Ideas wanted for project to transform face of Athens
The first stage of an architectural competition for a new urban development project for central Athens, aimed at rejuvenating neglected parts of the capital, is to be launched next week
The first stage of an architectural competition for a new urban development project for central Athens, aimed at rejuvenating neglected parts of the capital, is to be launched next week, according to a biministerial decision made public this week.
The project, dubbed "Re-think Athens," is centred on Panepistimiou Street, one of the capital's main thoroughfares, connecting Syntagma Square in front of Parliament to the run-down Omonia Square.
According to the decision by the Environment and Infrastructure ministries, the first phase will be an open competition, appealing for ideas from architects, while the second will call for detailed proposals from a handful of the most inspiring plans submitted. It is believed that the original applications will be whittled down to between three and eight. The architects behind the best proposals will receive an award from the Onassis Foundation, which is sponsoring the competition.
The committee of critics that will judge the entries will comprise nine members, to be chosen by the Onassis Foundation subject to the approval of the two ministries.
Once the best proposal has been identified, the relevant feasibility studies will be drawn up by authorities and efforts made to secure European Union subsidies for the project.
When the initiative was first mentioned, outgoing Prime Minister Lucas Papademos hailed the initiative, saying it was crucial to improving the standard of living for the capital's residents and visitors, saying it would "put Athens where it belongs, among Europe's historic cities."
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