The capital of Greece is working on plans to become more sustainable, at least in tourism.

The City of Athens and the Athens Development and Destination Management Agency (ADDMA) have commissioned an assessment of Athens as a sustainable tourism destination in partnership with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

The restoration plan for Lycabettus Hill, source: City of Athens

The process will include more than 70 on-site evaluations in the neighborhoods and parks of Athens, as well as public services, museums, archaeological sites and other attractions.

One of the first projects to be initiated is the restoration of the Lycabettus Hill. The site will receive upgrades of its walking trails and works to prevent soil erosion.

The restoration plan for Syntagma square, source: City of Athens

Other restoration and renovation projects in the pipeline concern:

  • the National Gardens
  • Strefi Hill
  • Plato’s Academy
  • the hills west of the Acropolis

In the meantime, projects like the “Double Regeneration” on Alexandras Avenue and in the Botanikos neighborhood and small projects such as the pocket parks are underway to try and revive the city’s greenery.

“We are fighting for every square meter of public space. This is not an easy fight. It would not be easy in any city. But every square meter that you release and re-use is a square meter won” mayor Kostas Bakoyannis said.

The first “pocket park” in Pagrati, Athens

Athens will submit its climate action plan for consultation at the UN Climate Change Conference taking place in Glasgow in November 2021.

The certification of Athens as a sustainable tourism destination will help the city compete with other major European destinations, attracting visitors to experience the local quality of life while supporting the city’s efforts in destination management.