Is there a green path for Thessaloniki?

Article published on Sept. 23, 2010
community published
Article published on Sept. 23, 2010
Is there a way for Thessaloniki to become green? Not of course in terms of politics, which is something that voters will decide on November. Literally speaking is there a green road for a city which presents the worst data in terms of environment and quality of life?

Yesterday the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, mrs Tina Mprimpili revealed a program of major environmental works which is ambitious enough as the one for Athens, presented one month earlier. The year which is a symbol for the city and the deadline for the works to be completed is 2012 when the city will celebrate the 100 years of its liberation.

The program is been built upon four axis:

1. A section of the port of Thessaloniki to become a park, after the creation of the sixth pier.2. Creation of a Metropolitan Park in the area of International Expo, which will be relocated outside the city3. Beautification of the roads at the entrances of the city and transformation of Nikis (Victory) and Tsimiski streets to pedestrian ways.4. Military camps located in the urban fabric will be given partially or entirely to create parksApart from the above axis, the ambitious project will be completed in two years and provides for the integration of archaeological sites in the urban fabric and the renovation of squares, streets and the regional moat of the city.Howeve I wonder how this ambitious project will indeed contribute significantly to the quality of life in the city. Let me explain: as you know in 2014, if no delays occur and no archaeological findings occur, the metro will be delivered to the public . This means that if you implement that plan for pedestrian routes in Nikis and Tsimiski str., then Thessalonians will live another 2 years of suffering. Conversions of such a scale  is not feasible in roads entrusted with the major bulk of traffic and which at the same time perform as entrances to the city . To achieve such a goal, firstly the completion of the Metro is necessary in order to create a credible alternative for drivers. Furthermore Thessaloniki needs a face-lift. The ''prosopsi'' (façade) which was partially applied in Athens should be extended in Thessaloniki as well. If you observe many of the aesthetically unacceptable buildings of the city you will find that the building blocks have approximately the same height as the amazing buildings of the Tsimiski str. which glorified the period of eclecticism in architecture (19th century).A proposal would be the rebuilding / reconstruction of the façade with the addition of architectural elements from light materials (eg. gypsum) to restore the city aesthetically, much of which was ruined by the fire of 1917 or was built by the notorious Greek patented ''antiparoxi'' which made so ''beautiful'' the Greek cities ..This fulfills the aesthetic reconstruction of the city and give incentive to the building activity that has been hit by the recession. It is above all a way to turn to our cities and stop the reckless expansion and reinvest and renew the existing urban fabric.This is maybe a non-realistic proposal for some people. Surely some will rush to call it unrealistic .. but this is what currently happens in Germany, which renovate and redevelop old buildings in place of ''new'' post-war structures.

In order to learn for the ''architectural nightmares'' of Germany click here.

Pictures from Aggelioforos