Neapoli-Sykies Vegetable Gardens

In July 2012, in the midst of the Greek financial crisis, the Municipality of Neapoli-Sykies decided to put a total area of 1,000 m² divided in small plots at the disposal of vulnerable households for a period of at least 2 years. Beneficiaries, selected by the Municipality according to social criteria, can use this land to produce fresh and healthy products for self-consumption

Contact details

Function / Organisation : Municipality of Neapoli-Sykies , Neapoli-Sykies Vegetable Gardens

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Website :
3 different sites in the Municipality of Neapoli-Sykies, Thessaloniki, Greece


  • Municipality of Neapoli-Sykies
  • Centre for the Support of Employment and Entrepreneurship of Women


  • Production of fresh and healthy products by the consumers themselves
  • Support to vulnerable urban dwellers by reducing their food budgets and improving their life quality
  • Emergence of a collective consciousness of the importance of allotment gardens and cultivation activities

Legal framework & Budget

It is an informal project, without a legal structure. From 2012 to 2016, the initiative was funded by the European Social Fund. Since 2017, it is funded by the own funds of the Municipality of Neapoli-Sykies. The annual budget is 51,000 €. 3 permanent employees work at the Vegetable Garden


Households selected by the Municipality are allocated a 40m² allotment garden to grow their own vegetables. They can grow any variety but according to organic methods. In this sense, they are supervised by agricultural experts on a regular basis. The municipality also provides beneficiaries with water, seeds, plants and tools free of charge. Beneficiaries just have to give 10% of their harvest to the Social Grocery Store of Neapoli-Sykies. They can keep the rest for self-consumption.

>Innovation & Outcomes

Gardens are locked and access by beneficiaries is provided by the municipality employees, based on a schedule defined and received in advance. The location of the 3 different sites has been decided based on certain criteria, mainly accessibility for beneficiaries using public transportation. The land is provided for free to selected households, which resulted in the upgrading of formerly abandoned and deprived areas. This top-down initiative succeeded thanks to close collaboration between the local authority and the civil society

SQM Cultivated
1 000
Jobs created
Project budget
51 000

Main obstacles & Next steps

The main obstacle to the initiative was the lack of available land in the Municipality of Neapoli-Sykies. To overcome this barrier, the Municipality found alternatives on more fragmented and smaller sites. The initiative continues to be implemented beyond the period of EU funding, with municipal own funding. The main challenge for the future is to attract and support more beneficiaries, and to replicate the gardens in other areas within the Municipality of Neapoli-Sykies.

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Project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund