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Dozens of Makeover Projects to Redefine Athens

Photo Source: @City of Athens

A series of projects which will redefine Athens are entering implementation, the municipality announced  during the “Urban Regeneration and Smart Cities” event held at the 5th ITC 2022 Infrastructure & Transportation Conference recently.

Chronis Akritidis, CEO at Athens Anaplassis SA, which is supervising Athens’ urban redevelopment activities, announced three major projects set to improve the standard of living in the Greek capital and establish it into a prime tourist destination.

Key works include the upgrade of Vassilis Olgas Ave budgeted at 5.5 million euros to be completed in a 10-month period; the “Prosopsi” program subsidizing the restoration of building facades budgeted at 1.5 to 2 million euros; and actions aimed at supporting mainly low income households that include the integration of smart technologies and renewable energy sources as well as schemes funding energy upgrades for public buildings.

“It’s a ‘smart’ program because the state subsidizes the renovation of apartment buildings; we offer incentives and subsidize productivity and this subsidy creates jobs, generates revenue, and restores the city’s appearance benefitting its residents,” Akritidis said. He added that the municipality was aiming to soon include private buildings in the program after adjustments to the relevant legal framework.

Referring to the “Prosopsi” program, a new round of which kicked off today, Akritidis said the application procedure for those eligible had opened.

Photo source: Visit Greece / Y. Skoulas

Among other municipality priorities is safeguarding old heritage buildings in Athens, “which must be restored and used for social, business, or tourist housing purposes,” he said, adding that older restoration and reuse programs had failed. “We are however very close to saving the city’s building stock.”

Referring to upgrade or restoration works scheduled for Athens Technopolis, he said studies had been completed and that relevant tenders for projects would be announced in the coming period.

Other projects running for the redevelopment of Athens include a series of urban regeneration plans for 127 neighborhoods that focus on restoring schools, public buildings, and Syntagma Square; the expansion of pedestrian walkways and main roads; and the construction of the new and highly anticipated Panathinaikos stadium in Votanikos scheduled to be completed by 2025

The revamp of Panepistimiou, a central street in downtown Athens

Lastly, Akritidis said that under a memorandum of cooperation signed with the Infrastructure Ministry for Line 4 Athens metro projects, five squares in the capital would be redeveloped and replanted with 2,000 trees.

The ongoing urban overhaul of Athens that includes the redevelopment of central Panepistimiou St and Syntagma Square, city park projects, pedestrian walkways, and city square and park cleaups, is the largest such program to take place in the Greek capital in the last decades, said Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis last year.

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About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.

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