The Athens City Council has unanimously approved plans for creating a massive urban park in the suburb of Votanikos, which currently houses mostly vacant, dilapidated storage and industrial facilities.
The park will feature 3,563 newly planted trees, a mix of evergreen and deciduous varieties, and 102,000 shrubs.
Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis said, “Athens will get the biggest park in its modern history.”
“Step by step we are shielding the – until now – unfortified city against the dangers created by the climate crisis,” he added.
Η Αθήνα αποκτά το μεγαλύτερο πάρκο της σύγχρονης ιστορίας της. Πριν από λίγα λεπτά, υπερψηφίστηκε στο Δημοτικό Συμβούλιο η δημιουργία 215 στρεμμάτων πρασίνου στο Βοτανικό στο πλαίσιο της Διπλής Ανάπλασης. Με χιλιάδες νέα δέντρα, κήπους βροχής, τεχνητούς λόφους και μια λίμνη. Έργο… pic.twitter.com/UKJBxKlxcS
— Kostas Bakoyannis (@KBakoyannis) August 28, 2023
The Votanikos Park will also include rain gardens, artificial hills, and a 950 square meter lake. With this park, the cycle of creating vast green lungs in Athens will be completed, contributing to the city’s resilience in the face of the climate crisis.
The project aims to revive the historic olive grove, enhance urban biodiversity, and establish nesting areas for urban wildlife. The park has been meticulously designed to create the ideal microclimatic conditions, offering a cool natural environment for visitors to enjoy.
Park at Votanikos, Athens to showcase Greek flora
The park will showcase Greek flora, Mediterranean shrubs, and autonomous natural regeneration sites. It will also incorporate rain gardens and various water elements, complementing an environmentally conscious and educational experience for visitors. Biodiversity, both in terms of flora and fauna, will be a key focus in the area.
Additionally, the park will feature hills constructed from project rubble and aggregates, reducing the need for material removal and contributing to the ecological sustainability of the project. The design of central squares and refreshment areas will prioritize water permeability and a natural ambiance.
Panathinaikos football stadium to be built at Votanikos
In 2022, Bakogiannis announced that the project would be implemented, and its construction would last three years.
The most significant part of the agreement between Panathinaikos and the Municipality of Athens was that the team had to offer Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium at Alexandras Avenue in exchange for its new stadium.
After the construction of the arenas, Panathinaikos will be the owner of the entire Votanikos Sport Complex for ninety-nine years. The new football, basketball, volleyball arenas and other facilities will be ready at the beginning of 2026.
With the construction of the new Panathinaikos stadium and the removal of the current stadium from central Alexandras Avenue, the area will be converted into a green space.
The park at Alexandras Avenue will be designed to improve the microclimate of the area and contribute to the reduction of the urban heat island phenomenon.