The proposed article explores the contribution of public places for building urban resilience in Volos (Greece) and investigates the role of digital tools to overcome challenges of urban resilience. This article provides reviews of different approaches to urban resilience and its integration with sustainability targets, where urban resilience is described as a sustainable process, providing capacities for positive change and ability to move forward and improve in response to stresses. The article argues that public places can be considered as useful tools for risk mitigation, emergency response, recovery and adaptation if they have social, economic and environmental capacities. Strengthening social capacity of public spaces and building place capital through inclusive practices contribute to their resilience to face natural disasters and social risks. During an emergency time, public spaces are mainly used as places for shelter, gathering and distribution of services, goods and information. In cases of social crises public spaces shape the relationship between local community and affected social groups.
This article investigates risk mitigation and emergency response practices in urban environment in Volos, identifies physical and social resilience credentials of its public places, and analyses the related institutional framework for disaster prevention and management. It argues that there are deficiencies in disaster management in Volos, and low capacity to adapt to different anticipated and unexpected risks. Consequently, it proposes strategies to increase the adaptive capacity of public spaces in Volos and argues that digital inclusion can reinforce their resilience and facilitate coordination, management, implementation and disseminating of existing risk mitigation and emergency framework (Xenokratis Plan). Within this framework, the study investigates the potential of Blockchain technologies to provide the resilient alternative to the standard IT systems, facilitate a decentralized and more reliable infrastructure of the city and autonomous interactions for public participation, decentralized governance, controlled by local communities.