Athens Municipality Moving Ahead with City Upgrade Projects
Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis on Tuesday said municipal authorities were working hard to complete a series of projects across the Greek capital aimed at improving the standard of living for its residents and enhancing the visitor experience.
In an interview to SKAI TV, Bakoyannis said despite reactions, a major 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 cleanups, as well as the creation of a metro station at Exarchia Square and the revamp of Strefi Hill were moving ahead as scheduled.
The mayor said Strefi Hill in Exarchia had been abandoned for many years and that due to neglect people stopped going. Works planned for the central hill include cleaning, the installation of lighting and fire safety equipment, landscaping, and soil support to be funded on the city’s ongoing “Adopt Your City” program with a sponsorship of 1 million euros.
Bakoyannis said efforts were also being made to save the city’s last remaining mulberry trees in the largest ever urban revamp program to take place in the Greek capital in the last decades. The mayor admitted that more than 1,300 trees have been lost in Athens or 1.5 percent of the city’s trees reaching 30 percent in some neighborhoods.
With regards to Syntagma Square, Bakoyannis said the last finishing touches were being made, including shade infrastructure, landscaping and fountains.
Lastly, the mayor referred to several other ongoing projects including the creation of new public spaces, the revamp of Lycabettus Hill and of the National Garden and the repair of dozens of playgrounds and courts.
“We currently have 85 playgrounds in Athens. We’ve upgraded about 20, and we’re moving on to another 15 in the near future. We’re also upgrading neighborhood courts. Of the city’s 115 playgrounds, we’ve repaired 25, and are now moving ahead to 80 more. We’ve also finished a network of 10 ‘pocket parks’ and are continuing,” said Bakoyannis, adding that it was time residents observed the change taking place around them.
I’d like to know why more trees aren’t planted in Athens? Any area with greenery instantly looks more attractive- it would help with pollution too…