Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis presented this week plans for the overhaul of the city’s central park, the National Garden, opposite Syntagma Square.
The municipality is aiming to make the National Garden accessible to Athens residents and visitors by transforming it into a meeting point for culture and sports as well as happenings and activities including workshops, yoga, pilates, music, theater, tours, games for the kids, hidden treasures and much more.
“We want to make the National Garden open and friendly to citizens and visitors,” Kaminis said, adding that the municipal authority was open to constructive proposals and collaborations in this direction.
The National Garden is a 38-acre green oasis in the heart of Athens, located behind the Greek Parliament building across Zappeion with access via seven entrances. Besides hosting ancient columns, mosaics and other finds, it is home to some 519 species of trees, bushes and plants.
Speaking to the City Council meeting this week, Kaminis said the future of the garden “requires vision, a long-term plan and tapping into new applications”, adding that any interventions will be made with a view to the future and to emerging challenges such as global warming and extreme weather conditions.
Referring to the upgrade plan, Alternate Mayor for Urban Infrastructure, Construction and Building Works, George Apostolopoulos underlined that the call for tender clearly indicates that works will respect the natural landscape of the park, retaining existing streams, footpaths and flora.
The ambitious project will include the upgrade of the irrigation, drainage and electrical networks and the improvement of water management; the preservation of lakes and water elements; and the maintenance of urban fittings including benches, signs, etc. The restoration and upgrade works will be carried out in segments in order to create the least possible disturbance to garden ecosystems.