The transformation of the River Garyllis into a linear park has created a new axis of interest which traverses Limassol in a north-south direction and has regenerated and placed at the service of residents a truly large part of the town, as happened with the regeneration of the Akti Olympion area and the seafront.
The River Garyllis flows in the winter from north to south, protecting the town from flooding caused by sudden rainstorms. Unfortunately, the river bed and banks had been neglected and, instead of being a source of life, had become a source of pollution.
The aim of the Project was to reverse the existing situation, which was one of neglect of the area around the Garyllis river bed, through planned interventions of regeneration, organisation and traffic management with the aim of linking the areas along the river bed with a cycle path, a pedestrian walkway and a linear park. The creation of the linear park reversed the existing situation and now covers a significant 5½km section of the river from the Old Port to the northern municipal boundaries of Kato Polemidhia and from the area south of the 2nd Technical School to Agias Filaxeos Street, west of the Lanition sports ground.
The design took into consideration the particular characteristics of each area and the corresponding environment. The River Garyllis is an important geophysical element and its exploitation, beyond the walking and cycling aspect and the extensive and densely planted linear park, has given a breath of quality to the residential areas and, more generally, to the broader area adjacent to the river.
The landscaping offers a safe route for cyclists, both for exercise and enjoyment, as well as an alternative route from the northern residential areas to the commercial centre of the town as well as to the areas of special interest such as the Marina, the Old Port and the Seaside Multifunctional Park. The linear park is extensively used by students, pupils and young people in general who live in the northern areas and work or study in the town centre. The project has proved especially useful for students at the Cyprus University of Technology as it offers fast and easy access to the university buildings.
The Project has enhanced the network of cycle paths and walkways in the town, with the aim of attracting both locals and visitors to take a different route. Finally, it has contributed substantially to the regeneration of an abandoned and neglected area, reviving neighbourhoods and upgrading the quality of life of its residents.
The project was co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund of the EU as part of the 2007-2013 programming period in the "Competitiveness and Sustainable Development operational programme, with priority given to the regeneration of urban and rural areas and with the particular aim of regenerating the urban environment and the promotion of entrepreneurship".
The total cost of the project was €14 million and it was completed in July 2014.