File:20090426 Kifissos river view from a bridge Athens.jpg
File:20090426 Kifissos river under the highway view Athens.jpg

Cephissus (Athenian plain) (Greek Κήφισσος, Kifissós, Kephissós, Kêphissos) or Cephisus (Greek Κήφισος Kêphissos), a river flowing through the Athenian plain.

In his summary of Greek mythology Apollodorus (3.15.1) declares that Erechtheus' wife Praxithea was daughter of Phrasimus (otherwise unknown to us) by Diogenia (otherwise unknown to us) daughter of Cephissus.

This river is found in the western part of the valley. Today much of the river flows adjacent to the freeway linking Athens and Thessaloniki, and east of mountains of Parnitha and Aegaleo.

In the southern part, the river flows for 15 km under (but originally in the middle of) the highway named Kifissou Avenue.

Kifissou Avenue FreewayEdit

Template:Commonscat After the Olympics of 2004, the Kifissou Avenue freeway, now with three to four lanes, runs for 15 km over the river because of lack of space of housing in the Athens area. It will also connect Piraeus, from the northern suburbs and the communities of south suburban Athens from Varkiza to Phaliron. This will decongest Athens' downtown streets.


Construction began in 1995 and with four bridges being torn down for widening. Work has continued for nearly eight years. However, heavy rains and flooding delayed work over the river (first week of August 1997) causing a cement truck to wash away. In 1999, the reconstruction of Treis Gephyres, (the Three Bridges) was being repaired for widening.

In the later phases of construction, the new freeway extended to near Peiraiôs Avenue when heavy rains delayed the construction in mid and late 2002, one in mid-July, and about three in September. Flooding has also occurred. Gates were being put to prevent flooding. This was the year of heavy rains. The freeway over the Kifissos or the Cephissus made it down to the freeway (not far where the river ends) linking the southern suburbs and Athens from Piraeus which is also Poseidonos Avenue for its final phases owidening GR-1. This will end with opening a southern junction near the new Olympic facility. It will open around mid-2004.

Project: 'KIFISSOS...the Athens River' Edit

According to Greek mythology, Kifissos was the river God that presided over the largest river of the Athenian plain. With its source in Mount Parnitha, the Kifisos River flows through Athens reaching the Saronic Gulf at the southern boundary of the city.

Sadly, today, it has become a flowing garbage dump and repository for toxic industrial waste and for its final 15 km it is channelled under a highway flyover.

Since the beginning of 2007 "the British Graduates Society"[1] of Greece actively participated in a major campaign organised by “Kathimerini” newspaper and “Skai 100.3” FM radio for the environmental improvement of the Kifissos river.

For Vassilis (Basil) Zotos, architect and town planner, the challenge of the Kifissos river came as a natural continuation in a career marked by urban river regeneration projects. It all began in the mid 1960s with his doctorate thesis on the river Thames in London. This provided a basis for the long term regeneration and today the Thames is a living urban river and a magnet for tourism and high end real estate.

The team of architects, Dimitris Sofos, Natalia Kokotou, James Hall and Klairi Xenofontos (all members of the British Graduates Society – BGS[2]), led by BGS president [Vassilis (Basil)Zotos][3], worked on a voluntary basis to create a vision of what the river could become. This team was supported by a number of specialist consultants.

The objective is to provide a framework of interventions that are environmentally sustainable, immediately applicable and financially viable; a set of guidelines for the regeneration of the entire river.

The [proposal][4] is to create a metropolitan linear park that will change in nature as the river flows from natural reserve to dense urban fabric and under the highway.

It will be a clean flow of water acting as a cooling corridor for the city.

Pedestrian and cycle routes will follow the course and urban parks are proposed within now impoverished neighbourhoods.

A pilot study was developed for one such neighbourhood on a 7 hectares site within the densely inhabited municipality of Nea Philadelphia in Western Athens.

The emphasis is on the planting of indigenous species. This will create a microclimate, reinstate natural habitats and high planting along the highway will form a noise barrier. Walkways, pavilions, decks and paved areas will connect the neighbourhood to the park and form areas of activity or repose. The eroded banks will be stabilised and access to the water will be achieved through terracing.

The project highlights the environmental and socio-economic effects such interventions would have on the riverside areas. This project has received a lot of publicity and wide coverage by [the media][5]

A proposal such as this can only be implemented once the river’s boundaries have been defined and fixed, trespassers have been evicted and administrative power has be allocated to a single body for the whole river. Once the framework is in place, funding is readily available from the public or private sectors aided by EU grants.

It is a project waiting to happen.

Template:Streets in Athensel:Κηφισός es:Cefiso (Atenas) fr:Céphise (Athènes) nl:Attische Cephisus nn:Kifisós i Attikí ru:Кефисс (Аттика) sv:Kefissos uk:Кефісс (Аттика) zh:基菲索斯河

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