Athens tackles heat with tiny parks

The Greek capital Athens is battling the heat

by transforming unused city plots

into bite-sized “pocket parks”

A lack of urban planning during a population boom

has led to overheating and heavy pollution over the past several decades

Temperatures in Athens can surpass 100 degrees Fahrenheit

during a heatwave

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF ACADEMY OF ATHENS RESEARCH CENTRE FOR ATMOSPHERIC PHYSICS AND CLIMATOLOGY CHRISTOS ZEREFOS SAYING: "Because of climate change we expect the temperature to rise two, even three degrees on days when there are heatwaves."

The city is planning on closing some traffic lanes

and opening bike lanes and pedestrian walks

in addition to establishing more pocket parks

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ATHENS MAYOR KOSTAS BAKOYANNIS SAYING: "It’s about creating green spaces, lowering the temperatures, giving quality of life and creating new reference points inside the city for people to come together."