Design plans for Syntagma Square, Source: Kostas Bakoyannis on Facebook

Athens to transform Syntagma Square into a sustainable urban area

Athens to transform Syntagma Square into a sustainable urban area

Trees will be planted and infrastructure will be upgraded to reflect the needs of all road users

Two decades after its redesign plans were created, the Syntagma Square in the Greek capital will finally be renovated. This was announced by the City of Athens after the Municipal Council voted for the sustainable redesign of the square on Monday, 19 July. Although renovation is set to begin in August 2021, the internationally renowned professor Dimitris Manikas created the design plans in 1999 when he participated in an architectural competition.   

Improving mobility and addressing the climate crisis

The Syntagma Square will be modernised in a sustainable way that considers the needs of all road users. First, traffic lanes will be reduced from 6 to 4 in order to increase road safety and reduce the levels of noise and pollution. Furthermore, sidewalks will be widened to give pedestrians more space and comfort. Finally, infrastructure will be upgraded to reflect the needs of people with disabilities as ramps will be installed and tactile marking will be put in place.

Transportation Specialist George Giannis commented on the need for such intervention, noting: “The widening of the pedestrian area in Syntagma Square is an important first step towards the recovery of public space and sustainable urban mobility in the centre of Athens, which should have been implemented some time ago.

Pedestrians will have more space to stand and move, passengers on several buses will be able to de-board comfortably now without having to pass between illegally parked taxis and vehicle traffic will flow better, as there will be no more space for the illegal stops of the few cars and taxis to the detriment of the many.”

In addition to this, the climate crisis will also be considered and addressed as 28 trees will be planted. These trees will not only increase the attractiveness of the square but also provide pedestrians with shade. Taking this further, shade will also be created by the installation of pergolas.

With these interventions, the City of Athens hopes to bring new life to Syntagma Square. Moreover, it seeks to create a sustainable and green urban environment that will increase the quality of life of its citizens.

The design plans for the square can be seen in the gallery above.

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