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Athens unveils its second “pocket park” as officials seek to bolster city’s greenery

Athens unveils its second “pocket park” as officials seek to bolster city’s greenery

Decades of construction has left the Greek capital with too few green public spaces and now authorities are eager to remedy that

Athens, as many European capitals, suffers from lack of free public spaces. The construction of the previous decades and the conditions that were formed in the city have caused a "suffocation" that spread, beyond the centre and into many neighbourhoods.

Earlier last week, the Municipality of Athens delivered the second "pocket park" to the residents of Kolonos, after the first one that was created in Kypseli. It is one of these small green oases in the heart of the neighbourhood, which are created in Athens, following in the footsteps of cities where their existence changed the physiognomy of entire areas but also positively affected the daily life of the inhabitants.

Good practices from around the world deployed in Athens

Already in America and the UK, "pocket parks" are considered tools for tackling crime, combating isolation in densely populated cities and, most importantly, for protecting the environment.

These practices are also adopted by Athens, which is launching the creation of these model parks in many corners of the city at no cost to the Athenians. The park in Kolonos, as well as the park of Kypseli, were built at the expense of companies that participated in the program of the Municipality of Athens "Adopt your city", in the context of their corporate social responsibility. It is the program that allows institutions and companies to provide plans and such interventions on behalf of the municipality.

The new "pocket park" is located at the junction of Kilkis and Alamanas streets and is particularly interesting in terms of the way and the materials from which it was built - namely sidewalks from special, environmentally friendly, concrete, areas from recycled wood, densely planted evergreen and deciduous trees and underground irrigation system for watering plants.

It is autonomously illuminated by a photovoltaic system of advanced technology, which includes a digital panel with information on temperature, humidity and other environmental parameters.

On the occasion of the new park’s unveiling, the mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis, stated that "There are solutions to get out of the environmental quagmire that has been created in the past decades in the neighbourhoods. There are solutions to reactivate the neighbourhood community. "Pocket parks" are one such essential solution. Because where there was rubbish, darkness, delinquency, they give life.

Athens is no longer chasing developments. It is on track to create better living conditions throughout the city. With green, light and cleanliness. And it is important that "pocket parks", which are an international practice, are built at no cost to taxpayers because they also activate the private sector to participate by taking part in social responsibility.”

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