MUNICIPALITY OF PILEA-HORTIATIS (MPH) - Greece
Pilea–Hortiatis is a municipality in the Thessaloniki regional unit –the second largest Greek city- in the administrative region of Central Macedonia, Greece. The municipality of Pilea–Hortiatis was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of three former municipalities that became municipal units, namely Pilea, Hortiatis and Panorama, while the seat of the municipality is Panorama. It has 70.210 inhabitants (2011 Census) and it covers an area of 167.800 km2 representing 4.29% of the area of Thessaloniki. It has an urban, mountainous and coastal landscape, since it extends from the lowland coastal area of Pilea to the mountain area of Hortiatis (1.201m height) and its forest is of a great natural beauty. It has Mediterranean climate with mild and wet winters and very warm and dry summers. However, the variations in landscape along the Municipality cause as well variations at the climate.
The main productive sector of the Municipality is services and commerce. Within the Municipality there are many commercial facilities, multinational companies, public organisations, large public hospitals, private clinics and medical centres, the largest shopping centres in Northern Greece, international hotels, etc. In addition to this, of equal importance is the presence of the Technology Park, which hosts a large number of new technology and IT business along with the operation of the Centre for Research and Technology (the Coordinator of the VICINITY project). It is also home to one of the EU’s decentralized agencies, Cedefop, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training. The Municipality of Pilea - Hortiatis actively participates in the European Network of Cities UTN, the European Network of Qualitative Cities (QCITIES), the European Pact for Local Sustainable Energy (EUM) and the European Network “City Sec”.
It is a relatively sparsely populated district offering opportunities for major residential and business development, in the context of more general development prospects enjoyed by the broader Thessaloniki area. Emphasis is currently being laid on the development of a new service economy, an area in which Pilea-Hortiatis offers numerous competitive advantages such as its proximity to the airport and to major road axes, the existence of ample open spaces as well as the necessary infrastructure for further development. The great challenge faced by the Municipality is to combine economic growth with respect to the environment and regional climate along with a guaranteed quality of life for its residents.