January 07 2013

The Current Situation and Future Prospects of Olympic Property in Athens, Greece

When a city is selected to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games, it undertakes a great responsibility to accommodate athletes and their teams, as well as thousands of people at appropriate infrastructures.

Athens Olympic Facilities-Map

Athens, Greece hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2004. It was an event undoubtedly well-organized and appreciated globally. The total cost of the Games reached 8.4 billion Euros according to data from the Greek General Accounting Office. There is currently a discussion happening on whether the Greek State could economically support the Games and whether the Greek Olympic legacy actually helped the economic development of the country.

In the past few years some actions have taken place in Athens concerning Olympic properties:

Other examples of positive post-Olympic legacy is that Athens has a metro system, which is one of the best in Europe, and its new Airport “El. Venizelos.”

However, it’s a fact that there are Olympic infrastructures of 2004 which remain unused and damage increases as time passes. Two important reasons: improper initial planning and expensive maintenance.

Unfortunately, this situation affects Greek athletes’ training. It becomes very difficult for them to compete at the highest level and to cope with high championship requirements. The Olympic Taekwondo and Handball Arena, the Beach Volleyball Stadium, and the Softball Venue are some of the underused facilities.

Abandoned post-Olympic venues exist in several cities that hosted the Olympics in previous years. Munich, Beijing, and Sarajevo are among them.

Train station built for 1972 Olympics, MunichSki Jump from 1984 Olympics, Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina2008 Kayaking Venue Beijing, China

In post-Olympic London, efforts are taking place in order to secure the future of the sport facilities constructed for the summer events of 2012. For example, it is noteworthy that the British aim to implement an important change in urban planning: to shift the East End onto a more equal footing with the rest of the city. Let’s hope that we won’t see neglected stadiums in the UK capital or at Rio de Janeiro after the Olympics of 2016.

Do you think that the Olympic Games are a chance for urban reformation? How can we use the post-olympic infrastructure to our benefit?

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

Athina Kyrgeorgiou

Athina Kyrgeorgiou graduated from National Technical University of Athens, Greece as a Civil Engineer with a specialization in Transportation Planning and Engineering. She currently lives in Athens, Greece and is always eager to learn about sustainable ideas and solutions for a better life in her city. A part of her research has been the impact of day-lighting patients’ rooms, which provided her the possibility to research further into bio-climatic design of buildings. She aims to continue her studies with a Master’s degree in transportation and sustainable development. Her blogs covered environmental issues and urban planning occurring in Athens, but also generally in Greece, trying to analyse them from an engineering point-of-view.

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This entry was posted on Monday, January 7th, 2013 at 6:00 pm and is filed under Architecture, Environmental Design, Government/Politics, Infrastructure, Land Use, Urban Development/Real Estate, 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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