“Imagining the future of my neighbourhood”: Residents’ perceptions of sustainable mobility and regeneration around metro stations in the city of Thessaloniki

New development around public transport stations has long been seen as the main alternative to low-density urban sprawl and car dependent land use patterns. Less attention has been given, however, to involving local residents in the public discussion about the potential of public transport infrastructure for sustainable regeneration of their neighbourhoods. The present paper presents an experiment undertaken to seek out how local residents would actually conceive the future of their neighbourhood and its potential for sustainable regeneration based on the metro which is under construction in the city of Thessaloniki. The experiment focused on two metro stations under construction in two different neighbourhoods in terms of their socio-spatial characteristics. After a questionnaire survey to residents and businesses, two interactive workshops were held on the day of the nearby open market, one in each station. The survey and workshops operated as knowledge production for both sides: the local residents that were helped to envisage the metro as a future challenge and the research team that had to incorporate their expectations into an ongoing pilot urban project. The paper highlights the potential of the use of qualitative methods in the research and planning of sustainable mobility and neighbourhood regeneration.
Transit-oriented neighbourhood regeneration, sustainable urban mobility, residents’ perceptions, Thessaloniki metro