On the 24th of October 1979, at a meeting between representatives of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities of Nicosia, it was agreed that:
“There should be close co-operation between the two sides for the purpose of examining and finally reaching conclusions for a master plan of Nicosia”.
The project, named “Nicosia Master Plan” (NMP), was placed under the umbrella of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The development objective of the agreed project document was “the improvement of the existing and future habitat and human settlement conditions of all the inhabitants of Nicosia."
During the process of preparing the master plan, particular attention was paid to the definition of preservation and rehabilitation policy for the Walled City, which is considered the most precious part of Nicosia. The NMP confronted the rehabilitation of the historic centre as a multi-dimensional process incorporating architecture, planning, social and economic objectives.
This integrated rehabilitation policy has been implemented through priority investment projects in selected areas and through the allocation of economic incentives to the private sector.
The targeted pilot areas have been suffering from a sharp decline in resident population, which in turn dramatically accelerated the decay and deterioration of buildings and the overall environment. The priority projects have a direct impact but also give the initiative to the private sector to act as catalyst and stimulate private initiative.
The NMP serves as a vehicle for planning the growth of the city in a comprehensive way, so as to lessen the impacts of urban sprawl and to revitalize the core of Nicosia.
The revitalisation of the surrounding areas, through private initiatives and commercial activities, as well as the protection of architectural heritage contributed to the process. Taking into account land use, traffic and transportation issues and the protection of architectural heritage of the Walled City, as well as the general planning for the entire city, the projects were designed to maximize impact and encourage social and cultural continuity. This approach serves to connect the historic city centre with the modern metropolis growing outside its walls.
The Plan was intended as a flexible planning process involving technical teams from both communities on infrastructure and cultural conservation projects throughout the city. Participants meet periodically at Ledra Palace to discuss technical aspects of projects underway.
UNDP in collaboration with its executive agency UNOPS has been responsible since October 2001 for the implementation of the EU-funded programme Partnership for the Future. Within the programme, the Rehabilitation of Old Nicosia project aimed at the revitalisation of the Walled City according to the framework and principles of the Nicosia Master Plan.
The interventions funded by the European Union through UNDP-UNOPS focused on the following areas:
Phase 1 - Omeriye and Selimiye areas
Phase 2 - Phaneromeni and Samanbahce areas
Phase 3 - The Market (Selimiye area) and completion of activities in the Phaneromeni/Omeriye areas
For more information enter the On-going Projects, Walled City Info Point and the NMP Technical Site Visits.
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