Since 2015, the influx of refugees in the Greek cities has resulted in social instability, exacerbating an already tenuous situation accrued by the economic crisis, as denoted by Sakellis et al (2016). In the light of the Smart City narrative and the use of digital tools in everyday urban practices, Greek cities have done very little to incorporate digital technologies and fortify their social resilience.
This study explores the potential use of co-creation digital platforms in the social-led regeneration process of urban open spaces in Greek cities under refugee shocks. The literature review includes the terms of Resilience and its typologies, Urban Informatics, Urban Big Data and Digital Tools. Furthermore, the research hypothesis refers to the extent of the use of new digital technologies contributes to the capacity building related to timely self-organization, sustainability and social resilience. In this context, the use of emerging technologies could enable Communities of Practice, as denoted by Afzalan et al. (2017), to become the administrators of digital platforms, to identify Communities of Concern, as defined by UNHCR (2018), to bring them together and advance their capacity. Therefore, in the current proposed scenarios, local communities could incorporate digital tools to facilitate Focus Group Discussions, identify problems and propose solutions, as well as implement ideas that promote the productive use of urban open spaces in economic and social aspects, such as pop-up stores for refugees’ products, open markets, collective kitchens and cultural events.
In the end, the described scenarios include both locals and refugees as stakeholders in decision-making processes and open a dialogue on how the use of digital tools could sustain the cultural co-habitation in urban open spaces, feeding the discussion about the empowerment of an increasingly diverse social capital in the “arrival” cities of Greece.