The square marks the latest public area in Athens to undergo transformation through the “Adopt Your City” program, with the support of Olympic Brewery and FIX Hellas. Previous projects included the renovation of FIX Park in Patissia in 2021 and the transformation of the National Resistance Park in Koukaki in 2022.
“The Sofia Vembo Square is now a new landmark in the daily lives of Athenians, adding to the extensive list of green initiatives undertaken by the Municipality of Athens throughout the city center and its neighborhoods,” said Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis.
The square has been spruced up with the addition of over 1,120 carefully selected plants that enhance biodiversity and are not affected by air pollution. An urban forest garden has been created by planting a variety of shrubs, deciduous and evergreen trees. These additions offer essential shade during the summer and ample sunlight during winter, creating an inviting and pleasant space for everyone.
To further enhance the experience of residents and visitors and educate them about the ecological significance of the plants, botanical signs have been installed throughout the park. The signs offer valuable information, fostering a deeper connection with nature. Additionally, the square has become a safe haven for pets and birds, featuring amenities such as dog water stations, bird feeders and nests.
In conjunction with the green enrichment, new benches have been constructed to welcome visitors, while existing benches have been carefully maintained. Moreover, all paths within the square have been cleared to for the easier access of pedestrians.
The redevelopment project of the square prioritized ecological and sustainable methods. “Rain gardens” and water-permeable surfaces were incorporated to effectively manage water, preventing flooding and contributing to water conservation. Furthermore, a rainwater harvesting system has been implemented. The renovation process emphasized the use of environmentally friendly materials, with recycled train tracks repurposed to create new seating benches.
Sofia Vembo, the square’s namesake, was a prominent Greek singer and actress who rose to fame during the interwar period, continuing her success into the early postwar years and the 1950s. She gained widespread recognition for her stirring performances of patriotic songs during the Greco-Italian War, earning her the title of the “Songstress of Victory.”