Author Topic: Releasing the rivers of Athens  (Read 775 times)

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Offline Maik

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Releasing the rivers of Athens
« on: Tuesday, 12 March, 2019 @ 03:14:06 »
Athens hatches ambitious plan to uncover fabled river, once the haunt of Socrates, and turn it into a park

It is one of the least green cities in Europe, but Athens hopes to change that by opening up a long-hidden river that flows through the historic heart of the capital.

In ancient times, the Ilissos River was an idyllic, winding watercourse shaded by plane trees where Socrates once taught.

But in the 1930s, during the rapid urban development of Athens, it was covered over and a tram line was built on top it.

Poor maintenance and the rumble of thousands of trams have caused structural damage to the tunnel beneath the track, and in October the tram line was closed down.

Urban planners have suggested that rather than spending millions of euros on reinforcing the tunnel and repairing the track, the tram line should be diverted along a different route and the river opened up.

They are proposing the creation of a park along a one mile stretch of the formerly forgotten river.

Athens is unusual among European cities in not having a river that flows through the city – at least not one that is visible.

“Actually we have two rivers, the Ilissos and the Kifissos, but they are covered up and almost invisible,” said Prof Christoforaki, from Athens Anaplasis, an urban renewal firm.

Given Greece’s dry, hot climate, neither is huge – they are nothing like the Thames in London or the Tiber in Rome.

The project has the support of the Greek government and locals agencies but will not happen overnight.

Offline TonyKath

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Re: Releasing the rivers of Athens
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday, 12 March, 2019 @ 22:24:09 »
Fascinating - had no idea it existed. It would be nice to have a linear park in Athens but there would be significant issues where the route crosses existing roads