Citizens taking part in the Adopting-A-Tree initiative in Athens
Screenshot of Novoville App showing how to select a tree in Athens.
The City of Athens in Greece implemented the Adopt-A-Tree-initiative in 2019 to engage citizens in helping the municipality water trees, including those which have been newly planted. The City of Athens plants several hundred new trees every year, but 10 - 40% of these were found to dry out due to dry summer months. With the help of citizens watering trees in their neighbourhood, the city intends to reverse this trend. An app (Novoville) enables citizens to identify trees in their neighbourhood that are able to be 'adopted'. Each citizen can adopt up to three trees and each tree can be adopted by up to three individuals. The app contains information not only about the individual trees, but also about how much water it needs and how often. Citizens who adopt trees receive reminders about when their tree needs to be watered again and they are asked to tick a box after they have done so. In 2019 and 2020, 493 citizens undertook 622 tree adoptions and citizens watered 'their' trees over 1.000 times. The Adopt-A-Tree initiative falls under the umbrella of a larger set of actions called ‘Adopt your city’, through which individuals and companies can support the work of the municipality by ‘adopting’ certain parts of the city (e.g. streets, parks, squares).