, we started, um, the project, uh, they were from six countries, Greece, c, Spain, Italy, Albania, and, uh, Marta. Uh, so there's, uh, there's a very huge, uh, variety of, uh, the stakeholders from, uh, from the private sector to, uh, regions and cities and universities, um, and, uh, NGOs and a lot of, uh, as I said, a lot of different, uh, type of, uh, partners and stakeholders. Uh, and I think that, uh, this is the best way to try to, when you try to approach such concept, you see, uh, it's not focusing only on one, but it's a more holistic approach. So of course, you need the different, uh, types of, uh, stakeholders in order to, to achieve that and to have, um, let's say all the voices heard <laugh>. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:14:05 Yeah. And that's really kind of the ambition of an indirect project, right? Is to span different stakeholders, span different regions and countries. Um, but I imagine those, the, the, the countries you name are quite diverse. So what do you think are the, the biggest, um, differences, um, that they, that the different countries face, for example, in comparison to Greece? How are the challenges in Spain different, or, um, what do you think? Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:14:32 Well, I think that, um, let's say, let's start with, uh, at least <laugh> that, um, even in between places that they're more, um, let's say well organized to places that they lack of, uh, of this organization. Um, you can always see, uh, good and bad, uh, examples. And there's no perfect place or something like that. Every place has, uh, its, uh, its uniqueness and its own, um, and, um, and problems. So I think that at least as a Greek partner, um, it was, let's say a little bit, uh, dis encouraging, uh, to realize when, when you thought of good kind of, um, pilot actions are you going to do, or when, uh, we help the, the region ofa for their circular strategy. Um, it was really disappointing to see that, um, it's not just the lack of infrastructure, but, uh, it's lack of data, it's lack of commitment, it's a lack of a lot of things. Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:15:53 Uh, what's happening, which you can see that it's happening in different levels and not just, let's say that the municipal doesn't want to, or the reason doesn't wanna change, but it's like a combination of everything's a combination of the mentality of the people. Uh, it's of course the, the political commitment. So it's a little bit, uh, dis to, to, when you try to, to face a problem like that and to approach it when you try to think now where are we start? When, where are we starting from? So, and this is, um, I said this because I wanted to connect that, I think not, uh, like, uh, that the differences, but the, the most common thing between all of these areas is, uh, the data collection is the lack of data and how to, to collect the data. I think this is, uh, the most common thing for, for everyone. Uh, even in places that you can see, they are doing already something, uh, towards the direction to, to have mechanisms in order to collect better. You still think you can still see that we have a long way to go, <laugh>. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:17:14 Yeah. And I, I think that's echoed in many, many places from what I know also that we see. But I guess, how do we overcome that challenge? How do we start overcoming that challenge, just start collecting data, putting more technologies in place? What do you think, um, is the best way to start like solving that challenge? Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:17:35 Uh, well, I think that data is, uh, extremely important, and we should, uh, start from there, because without the data, then you are, uh, it's like you're going, uh, blind. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:17:48 Yeah. Shooting in the dark. Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:17:50 Yeah, exactly. You dunno, uh, where to start, uh, what to do, what are the, let's say, uh, your weak points in order to improve them. It's not just, you don't just need to just know that, Okay, I have a problem there. You need to know why. You need to know how, you need to know how this problem was created. So you actually need data. And, uh, if you have that, and I think that nowadays, uh, where in the 21st century, it's quite easy. It's not just easy to collect them, but it's more easy than, um, uh, years ago. Because nowadays you have the technology and so many different tools. Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:18:45 Let's start from there. Uh, if you have that, then in one way or the other, everything will fall in place because after that, you, you know, uh, what you need, you know, um, not just what you need, but in which areas you need to focus. So it's, uh, let's say it's going to make your life easier. And when you actually see the numbers, it's also like, uh, a wake up call, because if you don't see the numbers, you know, ignorance is a place, you know, <laugh>. Yeah. But when you actually see the numbers, then you can, uh, have a better, uh, overview of, uh, the topic. You are, um, you, you try to, to approach. And, you know, after that, um, the one thing will follow the, the other. