Kalyvakia / Kalavac PDF Print E-mail

Infrastructure and urban upgrading


Located at the feet of the mountains, this small Ottoman village of 300 inhabitants has maintained strong links with its past and cultural traditions.

The main square of the village is dominated by an important Mosque and different Ottoman buildings that have remained "relatively intact" throughout the centuries. Yet, modern urbanism trends, along with the necessity to answer to public urban and traffic needs, have caused the main square and its surrounding buildings to lose their charm and historical identity.

To preserve the important traditional and cultural heritage of the village a project for the urban upgrading of the main square and surrounding buildings was started in June 2008 and successfully concluded in December 2009.

The project:

The project, implemented between 2008 and 2009, included two phases:
- The first phase consisted in the construction of a 3.2 km pipeline conveying water to the village reservoir, whiles
- The second phase, started in 2009 and successfully concluded in December of the same year, focused on the rehabilitation of the village square and surrounding buildings.

PHASE 1 – Construction of a 3.2 km PIPELINE

Before the implementation of the project started in 2008, the residents had very short and irregular access to tap water and were relying on weekly tanker deliveries. To put an end to the situation and improve the living conditions of the villagers, a 3.2 km new pipeline conveying fresh water from three local springs to the village’s reservoir was built. The quantity of water that is now conveyed to the village is an average of 25 cubic meters per day and all the 294 residents can now benefit from a constant and secure access to clean water.

PHASE 2 – Urban upgrading of the village square and surrounding buildings

The second phase of the project aimed to preserve as much of the traditional urban pattern while rehabilitating the main square to create scopes for new public spaces and community development. The following interventions were conducted:
- Face-lifting of selected traditional buildings overlooking the square and main street (including partial renovation of the roof edges, doors and windows on the street façade);
- Re-establishment of the original local-stone pavement in the main square and in the Mosque’s yard;
- Creation of new sanitary/ablution spots in the Mosque yard;


The first of six pilot projects, this project meant not only to preserve the cultural heritage of rural villages in the northern part of Cyprus, but also to raise awareness on the importance of conducting sustainable and respectful urban upgrading and rehabilitation interventions.

The results achieved have gone far beyond these expectations. Not only did the project mark an improvement in the daily lives of the residents of the village, but by raising the profile of the village and making it more attractive to both local and foreign visitors, the project has become a model for similar interventions.

The Mosque yard and the main square have become a new meeting point for the village contributing to boost the local economy and hence creating opportunities for private income generation.

The new public space is now being used by local women’s association as well as by other organization to promote their activities and raise awareness on the importance of preserving the village’s history and cultural background.

In December 2009 a ceremony was organized to celebrate the conclusion of the project as well as the inauguration of the village square and of all its restored buildings. The success of the project overcame all the expectations, making this village a reference point not only for the other villages in the region but also for students and visitors willing to rediscover Cyprus’ traditional way of living.

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Last Updated ( Monday, 30 July 2012 )

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