March 25 2013

Bioclimatic Upgrading of Open Public Spaces in Athens, Greece

Against all odds, municipalities, all over Greece, are in a race to propose projects for bioclimatic upgrading of public open spaces such as streets, squares, and parks. The “Bioclimatic upgrading for open public spaces” program is funded by the NSRF development program and guided by the Centre for Renewable Energy and Save (CRES). Its main purpose is to fight against the urban heat island phenomenon. An amount of 60 to 100 billion Euros will be spent on the projects that will meet the high standards that CRES has set. These strict criteria, in an urban micro scale, include the decrease of temperature by 2 degrees Celsius during the hottest days of summer, the increase of thermal comfort mean by at least 15%, improvements of thermal capacity of the materials used, and of the quality of the wind in the areas in question.

Bioclimatic Upgrading of Open Public Spaces in Athens, Greece

Among the 78 proposals  all over Greece, only 22 succeeded in collecting the required score to pass to the next phase, that of detailed designs. Some projects, like that of the S.Petroulas Square in the municipality of Athens, propose a sophisticated cooling system based on the underground recycling and cooling of hot air.

During the preliminary design phase, the proposals of urban planners, architects and engineers included:

  • Photovoltaic installations aiming at the energy efficiency of parks, squares, streets, university campuses;
  • Replacement of the existing materials with the new generation of cooling materials, which are of greater reflectance and ability to decrease superficial temperature up to 10 degrees Celsius;
  • Planting of trees and extensive use of green walls with climbing plants;
  • Creation or extension of bike lanes.

Has your neighborhood been environmentally enhanced lately? In which ways do you think that urban design can go greener ?

Bioclimatic Upgrading of Open Public Spaces in Athens, Greece

Credits: Images by Alkisti Eleni Victoratou. Data linked to sources.

Alkisti Eleni Victoratou

Alkisti Eleni Victoratou originates from Andros, a Cycladic island in Greece, and has lived and studied in Thessaloniki, England, Spain, and Athens-where she currently resides. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and in Architecture from the National Technical University of Athens. Having this multicultural and interdisciplinary background gives her a better understanding of socially sensitive urban issues. Her dissertation thesis in Architecture dealt with the study and assessment of the legislation relating to Bioclimatic Architecture in the European Mediterranean countries of France, Spain, and Greece. Her interests also extend to sustainable technologies and parametric design, contributing to building design and urbanism. During her internship with The Grid, she will concentrate on the most important top-down and bottom-up urban transformations of Athens during their current Crisis. Her aspirations are to further her academic and professional specializations in urban issues and sustainable design.

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This entry was posted on Monday, March 25th, 2013 at 9:03 am and is filed under Community/Economic Development, Environment, History/Preservation, Infrastructure, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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