The contract has been signed and the interim beautification project of the central square of Heraklion has begun until the normal redevelopment is launched in the future
The beautification project of Eleftheria Square is now on the “tracks” with a “bullet”, an intervention of an intermediate nature (in view of the future routing of the normal regeneration), which aims to change the aesthetic and above all functional image of an important public space, which is point of reference for the city of Heraklion, but it is not – in its current form – particularly accepted or loved by Heraklion residents and visitors.
The contract, which is essentially characterized as an intermediate “facelift” in the central square of Heraklion, is expected to begin within the next few weeks, as yesterday, Tuesday, October 31, the signatures of the relevant contract with the subcontractor “fell” in Loggia.
The contract, which provides for the upgrading and beautification of Eleftheria Square, was signed on Tuesday morning by the mayor of Heraklion, Vassilis Lambrinos, in the presence of the deputy mayor of Technical Works, Yiannis Anastasakis, and the project’s contractor.
This is a maintenance-rehabilitation intervention, which will precede the normal reconstruction, with the aim of restoring urgent failures, damages and “traps” and beautifying the current “cold” square, which most people do not like, until at least it progresses in years (if it goes ahead) the normal, complete regeneration of the wider area at the eastern entrance end of the old town.
As we have written, the normal regeneration of Eleftheria Square and the wider area planned in the next, future phase will proceed with… “aroma” from Minoan Crete! According to the award-winning architectural proposal that was presented some time ago at a special event, the “transformation” of the 53-acre area, which consists of three squares (Eleftherias Square – Kazantzakis Square, Daskalogianni Square, Archaeological Museum Square), as well as from three boulevards (Demokratis lv., D. Beaufort, lv. Ikarou) will be realized with the main inspiration of the famous “Thea of the Goddesses”.
The composition of the space will turn, that is, from the special costume of the idol that was found south of the throne room of the palace of Knossos and is housed in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion.
The project profile
As stated in a relevant announcement by the Municipality of Heraklion, the project aims to change the aesthetic image of the square and its environmental conditions. The proposed interventions aim to improve:
1) the microclimate, increasing urban greenery and the use of natural materials with reduced heat capacity,
2) the accessibility of the square and its safe use by citizens, the disabled and children,
3) the gathering, resting and socializing spaces of the citizens with the enrichment of urban equipment and
4) the aesthetics of both the central part and the wider area of the square.
In his statement, the mayor emphasized: “With the renovation of Eleftheria Square, the planning of the municipal authority for the redevelopment of the historic center, which also included Georgiadis Park, Diakiosinis, Idis, Kalokairinou (which is intended to be financed by the current NSRA), Archbishop Makarios and the walls. Essentially, our strategy for Sustainable Urban Development is progressing at a satisfactory pace and we hope that with the changes that will be made, both residents and visitors of the city will once again love the square, which is anyway the “heart” of Heraklion”.
The project is implemented within the framework of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan “Greece 2.0” with funding from the European Union – NextGenerationEU, while the total deadline for the execution of the project, based on the contract signed yesterday, is 12 months.
The intermediate “facelift” – What work will be done
The main object of the promoted beautification contract of Eleftheria square is an extensive removal of the slabs and the change of the pavement of the square which has suffered great damage. New, modern LED lamps will be installed, while the current, vandalized low lamps will be removed, as well as the concrete benches. At the same time, the necessary improvement interventions around the perimeter of the square will be carried out, for better access for citizens and of course also for the disabled, as well as interventions for a more functional connection of Eleftherias Square with “Astoria” and Daskalogiannis Square.
The project is implemented within the framework of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan “Greece 2.0” with the funding of the European Union “Next Generation E.U.”. It is financed by the Recovery and Resilience Fund in the program “Interventions in urban areas and the building stock” – ID 16873 – which aims to improve the urban environment and public space. The program is included in pillar 1 of the “green” transition to the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, Axis 1.2 – “Energy upgrading of the country’s building stock and spatial planning reform” and is financed by SATA 075 of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (project code in the PDE 2022ТА07500003), at a rate of 64.748% (€2,641,732.33) and from the Municipality of Heraklion’s own resources at a rate of 35.252% (€1,438,267.67).