On the Mediterranean basin, Greece has the longest coastline which is the 12th longest in the world. Managing the coastlines is a high national priority for the Greece central government. There have been conflicts in accessing the shorelines which inspired the city of Thessaloniki to create a new Waterfront accessible to all citizens. The current planning of Greece is considered as outdated and inefficient. The Municipality of Thessaloniki in 2000 launched redevelopment of the new waterfront. The total length of the waterfront is 3.5km on a linear place, with shallow depth, between land and sea. The redevelopment of the waterfront is to be constructed in two phases over a period of 8 years and will cover an approximated area of 238,800Metres.
The basic purpose of the waterfront development is meant to establish a conducive environment that encourages tourism, contribute to the re-formation of the borderline between the sea and the city, provide an ideal walking place above the land and sea without distractions, boost the economy of Thessaloniki city. The city of Thessaloniki will experience increased economy since the coastline were previously underutilized with just traveling and fishing as the main activities.
The new waterfront has two main areas namely; the breakwater, this provides an ideal place for walking with fewer distractions and interruptions with a great view of the sea. The breakwater is constructed on cast floor along the length of the waterfront, wood deck is used at the end to differentiate the floor. The other main area is the inner side of the coast with 13 green spaces. Each green garden has the special thematic characteristic. This green garden space reminds of the domestic gardens that existed before the waterfront. Waterfronts are considered to be of great importance to the ecosystem.
The green gardens have different shading, soft floors, the visual isolation which provide beauty in each green space. The green gardens create a conducive environment for integrating cultural functions, leisure activities thereby diffusing urban conflicts. Some of the green gardens are; Garden of the sculpture, the garden of the Roses, Garden of Mediterranean among others.
The success of this new waterfront will be triggered by great knowledge of the economy, technological advancement and a great understanding of social needs and wants.
Thessaloniki Urban Waterfront has promoted community involvement, set appropriate activity and zoning and incorporating risk resilience. The waterfront has integrated modern suitable design elements.
The main purpose of the new waterfront was to provide the citizens of Greece with a new landscape that is safe, modern, well-planned and multipurpose public spaces of great aesthetics. The new waterfront is to also create a public space for all the citizens, and provide different services the; New waterfront is accessible to all citizens. The waterfront sparks the creation of new habits, green space suitable for art, music. People with special needs and abilities have also been considered in the new waterfront for example playgrounds specific for children, bicycle routes, routes for the blind. Accessibility of the coastal lines will be enhanced as well as opportunities for local citizens to invest.
With tourism being the largest global industry Greece has no choice but to stay as per with the developing city’s status, with increased tourism revenue the economy of Greece will increase.
The goal of the Thessaloniki waterfront development is to preserve and enhance the distinctiveness of the available space and the environment surrounding the port.
Thessaloniki needs to engage the local community and seek its full participation in the functions of the waterfront. The creative and cultural components of the development are the most significant aspects of the harbor that should receive more attention.
Thessaloniki New Waterfront Project Proposal
The proposed project is located in the country Greece, the city of Thessaloniki shoreline. The New Waterfront project would serve all citizens as it is easily accessible. On the Mediterranean basin, Greece has the longest coastline and it is the 11th longest in the world. Managing the coastlines is a high national priority for the Greece central government. There have been conflicts in accessing the shorelines which inspired the city of Thessaloniki to create a new Waterfront accessible to all citizens. The current planning of Greece is considered as outdated and inefficient which makes the country unsuitable tourist destination.
The citizen who lives within Greece shoreline main economic activities is fishing, tourism, and commercial activities. This citizen faces great economic risk as access to the shoreline is a challenge. The Municipality of Thessaloniki in 2000 launched redevelopment of the new waterfront. The total length of the waterfront is 3.5km on a linear place, with shallow depth, between land and sea. The redevelopment of the waterfront is to be constructed in two phases over a period of 8 years and will cover an approximated area of 238,800Metres. Nikiforidis-Cuomo Architects won the bid to construct the waterfront through a competition and in the year 2006 construction commenced.
The objective of the project is to contribute to the renewal of the borderline ecosystem between the land and sea. Redevelopment also aims to meet the proposed interference that would promote coherence and continuity.
The New Waterfront maintenance and management was made easy by using eco-friendly plantations and great modern design.
The main objectives of the new waterfront are to provide the citizens of Greece with a new landscape that is safe, modern, well-planned and multipurpose public spaces of great aesthetics. The new waterfront is to also create a public space for all the citizens, and provide different services the; New waterfront is accessible to all citizens. The waterfront sparks the creation of new habits, green space suitable for art, music.
Method and Design
To identify the right company to award the project Municipality of Thessaloniki used international competition. Questionnaires, observation, and interviews were used by Nikiforidis-Cuomo Architects to obtain people views before starting the project. Thessaloniki municipality had already written reports regarding the needed redevelopment.
In the year 2006, 75,800M2 of the first phase of the project commenced while 163,000m2 of the second phase commenced in the year 2011-2014.
After completion of the New Waterfront, Thessaloniki obtained views from people who frequented the place as well as accessed the quality of work by Nikiforidis-Cuomo Architects. The waterfront is permanent and will help generations to come and will create community participation.
Significance and Conclusion
The New Waterfront has made people familiarize and intervene on any progress of the public space. Although people are still enjoying various activities that they were used to, they have developed new ones due to the new design. An association known as friends of the New Waterfront was founded in 2012 with the sole objective of enjoying the services of the New Waterfront. The New Waterfront offered Thessalonians with new urban space that they could use for different functions and activities.
Current Conditions and Sustainability of the New Waterfront Project
Greece citizens unanimously support this project. They have every reason to. The project is healthy and beneficial to the citizens. There are no obstacles discovered to the completion of the project. Majority of the population in Greece are middle-aged and they want anything to do with leisure activities as well as income creation. These people have signed to help maintain and build the New Waterfront. Registering to music clubs, Arts clubs will generate revenue for maintaining the project in future. A portion of the revenue collected from tourism will be allocated to the project. A monitoring group will ensure that New Waterfront is constructed on time and meets the quality and standard expectations of the local citizens.
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