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Athens: Syntagma Square renovation almost done

Featured Athens: Syntagma Square renovation almost done

The revamping and upgrade of the lower side of Syntagma Square by the Municipality of Athens is completed, with the area now accessible to residents and visitors. Almost a year later, the project to widen the lower part of the sidewalk on Filellinon Street, as part of the Great Promenade, created a new more attractive public space as well as a revitalized "facade" for the pedestrian street of Ermou.

"Each project we implement is people-centered. We free up necessary public space, strengthen the city's sustainability and renew obsolete urban equipment. The regeneration of the lower side of Syntagma Square is not only an aesthetic project, but also an infrastructure project that, for many years, the city has needed. Although planned before the 2004 Olympics, for a number of reasons it was never completed. However, we managed to make it work and we are happy with the result. After the interventions, Syntagma Square is now naturally united with its lower side, giving Athenians and visitors the opportunity to enjoy the city center", notes the mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis, ispeaqking to NEA newspaper.

Although the schedule initially called for the completion of the project - in 6 to 8 months, there was a delay due to the forced modification of the initial study, because antiquities were uncovered during the excavations between Mitropoleos and Ermou Streets as well as due to the need for the implementation of infrastructure projects for utility networks that "passed" under the pavement (sewerage and power networks).

The architectural study

The surface of the now upgraded lower side of Syntagma Square was expanded to the original 2,300 sq.m. adding an additional 1,300 sq.m. new vital public space. The project implemented the updated architectural study that won 1st prize in the EAXA SA (Unification of Archaeological Sites and Reconstructions) architectural competition, 1999, by the architects Dimitris Manikas, Dora Papadimitriou and Leonidas Georgiadis.

The redevelopment study foresaw the widening of the sidewalks in front of Ermou, an exclusive bus lane and 5 bus shelters.

Reducing traffic lanes from 6 to 4 has the effect of reducing pollution levels and creating a safe and visible pedestrian crossing.

Planting of 24 new trees that will contribute to the microclimate and shading, modern infrastructure for the safe movement of the disabled, large open spaces, 50 LED lighting fixtures and also new urban equipment (waste bins, public fountains, rain grates, tree grates, etc. ) are also included in the project. In August, the construction of the two fountains, on either side of Ermou, will be completed, giving passers-by a breath of fresh air.