jump to navigation

Top coastal property for park, sports venues December 19, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Greece.

Moschato Municipality wants to use top coastal property for park, sports venues > Olympic Properties hands over 24 hectares of Faliron Bay with hope that city council fulfills plan

The stretch of Faliron Bay’s coastline between the mouths of the Kifissos and Ilissos rivers is to be handed over to the Municipality of Moschato, barring any hitches. The move is one of the solutions suggested by Olympic Properties SA for the development of that section of the city’s waterfront.

If all goes according to plan, the municipality will acquire ownership and the obligation to create an ecological park over 55-60 percent of the area, in addition to sporting venues over the rest, in accordance with the bill on the post-Olympic use of the area.

The 24 hectares of open space between the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Neo Faliron and the Beach Volleyball Stadium to the east was included in the 2004 Olympic Games plan but unfortunately two things went wrong.

In the upheaval prior to the Games, the initial plan for flood control canals, a link between the coastline and neighboring residential districts separated by Poseidonos Avenue, which was supposed to be moved, was postponed until after the Games. Meanwhile, the promise of an ecological park was interpreted as the planting of a few trees but without actually caring for them. As a result, the trees withered a few months later.

The only thing the state actually did was to clarify the area’s future. The law on the post-Olympic development of properties provides for specific uses for this particularly property, an ecological park and low-impact sports venues. The Special Plan for the Integrated Development of Olympic Poles (ESOAP) limits building construction to a total 2,500 square meters of surface area and a maximum height of 8.5 meters.

Early this year Olympic Properties began negotiations with the Municipality of Moschato, suggesting, on June 29, three alternatives for funding:

* Self-funding the construction of installations by granting the sporting venues to the private sector by means of a competition;

* Granting the area and its development to the Municipality of Moschato; or

* Developing the area with state funds, directed by the General Secretariat for Sports.

The issue was postponed until after the recent local elections, and on November 28 Moschato’s new municipal council decided to request that the second suggestion be adopted. So it asked for ownership of the 24 hectares, undertaking to assume responsibility for its development.

“We want to reconstruct the area ourselves, remaining true to the spirit of what has been decided,” said Deputy Mayor Andreas Evthymiou, who is in charge of the undertaking. “There will be an ecological park and sports facilities, although the latter will be over a smaller area than that envisioned by the General Secretariat for Sports. We want fewer football fields, and the track and field arena, which is to be built also for the use of Piraeus athletic associations, will be for 500 spectators and not 3,000, with the grandstands lower than 8.5 meters,” he explained.

Evthymiou added that no decision had yet been made as to how the project will be funded. “We are considering its inclusion in the 4th Community Support Framework (CSF IV) through the Piraeus Prefecture, or else granting sporting venues to the private sector on the condition that access to the area is not restricted. We hope the projects will be completed by the existing municipal authority,” he said.

Olympic Properties was not very happy with the decision to go with the second alternative, since it had already secured an investment of 8 million euro from the public investments program via the General Secretariat for Sports. It is also concerned at the way the Moschato council has phrased its decision to undertake the project. In a letter to the municipality on December 13, Olympic Properties, while accepting the council’s decision, asks it to promise to carry out everything already scheduled, without changes.

Once the procedures have been clarified, all that remains is for Moschato to show that not all municipal councils waste funds and leave projects half-finished, only to be abandoned eventually. Some municipalities can create attractive, functional green spaces and sports arenas for their residents.

%d bloggers like this: