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Maria Vassilakou is an experienced, inspiring urban leader devoted to open, inclusive, and green cities. She is passionate about urban transformation processes that lead to sustainable system change.

She served as Vienna’s Vice Mayor responsible for Urban Planning, Traffic & Transport, Climate Protection, Energy and Public Participation from November 2010 to July 2019.

Maria Vassilakou envisages cities as open, green, affordable, family-friendly, and diverse places for life. In her nine years as Vice Mayor, she successfully implemented a vast transformation agenda comprising numerous innovative projects, contributing substantially to Vienna’s number-one position in all major international livability rankings within the last decade.

Maria Vassilakou now works worldwide as an independent advisor on urban transformation. After leaving office, she founded Vienna Solutions, a network of experienced Viennese urban experts and practitioners with whom she cooperates to build flexible teams to deliver complex urban projects. She shares her experience and know-how from Vienna – the world’s most livable city – with cities, NGOs, organizations and corporations developing strategies, agendas and solutions, organizing transition management and capacity building for livable, sustainable and inclusive cities.

Since 2019, Maria has also been a member of the EU Horizon Mission experts board on climate-neutral and smart cities.

Photo by Lukas Beck