Signs of neglect at Pedion tou Areos

It was around a year ago that Pedion tou Areos Park on the corner of Alexandras Avenue and Patission Street in central Athens, revamped and renovated to a design by architect Alexandros Tombazis, was opened to the public with much fanfare. Yet today, it is already showing the first signs of neglect.

The two artificial streams — one on the Alexandras Avenue side and the other near Evelpidon Street — have run dry, partly due to faulty construction from the start and also because of poor maintenance.

The first stream was problematic to begin with, as the water flow was irregular and began forming pools, only to evaporate completely over the summer; it has not been replenished.

The stream near Evelpidon, meanwhile, was one of the jewels of the renovation project when it was first unveiled, a sparkling artificial waterway lined with white pebbles. The water was never renewed and within months, the stream began to stagnate and smell, until it too evaporated in the summer.

Other signs that the maintenance of Pedion tou Areos Park is not going well at all include the fact that garbage cans are allowed to overflow, patches of lawn have dried up, benches removed to make way for loftier designs that never materialized have not been replaced and stone walkways and steps are beginning to crumble.

Surprisingly, the plants at the park are doing well, though this apparently is not thanks to the authorities in charge of its upkeep, but to the hundreds of residents in the area who make it their business to keep their park looking pretty.

Pedion to Areos abuts several neighborhoods with large immigrant populations, many of whom can be seen spending several hours a week in the park, either taking a stroll, reading on a bench or playing with their children, keeping the park alive.

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