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Syngrou will be an urban avenue again

02 June 2013 / 15:06:31  GRReporter
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The crisis in Athens is triggering a productive move in many directions. So far, we are at the stage of research. In the case of Syngrou, a major arterial thoroughfare with the mixed characteristics of an urban avenue and closed motorway, we are at the end of an intense period of research. Soon, on 18 June, during an open day, the team of the Metsovian Polytechnic, led by history professor George Parmenidis, will present the findings of their research.

Without meaning

In the early 1980s, a part of Syngrou from Eilisos to the Faliro Delta was turned into a closed highway in order to facilitate fast traffic. For the same reason, the highway destroyed the urban extension and excluded every case of motion, noted Professor Panagiotis Tournikiotis. The new plan is based on the conversion of Panepistimiou Street into an urban transport and pedestrian street, as well as the establishment of Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre at the end of the avenue. Syngrou will not be as busy as it is now, and it will lose its functional significance of a highway. Tournikiotis explained that various cultural activities have been developed in recent years on both sides of the avenue that will expand further over the next two years and will be linked dynamically with the university, theatres, hotels, companies, etc. From Fix (the future National Museum of Contemporary Art) to the new cultural complex at the Delta and the sea, Syngrou will assume an important role: linking the city centre with the sea and, at the same time, it will be a "peacemaker" for both sides.

This can be achieved by "reducing the width of the road surface, slowing traffic, establishment of ground connections between neighbourhoods that have been formed on both sides, strengthening of roadside places for culture, leisure and services, as well as building of a wide area of high vegetation on both sides for pedestrians and bicycles.

Two phases

The reconstruction of Syngrou in an urban avenue is included in the Athens-Attica 2021 urban plan. Attica assigned to the Metsovian Polytechnic the task of studying the Athenian metropolis. Syngrou is included among the most important renovations in the coming years. The project is divided into two phases. During the first phase, pedestrian crossings will be built, subways will be closed and the speed of vehicles will be limited to that permitted for urban areas. In the second phase, there will be special studies with an architectural competition for the planning of vegetation, creation of bike lanes and other interventions. The option for the building of a tram line that will connect Fix with the Delta will be examined – it will change dynamically the link between the centre and Faliro, as well as the connection of densely populated residential areas on both sides of Syngrou. The positive thing is that these interventions are not expensive (the goal is to join the next EMPA programme) and they can be carried out in a short period. Panagiotis Tournikiotis added that the new Syngrou will be a road for vehicles and pedestrians, an avenue of cultural life and "underground" for the new conditions in the metropolis in the 21st century.

Picture: www.tovima.gr

Meanwhile, the plan for the reconstruction of the Faliro Delta has been approved. This reconstruction includes an area of 758 acres - the largest in the history of Attica. The aim is to restore the connection between the urban network and coastal area that existed before the construction of Posidonos Avenue. The plan provides for the:

- reduction of noise and optical "pollution" of Posidonos Avenue through its lowering and covering of individual sections;

- creation of 5 different lines (nature-science, culture, sports, entertainment, water sports);

- creation of a dry channel against floods in order to resolve chronic problems with flooding of low-lying areas of the city which will act as a natural green area;

- formation of a relief that will distinguish the three strategic choices: normal movement from the city to the sea, separation of Kifissos Bus Terminal via the creation of a natural barrier; creation of a local "folding" at the points where the sea enters the park;

- utilisation of solar energy in order to meet the energy needs of the park;

- implementation of a complete transport system with the exclusion of private cars from vital areas of the park and coast, and provision of underground parking spaces;

- creation of restaurants and cafes that will operate throughout the day.

The sea in the area of the park will be used as a natural element for the creation of:

1. An artificial beach which will replace the destroyed natural beach of Faliro;

2. Breakwaters that will penetrate the sea as a reminder of the ones that existed in the Gulf of Faliro in the early 20th century; they will be an extension of the lines that connect the city to the sea;

3. Water tanks of great length (linear channels) entering the park.

Tags: Reconstruction urban planning Athens Syngrou Avenue Faliro coastal area
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