The City of Athens is spending 4.8 million euros to aesthetically redevelop and make more operational one of its most important monuments, Lycabettus Hill, which hovers 1,000 feet over the city. All renovation works on the hill will be completed by the summer, and all works will meet ecological standards and follow extensive environmental studies.
Works include the installation of signs for roadways and walkways, new pedestrian walkways with less of an incline, lighting, landscaping and greenery (550 trees and 90,000 shrubs), renovation of existing buildings, new playgrounds, repaving of the roadway to open-air theater and the paving of its parking lot, the illumination of monuments and seven new fire safety systems.
These works, said Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis during a presentation to the foreign press corps here, “are not only designed to cater to the local population and to promote the city and the country’s image abroad, but also to make Athens a better place for the millions of visiting tourists.”
The mayor also mentioned the introduction of another 497 city police officers whose main tasks will be to enforce new regulations on city cleanliness, enforce parking and traffic laws and to make safety and health inspections at restaurants, cafes, bars, theaters, etc. The new officers are now undergoing a 4-month training program and will take up their city duties in June.
In reference to the ‘Clean Up Athens’ program, the mayor’s office announced it was spending 34 million euros on the project for the period 2004-2008 so as “to change the problematic image Athens has had in the field of cleanliness.” The mayor recently presented a new cleanliness regulation, which allows city police to fine for some 46 offenses that include everything from careless disposal of garbage to failing to clean up after your pet.
Clean up projects include a large-scale purchase of new equipment, increased personnel, new regulations and an information awareness campaign. All the aforementioned will be in force by June. The City of Athens is mainly responsible for maintaining cleanliness within an area of 38 million square meters and a road network of 961 kilometers. The capital’s population is just under 1 million, with the normal daily movement of working personnel and visitors bringing into the city an estimated addition 1.5 million people daily.