Rethymno is a city in Greece on the island of Crete with a population of more than 30,000 inhabitants.
“The Municipality of Rethymno is aiming towards a balanced tourism development, respecting today’s environmental obligations. This is a one-way option for everyone” – GEORGE MARINAKIS- MAYOR OF RETHYMNO MUNICIPALITY
Rethymno seeks to remain a popular tourism destination on an international level, but also seeks to become a city model when it comes to sustainable development.
In terms of challenges addressed, Rethymno, as an island municipality with more than 500K tourists per year, Rethymno is affected by tourism flows and has to meet increasing environmental challenges caused by tourism activities. Rethymno has to preserve the quality and availability of natural resources and the attractiveness of the municipality.
The Municipality of Rethymno succeeded to introduce the concept of Circular Economy in the local community at policy and demonstrator level empowering the knowledge of decision and policy makers and raise awareness over citizens and visitors. There were implemented two demonstrators: (1) one to promote electromobility in combination with Renewable Energy Sources (RES) and (2) the other one recycling and waste separation at the source. Their main advantage is that they are easily replicable in both household and business level with a significant effect in the environment and in the local community.
With the installation of two solar carports (one with 10KWp installed power and the other with 20KWp), a charging station for electric vehicles, 5 charging stations for 20 electric bicycles and electric scooters, and with 2 bicycle racks for 10 bicycles. The photovoltaic carports produce energy to cover the needs of the EV-Chargers using net-metering for the grid connection Green energy for e-mobility.
Rethymno as a pioneer in Greece regarding electromobility has become a model city on a national level, and therefore there is a rapid increase in electric vehicles circulating in the city. Through the installation of the carport, Rethymno pointed out a feasible and cost-effective good practice which could be installed in a business or house outdoor area. In addition, the bins placed in a hot-spot area in terms of walkability aroused the interest of people immediately, promoting waste sorting at the source.
Catalogue of best practices on sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean sustainable tourism community – Interreg Med – June, 2022