Trikala, in Greece’s agricultural heartland, is an unlikely candidate for a leading smart city – but innovations have improved lives despite the financial crisis

“In the past, residents had to call the vice mayor just to change a broken street lamp,” says Sonia Sofou, a police officer turned civil servant. “Now you don’t need to know a politician to get something done.”

The 37-year-old is hard at work in the control room of Trikala, Greece’s first smart city. On the wall, nine screens display colourful maps and graphs monitoring the availability of parking spaces, the status of traffic lights and water pipes, the location of rubbish trucks and the town hall’s monthly budget.

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