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Athens Mayor: People-centered Policies Needed to Address Climate Change

Photo Source: Visit Greece / Y Skoulas

In efforts to improve the standard of living in the Greek capital and address climate change, Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis said this week that he was considering reinstating the “daktylios” odd/even traffic regulation system.

Dubbing the decades-old system the “Green Daktylios”, the mayor announced the idea during the “Citizen Sustain: Building a Better Urban Future” event organized by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce this week.

Bakoyannis underlined the importance of making the city friendlier and more sustainable and finding ways to address climate change “now”.

“We need public space. Athens currently holds three records: it has the least green space per capita, the largest building volume per capita and the most paved area (with asphalt) per capita,” he said.

Athens needs to be ‘redesigned’

Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis.

Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis.

“This leads us to the conclusion that we need to redesign the city, not focusing on the 21st century car, but on the people of the 21st century,” he said, adding that this also requires “brave decisions, which can be difficult, create turmoil, but are decisions that will be for the future and not for the past”.

Bakoyannis went on to refer to other urban regeneration and “green” projects being implemented the Athens municipality – most of which funded by EU and national resources as well as through public-private partnerships (PPPs) – including the creation of mini-parks (pocket parks) in inner-city neighborhoods, planting more trees and greenery, the Grand Walk project which created more space for the public, the Syntagma Square overhaul currently underway, the Omonia square revamp, and the reoperation of city fountains, among others.

The municipality’s pocket park in Sepolia

“Now is the time to see our city change,” said Bakoyannis stressing that the climate crisis is mainly threatening urban centers, where immediate action must be taken.

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  1. Clément Reply

    Mr Bakoyiannis,
    Reinstate the project of pedestrianisation and extension of the tram on Panepistimiou avenue, a huge signal to citizens to give back the city to pedestrians, reduce car traffic and huge attractivity for both locals and visitors!

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