Stopping Athens floods
New flood defence structures in Athens protect its citizens and their property from the destructive power of floods, as well as becoming a source of employment and city rejuvenation.
The uncontrolled urbanisation of past generations has opened up vast stretches of the Attica basin to the threat of flooding. This threat will be a thing of the past as a result of a 3 300 metre anti-flood culvert which will also integrate an urban regeneration project providing amenities to local residents in a low-income, heavily urbanised area of Athens.
Rejuvenating low-income area
The anti-flood protection project is located in the Western Attica region and follows the path of the Eshatia river which passes through the low-income and heavily urbanised suburbs of Ilion, Agioi Anargyroi, Kamatero, and Fyli. While the central aim of the project focuses on the construction of a 5x5 rectangular box culvert, a number of complimentary actions are also planned. These actions include a railway bridge, the re-alignment and reconstruction of various public services ranging from sanitation, water supply and storm-water networks. The railway bridge in particular aims at replacing an already existing bridge and is envisioned to consist of a reinforced concrete opening of 23.75 metres. The culvert itself will be covered allowing an urban regeneration project to be constructed on top. A small stream is also being created on top of the culvert, both sides of which consist of green areas, trails and bike paths.
Improving the everyday lives of citizens
The project estimates that 116 000 local residents benefit from this flood protection measure once completed, while the implementation of the project itself is expected to create 712 jobs. Speaking about the project the Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn commented, “This flood protection project is a concrete and innovative example of how Structural Funds improve the everyday lives of citizens. It will also create jobs and contribute to the revitalisation of this part of Athens.”
While built with the intention of stopping flooding now, the project also has an eye on the future. Through its construction it will serve as a vital link in enabling the completion of the drainage network in the area of Ano Liosia, Zephyri and Acharnon as well as allowing the future development of the area upstream.
Total investment and EU funding
Total investment for the project “Re-arrangement of Eshatia river bed from Iliou square until the junction with the Efpiridon pipeline” is EUR 84 000 000 with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 71 400 000 for the 2007 to 2013 programming period. The project is funded through the priority “Protection and management and of environmental risk” of the Operational Programme “Environment and Sustainable Development”.