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Living Lab - Rethymno

Rethymno is the third largest municipality of Crete with 63,000 habitants. It accommodates more than half a million tourists and attracts more than 1.5 million visitors on day tours and cruises annually. Therefore, the municipality is building up an integrated approach to face the rising challenges of both growing sectors: mobility and tourism. Rethymno has been a member of the Covenant of Mayors since 2011 and sustainable mobility is one of the strategic pillars of the Municipal SEAP. Rethymno is also involved in the European Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities. Through Destinations, Rethymno will demonstrate sustainable, affordable and reliable mobility solutions to address the intense seasonal tourist fluctuation, to reduce car usage, to achieve a shift in transport modal share and offer upgraded and innovative mobility services for citizens and tourists.

City Factfiles

Municipality Area

397 km2






62.886 inh. (2011)



Population Density



158 inh./km2

Gender Balance


52% female

48% male


Avg Life Expectancy


Female: 84.7 yrs

Males: 79.4 yrs


Car Ownership Rate

69.6% of the adult population

45.5%: one (1) car

20.3%: two (2) cars

3.8%: more than two cars


Accident Rate

23 accidents (2015)

25 injures and 10 deceased



Mild Mediterranean with mild winters and hot summers


Rethymno Today

Modal Share



Transport Infrastructure

Car network

Approx. 650 km.

Cycling network

20 km. cycling network in the city of Rethymno.The cycling network in Rethymno prefecture includes 22 inter-regional cycling routes, 12 of them connect Rethymno with key attractions nearby.

Public transport network

Approx. 400 km.


Behavioural change

  • Reduce private car dependencies
  • Address the position and inertia of the citizens/local businesses
  • Engage key stakeholders to a sustainable growth model
  • Inspire sustainable mobility habits
  • Improve soft transport modes
Upgrading of transport system
  • Address seasonal fluctuation due to tourism
  • Attractive and convenient PT services
  • Convenient access choices to main attractions
  • Improved links between PT, cycling and walking networks
  • Better coordination of inter-regional and airport transportation
Urban environment
  • Reduce traffic congestion and high environmental impacts (GHGs, urban noise)
  • Improve municipality image and functionality
  • Improve convenience for citizens / visitors
  • Design greener and safer public spaces


Rethymno after DESTINATIONS

Increased PT use: 20%

Increased use of public bikes: 10-15%

Reduction of congestion events: 10%

Increased satisfaction of residents and visitors: 30%

Accidents reduction: 20%

Behavioural change of local community and tourists towards sustainable modes of transport

Improved skills for drivers, including PT and freight