Mayor of Athens Nikitas Kaklamanis announced the Greek capital is now a member of C40 Cities. C40 is an international initiative comprised of 40 major cities that have joined forces to help combat climate change.
Mayor of London Ken Livingstone established C40 with the aim of coordinating efforts in cities throughout the world that want to tackle global warming and climate change. The City of Athens successfully completed the lengthy procedure involved in applying to become a member of this international initiative.
Manager of C40, Simon Reddy, was present at the official announcement as was Tourism and Economic Development Company Director Panagiotis Arkoumaneas (who is overseeing the city’s cooperation with C40) and Athens’ deputy mayor responsible for waste management and the environment, George Dimopoulos.
Separately, the Athens mayor also announced a “greenery charter” that aims to increase the green surface area in the capital and penalize those who destroy trees and parks.
The first step, according to Mr. Kaklamanis, entails the government expropriation of some 25 hectares of land for the creation of parks and green spaces. The estimated cost of this is 112,5 million euros. The ultimate aim, he claimed, is “to boost the ratio of green space per citizen to 7.25 meters (in line with the international average) from 6.84 meters today.”
Urban planning regulations would also be ammended to stipulate that one tree must be planted for every 200 square meters of land that is built upon, and authorities would begin to impose fines for the destruction of green areas in May.
City Hall is establishing two new bodies to implement and oversee the new initiative. One body would act as a planning service that seeks to create new green areas in the city and another that would be a monitoring service to oversee and protect existing greenery.