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:19:38 Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. I think we've seen that time and time again in, in our experiences as well, that, um, also collecting the right data, right? So there's, um, there's something to be said also, not just for collecting data, just for the sake of it, but really actually pinpointing what do we really need to know, Um, and moving forward from there. So yeah, I, I love that point. Um, do you think that's one of the biggest lessons learned from this project? Or what would you say, like taking away the lessons from this project? What can you, you know, recommend and give advice for, for others that are tackling similar challenges? Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:20:16 Well, uh, yeah. I'll start from data, but, uh, I will say something more in general, uh, more generic that, um, uh, usually when you try to approach, uh, topics like that, you are not going to, uh, to invent the will. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, there are a lot of, uh, practices there. There's a lot of good samples out there. And, uh, there, most of the things that, uh, also being, uh, is focusing, uh, besides of course, the methodology we've created or knowledge, the atory of knowledge that we've, is that, uh, most of the practices, they're already somewhere being used. I mean, recycling is something that we already know, um, in islands to reuse, let's say the rain water. It's something that it's happening through the ancient years. So we are not reinventing the wheel or, or anything like that, is to, to know, to understand the problem that you're facing and to, to have the data and to seek for solutions that they have been already applied somewhere else. Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:21:41 And usually this is going help you because it's going show you also, uh, the indicators or, uh, the problems they faced when they, when they, uh, dealt with that problem or whatever. You can, um, you can have so many good advice and, uh, consultation when you see, when you are not going, uh, when you are not suiting back as you said before. But, um, when you try to, to be more dedicated and to try to pinpoint those good examples and good, uh, practices, and try to see how this is going to fit in your case, in your situation, if you start from there. Because there's also no way to, to go big overnight. You're not going to change everything overnight. Uh, all of these, um, things, all of these issues, um, you need time and you also need to be very committed to actually, uh, do, to actually make the change and not just start with it and, um, get lost somewhere in the way. So, especially with, uh, circular tourists, um, you need a more holistic approach and not just an approach from the, from the municipality or from a region or from a country. You need to, to approach everyone or the stakeholders, the community, the tourists, because also the tourists need to, needs, need to be more and better informed. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:23:18 Yeah, Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:23:20 Absolutely. Because it doesn't matter if, uh, I'm in a place and, uh, I'm, um, I'm living in a, in a place like that, and okay, the municipality is going approach me, ands gonna, let's say, train me or inform me about this kinda issues, and I'm going help them, uh, in this journey, let's say, towards sustainable economy and sustainable tourism and circular tourism. Uh, but the, the people that they are going to, to visit my place need also to respect that, to, to, to get better informed and see how it'll also help their experience there if, uh, they engage also, if they join also this, uh, this movement, let's say <laugh>. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:24:07 Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I think that's a really interesting point to involve the tourists, um, and communicate better with them as well. So, um, also, I have a couple tough questions. Um, maybe tough, I don't know. I think you're fairly well clipped <laugh>. So, um, I, I guess the question is, um, what are really the limitations of such a project? Right? The project ends soon, I, I believe, um, and what happens after the project ends? Um, and really what is the limitation there? Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:24:38 Well, I think that, um, you know, as a Greek person, I'm very good at, uh, finding all the problems, uh, at a solution. So <laugh>, the limitations could be a lot and, uh, very different regarding, uh, your, uh, way of viewing the things. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:25:01 Yeah. Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:25:01 But, uh, as the, I think that, uh, to be honest, as the, the project is ending, um, at least from my perspective, uh, they are going to be not just the, the, um, the people and the partners that worked at the, at this, uh, project, but the people that they learn somehow from, uh, our experience, or they experienced it itself in a way, uh, through our events or, um, our webinars, our trainings, or everything that we've, uh, during the project, um, that they are going to keep pursuing this, um, this way of life. This, um, these good practices. And, uh, we, during the, in order to do the, the, the circular strategy of the regional ofa, we did a three vent at, uh, the island of which is very close to. Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:26:11 And, uh, we have, uh, we were super excited to see that there were so many people interesting, uh, in this topic. And not just stakeholders, uh, from, uh, the city, but also from, uh, the citizens and from, uh, the community, a lot of different stakeholders. Uh, and the, their interest was so high that after the event, uh, they were asking if we could do this, like an annual thing to get together and talk about, uh, about this issue. And to pressure, um, not just the region ofa, but the, the city's, uh, themselves. And, uh, even if we could do it, uh, in a governmental, um, uh, let's say, uh, level, that we could do it at the national level, that we could do it also there, they encourage us to do it, uh, because they see that, uh, it's, um, it's, they value actually what circular tourism is, is and what it can bring to the, to the area, what it can bring also to the citizens and to the tourist, because the, especially these places, they feel it, uh, like, uh, in the, in where it live, in a place like that. Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:27:42 And of course, of course, they want to, to make better, uh, conditions for, uh, for their lives. But of course, they want attract tourist. They want, they don't want to, to marginalize them or anything. But in order to do that, there's, there's a very huge, uh, need of corporation and of collaboration between all of them. So they also start to see the importance of circular economy and circular tourism, and of sustainable economy and sustainable. Uh, so I think that no matter our obstacles and, uh, no matter, um, uh, with the, the, the big issues, uh, will be in order to continue in that, uh, the people are committed and the stakeholders are committed to keep on that, that, so don't think it's, uh, the barriers that they're going to face, uh, are important because we're facing barriers in whatever we are going to do. So I think that if, if they pressure and if we pressure towards the direction, uh, we will be able to, to deal with everything, like, with all the barrier and all the problems and everything, Tamlyn Shimizu 00:29:08 <laugh>, very positive, very positive. I love the spirit. So, um, one last question in our main, uh, kind of interview part, and that's, um, a bit critical on can tourism actually really be sustainable? Um, what do you think? Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:29:25 I think so, yeah, because, uh, as I said, this three day event, uh, on an island, um, we did actually, uh, do, let's say our work and vacation at the same time, uh, in a very sustainable and circular way. Uh, we went there using, and not by cars, but, uh, with bicycles. And while we were there, we used bicycles and, uh, we did, uh, hiking. We, we go for hiking. And, uh, we were trying of course, at every place that we went to eat that there were no, uh, leftovers or the leftovers they're going to to be used in a way, uh, again, um, even for animals or something like that. And, uh, during the, our stay there, we try not to use plastic bottles. So even from a small point of view, there's always something we can do. So I think that there's definitely, uh, that, that it's very possible and, uh, doable to, to actually achieve, uh, sustainable and circular tourism. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:30:37 Good. I hope so. I hope so. I, I can see both sides of the argument honestly, on, um, I mean, I love to travel personally these days. I mostly travel for work. Um, and, you know, I do try to travel in a way that's, um, more circular and try to be conscious of these decisions. But I do notice, you know, when I'm traveling, I'm, I use a lot more, um, when I'm on the road, then when I'm at home, um, you just, it is just harder to, to do these things. Maybe you get more takeout boxes or whatever it might be. Right. Um, so I think, uh, I think a little bit falls on us, uh, like, like the travelers, right? But it also falls on, um, the cities and the regions to make it more easily accessible to make these decisions as well. Um, so good. I, I hope, um, I, I wish you all the best with all of this. Um, I'm really excited also to someday, um, go to Greece as a, and, and see the islands. I I've been to Athens actually with you. Um, thank you for Yeah, thank you for that invite. Also, I was in Greece because Cat invited me, by the way. Um, so now we will move on to our last segment. Um, and it's a fun segment called Trial and Error, Tamlyn Shimizu 00:31:50 Trial and Error, What went wrong, What mistakes were made along the way, and more importantly, what lessons were learned. I I think we touched on this a bit, but maybe you have one, um, misstep, um, or it could be a funny misstep, or it could be a not funny misstep, it doesn't matter, <laugh>, but maybe you have, um, some kind of misstep in the project that you were like, Ooh, we should have done that differently. Um, do you have anything? Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:32:22 Um, well, to be honest, because, uh, of the <inaudible> project, uh, the lifetime of the Incident Project was, uh, during the pandemic, uh, I think that if it was in this situation, we would have, uh, more, uh, dues and don'ts. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:32:39 <laugh>. Yeah. Yeah. Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:32:42 Because we would be, you know, more out there, um, in those places, in those cities, uh, that they also did the pilot actions, uh, in order to see what, uh, went right or what went wrong. But, uh, at least from, uh, what we've experienced, uh, until now, I can say that a lot of things went wrong. Uh, it went right, Tamlyn Shimizu 00:33:08 <laugh> went right, <laugh>, Hey, things, things going, things going wrong are also not bad. Um, in, in my viewpoint, in my viewpoint, the things going bad is where you learned the most lessons. So, uh, it's also okay, but Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:33:23 No, no, no, that's true. That's, that's, uh, very true. But, uh, this, what I wanted Tamlyn Shimizu 00:33:29 Say, a lot of things went right. Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:33:36 Yeah. A lot of things when were, uh, went right. And, um, you could see that, uh, from, especially from the cities that, uh, they did the, uh, the of, uh, the actions, the, that they did, uh, they were very, uh, accepted from, uh, from the community and from the people, and also from the tourists. So I think that, uh, those actions were, uh, I could easily say that there were success and, uh, in some cases, I think a very huge one. Um, but for, for the, let's say the, the things that went wrong, <laugh>, and, uh, what, what we can do better, uh, I think that this is something that we've experienced more in, um, in an organization level and, uh, especially while, uh, working on the regional and strategies, uh, that of <affirmative>, I'm gonna, Sorry. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:35:04 No worries. Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:35:05 No worries. It's, let's say it's not, um, that common for other regions and, um, and also national level to have already, um, policies and, um, plants in order to tackle this kind of, uh, problems mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So you can see that, uh, at some, at some, uh, times may, there might be some recommendations or, or even some laws, but, uh, you can see that they're not actually implemented. So I think that this is the most, uh, let's say thing, uh, one thing that is wrong and we need to change it. And yeah, this happened exact, and this year that, that exactly was the reason why we made these, uh, strategies, the circular strategies, not only for, uh, the municipalities, but for the regions. And that's why we also, uh, selected those, uh, six x, uh, territories to, to replicate, uh, these strategies and to try to, to, to make one for, uh, for themselves. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:36:21 Yeah. Yeah. Good. Um, yeah, thanks so much for sharing. And, uh, now is the last question, and that is a recurring question that we ask every single guest. Um, and the question is, what is a smart city to you? Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:36:35 Okay. Uh, I think smart city, for me, it's not a city that, um, it's, uh, um, how to say it. Um, that depends only on, um, on technology. A smart city for me is a city that can, uh, provide solutions, um, that they, that sometimes they might not have to do anything with technology or, uh, something super duper innovative, but, uh, to, to provide with solutions that works for the place that you are at. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because that, that, that's the most, uh, important thing. If it works and it works well, <laugh>, then that's all you mean. You don't always have to, to read for the most, um, let's say difficult, uh, uh, solution, or the most complicated one, or even, uh, solution that it's, uh, entirely, uh, something, uh, technological sometimes or maybe, uh, something very simple is, is the best way to go. So I, I think that for me, this is a smart city. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:37:54 Yeah. Yeah. Perfect. I, I agree with you. Um, there, so yeah, with that, um, our time is out. That went by quickly for me. Hopefully it did for you too. Um, <laugh>, thank you so much. Uh, yeah. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today. I really appreciate it. Katerina Nikolopoulou 00:38:11 Thank you for having me here. And, uh, yeah, to be honest, I thought that, uh, this is, uh, a very stressful by in general. Uh, we also have, uh, another invitation from, uh, from me and from Syria to, to come again to Greece and to experience yourself, the, the Greek islands and, uh, what tourist might be. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:38:51 I will, I will gladly take that invitation sometimes. So, um, yeah, thank you so much. And thanks to all of our listeners. Don't forget, you can always create a free account on BABLEble smart cities.eu to find out more about smart city projects, solutions, implementations, and more. So thank you all. Thank you all for listening. I'll see you at the next stop on the journey to a better urban life.

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