Candidate – Greece
Submission by: Municipality of Athens
Project name: Fix Park, urban park
In modern cities, parks bring nature into the urban environment and boost wellbeing and prosperity for the citizens. Fix Park is situated in Greece’s capital Athens. It has been redesigned to please aesthetically and signify the values of exploration. The project has been funded by Fix Hellas, a brand of Olympic Brewery SA and was designed and made possible by Ecoscapes, the Klonaridis.
The landscape design proposal of the park follows the principles of landscape architecture and biophilic design. Sages, rosemary, achillea are just a few of the 4.000 newly planted plants in the themed gardens of the park. The design enhances the walk of the visitors and connects people and nature within our built environments and communities.
The proposed plant palette is chosen in order to be compatible with the landscape of Attica and resistant to the urban environment and the climatic conditions of the city. The careful selection of the species transform the proposal into a pioneer in ecological design.
Biodiversity & Climate
Klonaridis – Fix Park lies in a densely populated area of the city and is with its 7500 m2 an important green lung of Athens. It is located in a marginal area where different cultures live and work.
The new proposal based on natural processes and principles of sustainable design aims to create a green space that signifies the value of exploration for the visitor and raises environmental awareness.
Social cohesion & Wellbeing of visitors
The relationship between people and nature is crucial for cities. Fostering this connection to nature will require awareness-raising, education, better policymaking, funding and community participation. The new planning, implementation and maintenance of the park was a collaboration among many partners, including private sector, educational institutions and municipality.
The redesigned Klonaridis – Fix park gives a place for people of the neighborhood to meet, relax and socialize, increasing surveillance and discouraging criminals. A new space is created and becomes a place for a unique and empowered community to evolve and prosper. Connecting all these people could be powerful for the city of Athens and the wellbeing of the citizens.
A visit at the new park facilitates social interaction and encourages social cohesion for people from different ethnicities, as well as those that live in the surrounding areas. The access to nature is linked to individual and community wellbeing and this place provides a vital area for recreation, social cohesion and physical exercise. The new design of Klonaridis – Fix Park meets the ideal balance of function and aesthetics, encourages a healthy lifestyle and reduces antisocial behavior, stress and isolation.
Urban parks are an important part of the broader structure of urban and neighborhood development rather than just recreation and leisure facilities. The redesigned park encourages the economic vitality of the area and provides a common ground for sharing and building community links. The park gives an upgrade to the surrounding area and makes it more attractive to visitors.
The selected materials
All the proposed plant species, soil and other materials are carefully selected to meet all the aesthetic and ecological criteria and create new ecosystems in the park. The proposed composition of the new vegetation improves the biodiversity of the surrounding area, maximizes natural cooling throughout the park and reduces traffic noise and temperature, creating a friendly microclimate for the users.
The overall design
The need for natural shading in parks is covered to a great extent in this park. The trees that have been planted about 20 years ago are mature, presenting a dense foliage cover. The new design includes a plant palette with Mediterranean species that create a vigorous understorey with low maintenance and irrigation needs, long life expectancy and permanent aesthetic and environmental interest.
The proposed new planting mixtures creates the intermediate vegetation zone that was completely missing, while at the same time, emphasizing the original linear design of the park and creating a new identity for the park with multiple environmental, cultural and aesthetic benefits.
The park is divided into five different thematic areas:
- The Sustainable garden
Ornamental grasses in dynamic flows mark the entrance from Klonaridis Villa to the park, in memory of the cultivation of oats, the main brewing plant. The selected plant species, resistant to air pollution and with low irrigation needs, are native species of the Greek flora, producing edible seeds and fruits that attract urban birds and beneficial insects. Feeders and nesting places are placed on the trees of the park in order to rehabilitate the urban natural biodiversity and offers new habitats for different species.
- The Sensory Garden
The central rotunda is planted with spherical shrubs and colorful perennials with constant seasonal interest throughout the year. This garden is dedicated to the awareness of senses and it is planted with a combination of plants in a variety of colors and foliage textures. All plants are well adapted to the urban environment with a long life expectancy and permanent aesthetic and environmental interest.
- The Big Lawn
This area is the only spot of the park that remains the same, with the lawn being restored in order to create a gathering area, a meeting point for everyday leisure activities for the residents of the area. The park is transformed to a vital place for recreation and physical exercise and helps people reduce stress and improve people’s physical and mental health. The new design offers a place for social cohesion and community wellbeing.
- The Biodiversity Garden
On the southern border of the park, a biodiversity garden is created with multiple
environmental and educational benefits. Evergreen Mediterranean shrubs are
planted under the existing trees, while the vegetation around the lake is enhanced
with aquatic plants and a pebble surface. The fountain with its new form becomes an
ideal resting place in the park.
- The Colorful alley
The western alley with the plane trees is highlighted with linear plantings of perennial
species and medium shrubs. Groups of Mediterranean shrubs are planted under the
trees in order to create a vigorous understorey.
Impact on the environment & Innovation
Klonaridis – Fix Park is transformed in a sustainable park with authentic ecosystems and natural habitats for urban wildlife, whilst it’s open for all citizens to explore nature and interact with each other. The new design was implemented through innovative use of nature – based solutions (reduction of irrigation needs, use of mixtures with flowering perennials, aromatic shrubs and ornamental grasses that enhance biodiversity, etc) to create a sustainable urban environment for the citizens of Athens.