A presentation to outline plans for a new footpath development along the Athens Riviera took place on Thursday. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was present at the unveiling and spoke about his hopes for the project.
The government initiative, which is being funded by the European Union Recovery Fund, will consist of 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) of pedestrian and bicycle paths connecting the port of Piraeus to the southernmost point of Attica, Sounio.
New footpath along the Athens Riviera
This development is meant to reinvigorate the coastal areas of Athens and breathe new life into the communities which comprise this hugely important part of Greece’s capital.
The project will allow for more access to these areas, as the current roads along the seashore are very inconsistent, with pedestrians often forced to navigate unpaved or otherwise obstructed paths.
The proposed footpath along the Athens Riviera will be beneficial to the community’s wellbeing, as it will include sports facilities, recreational spots, and a long, completely unobstructed bicycle path. This reflects the aim of the government project, which is based on four main pillars: Nature, Culture, Sports, and Entertainment.
Όταν ολοκληρωθεί αυτό το έργο, όταν μπορεί κάποιος να πηγαίνει με το ποδήλατο από τον Πειραιά μέχρι τη Βουλιαγμένη, να τρέχει ή να βγάζει βόλτα το παιδί του με το καρότσι, τότε το μόνο που θα αναλογιστούμε είναι «γιατί κάτι τόσο αυτονόητο δεν το είχαμε κάνει πιο πριν». pic.twitter.com/q2OekQ4PFO
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) June 3, 2021
“When this project is finished, when someone can cycle from Piraeus to Vouliagmeni, when one can run or take their baby stroller out — the only thing we will be thinking is ‘why did we not do something so obvious earlier,'” tweeted Mitsotakis of the proposal.
He also shared his hopes for the project at the presentation.
“This opening of the city to the sea, step by step, is beginning and becoming a reality,” stressed Mitsotakis.
The project is to be completed in phases, with the first phase being the 22 kilometers (13.6 miles) from Piraeus to Vouliagmeni.
Hellenikon Metropolitan Park
At the same presentation on Thursday, Mitsotakis moved on to a different community building project along the Athens Riviera.
He highlighted the construction of an inspiring new recreation center at the site of the old Ellinikon International Airport, which has been closed since 2001.
The total cost of the gigantic Hellenikon Airport redevelopment project is expected to be close to $9 billion.
The project at Elliniko will be the largest urban park in Europe, surpassing London’s Hyde Park. The finished community center will include a park as well as luxury homes, hotels, a casino, a marina, shops, and offices. It will also be home to Greece’s tallest building, measuring 200 meters (656 feet) tall.
Mitsotakis was quick to defend the project, which has experienced myriad delays since it was first announced in 2005. He said on Thursday “the emblematic investment of Elliniko, which is already – in terms of legislative responsibilities – in its final stages,” will be beneficial to the community “with the creation of a large park, which will also be facing the sea.”
The Hellenikon Metropolitan Park has already begun construction and is expected to be completed and open to the public by 2025.
The combination of these impressive development projects is sure to create an almost unrecognizable, more community based — and more modern — Athens Riviera.