An approval was finally signed regarding the environmental conditions of the Panepistimiou Street’s rehabilitation project in Athens. Other projects were also included in this meeting, such as the extension of the tram network and the regulation of traffic in the center of the city. This whole project has a total budget of 78.5 million Euros and was signed by the Minister of the Environment, Giannis Maniatis.
The project is divided into two main categories, both of which are going to be financed (37,974,000 Euros) by the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, through the operational program "Environment and Sustainable Development," and by the Region of Attica (40,526,000 Euros), through the Regional Operational Program of Attica.
The main interventions of the project, as they are described in the Environmental Impact Assessment, can be summarized as follows:
- Extension of the tram network from the Syntagma area to the Plateia Egyptou (at the intersection of Patision and Alexandras Street), through Amalias, Panepistimiou and Patision Streets;
- Redesign of the public space between Akadimias and Stadiou Streets. Redesign of Amalias and Patision Streets, in order to give priority to pedestrians;
- Regulations of traffic to ensure the orderly functioning of the surrounding area;
- General overhaul of public transport for better access to the city center;
- Redesign of Omonoia Square, from Patision to 3rd September Street, so that Syntagma and Omonoia will become two green, urban squares. The Dikaiosynis Square will host activities at a sheltered forecourt;
- Renovation of Korai Street in order to create an open public space with its linearity emphasizing the visual connection of Athens’ Trilogy.
- Installation of water systems in Omonoia and Dikaiosynis Square, along Korai Street and at the space in front of the National Archaeological Museum;
- Formation of a systematic network of green spaces, which will connect public spaces, and will form a linear urban park with several green spaces surrounding it;
- and sustainable management of water through exploitation of rainwater, which will be used for the irrigation of the urban green spaces.
The project will be based on a bioclimatic design and microclimatic improvements. More precisely, "cool" materials are going to be used so that the summer’s highest temperature will be lowered by 1.5 °C. Last but not least, the project’s water construction will also be used for cooling.
The materials that will be used in the construction of the project, as mentioned in the signed document, will be environmentally friendly. For instance, special coatings, pigments and mortars have been chosen in order to minimize the emission of volatile pollutant substances into the air.
In case of antiquities being found during rehabilitation, the project will stop and excavation will follow.
Attiko Metro S.A is the project promoter and has undertaken the design of the project, its implementation, the coordination between the agencies involved, the auction, and its construction.
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Original article, originally published in Greek, here.
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