The final plan for turning Vasilisis Olgas Avenue in central Athens into a completely pedestrian way was presented by the Municipality of Athens on Wednesday.
The plan, part of the project for the unification of the major archaeological sites of the Greek capital, will be completed with the implementation of the Great Walk of the city.
The Walk, which has been approved by the Central Archaeological Council (CAC), unites the Temple of Olympian Zeus with the Zappeion and the National Gardens but, more significantly, completes the long archaeological route that begins in Kerameikos and extends all the way to Ardittos Hill and the Panathenian ‘Kallimarmaro’ Stadium, turning the vision of an “archaeological park” in Athens into a reality.
The entire pedestrian area of Vasilisis Olgas avenue will be an oasis of green in the heart of the city, since it will be planted with an additional 150 trees, over 5,500 shrubs and 3,500 perennials. More than 4,000 sq.m. (43,055 square feet) of public space will be available to pedestrians while ensuring the unimpeded movement of people with disabilities as well as visually impaired people.
The lighting will be similar to that of Dionysiou Areopagitou, while lights will highlight the monument to the right and left of the axis of Hadrian’s Gate, as well as the space leading up to the Temple of Olympian Zeus.
The mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis, said during the presentation of the final plan “Vassilias Olgas is the centre of the Great Walk. With its renovation, it is transformed from a transit road into a destination.”
He then added “It becomes the axis of an area that is illuminated, acquires free space with greenery, and brings balance to transport but also achieves something great. It creates a historical route that highlights the monuments and turns the visit into an experience.
“This is what is changing in Athens. This is the next day in Athens. The whole city, a special experience, in its daily life. Every corner of it, a destination. Vassilias Olgas Avenue is the proof that a vision of decades can be put into practice.”
The planning stage of the project is quite far advanced at this point and with the completion of the procedures for its final approval, the work is expected to start in 2021.