The Environmental Awareness Park "Antonis Tritsis" in Athens: redesigning its role and form
The importance of green spaces and their benefits for large urban centers is well recognized. In the basin of Athens in Greece, a built-up urban environment, the lack of environmental planning has resulted the lack of green spaces, which when present, have been introduced as an element foreign to the whole of the city, without planning or sustainable design. This paper focuses on the Environmental Awareness Park “Antonis Tritsis” in Athens, a large park (1.150 acres) that constitutes an oasis against the degraded local environment. Six artificial lakes comprise the dominant element in the Park’s landscape highlighting the rare in Attica, liquid component of freshwater that attracts different types of birds, while offering one of unique beauty, recreation and walking area within the city walls. The objective of the study is to create redevelopment proposals for this special-purpose Park, targeting both the utilization of the existing structures as well as its redesigning, introducing: a) the use of renewable energy in order to contribute to energy independence and reduce pollutant emissions, b) the operation of systems of biological water cleaning to avoid water wasting and reduce the possibility of groundwater pollution by the urban wastewater, and c) the design, that must be done with bioclimatic criteria, taking into account the solar thermal proceeds of open spaces, the main criterion for the users’ thermal comfort. Besides the Park’s image and uses, the proposed interventions can also improve its vital role in environmental education of the citizens, especially young children, and can be a model for sustainable organization for other urban spaces.