Lycabettus Hill, an iconic landmark on the Athens landscape, is to undergo a major overhaul designed to make it safer and more attractive to visitors and local residents, the City of Athens announced on Thursday.
The works are scheduled to begin immediately and estimated to take roughly 18 months, while the entire project is budgeted at 1.5 million euros, based on plans drawn up by the previous municipal administration.
According to an announcement, Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis will ask the Public Properties Company to make a concession of the 3.5 hectares that it owns on Lycabettus Hill (out of a total of 44.2) to the municipality, so that the latter can press ahead with its plans for a comprehensive makeover.
"Our aim is to hand over the Athens' citizens and all its visitors an area for living and doing activities, but also a natural organisation for the production of culture," Bakoyannis said. Along with the land given by the Public Properties Company, the municipality will complete the project to create an urban forest of "unique beauty and usefulness", not only for Athens but all of Attica, he added.
Among the planned works are the pilot implementation of innovative, anti-flooding techniques that use aesthetically pleasing and gentle, ecological materials, as well as the laying of special tarmac on a road running through the woods for about 1,700 metres, so that it blends harmoniously into the landscape and provides full anti-flooding protection. Other plans include a refurbishment of footpaths and walking routes, covering about 3.0 km, that connect sites on the Hill.