Ambelokipi: A place for relaxation

The Ambelokipi neighborhood may miss its favorite soccer team, but it will gain some green space. The bill proposed by YPEHODE stipulates that 1.6 hectares of the soccer pitch be turned into a park. The only building permitted on the site of what is now the soccer ground will be a 150-square-meter museum and reading room and a 250-square-meter restaurant. Local residents approve the proposal but emphasize the need for work on unifying the public green spaces. «The space on Alexandras Avenue must be joined up with Koundouriotika (as there is heavy pressure to encroach on property of uncertain ownership) and with the area of the refugee apartments, which must not be demolished,» said Stelios Dimitriadis, president of the Cultural and Environmental Association of Ambelokipi. Dimitriadis is vehemently opposed to the demolition of six of the eight historic apartment blocks. As he explained, «There is a Council of State ruling which YPEHODE cannot ignore.» The association has some ideas about how to put the apartment blocks to good use. «They could be used to house the Asia Minor Studies Center, or as a hostel for poor people with cancer and their families who come from the provinces to seek treatment at the Aghias Savvas Hospital across from the apartments,» said Dimitraidis. He is opposed to the creation of a 700-vehicle car park: «Has anyone done a study about traffic congestion in an area that is already overrun with automobiles?»