Against all odds, municipalities, all over Greece, are in a race to propose projects for bioclimatic upgrading of public open spaces such as streets, squares, and parks. The “Bioclimatic upgrading for open public spaces” program is funded by the NSRF development program and guided by the Centre for Renewable Energy and Save (CRES). Its main purpose is to fight against the urban heat island phenomenon. An amount of 60 to 100 billion Euros will be spent on the projects that will meet the high standards that CRES has set. These strict criteria, in an urban micro scale, include the decrease of temperature by 2 degrees Celsius during the hottest days of summer, the increase of thermal comfort mean by at least 15%, improvements of thermal capacity of the materials used, and of the quality of the wind in the areas in question.
Among the 78 proposals all over Greece, only 22 succeeded in collecting the required score to pass to the next phase, that of detailed designs. Some projects, like that of the S.Petroulas Square in the municipality of Athens, propose a sophisticated cooling system based on the underground recycling and cooling of hot air.
During the preliminary design phase, the proposals of urban planners, architects and engineers included:
- Photovoltaic installations aiming at the energy efficiency of parks, squares, streets, university campuses;
- Replacement of the existing materials with the new generation of cooling materials, which are of greater reflectance and ability to decrease superficial temperature up to 10 degrees Celsius;
- Planting of trees and extensive use of green walls with climbing plants;
- Creation or extension of bike lanes.
Has your neighborhood been environmentally enhanced lately? In which ways do you think that urban design can go greener ?
Credits: Images by Alkisti Eleni Victoratou. Data linked to sources.