“Reconstructing that part of the tram line would be very expensive,” Katerina Christoforaki, an urban planner who is behind the proposed scheme, told The Telegraph.
“We are suggesting that the tunnel should not be repaired. Instead, we would uncover the river and create a pathway that would lead from the Acropolis to the Museum of Modern Art, right through the heart of the city.”
The proposed river walk has been likened in concept to New York’s celebrated High Line – the hugely successful linear park that was built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets of Manhattan’s West Side.
The rail line was saved from demolition and opened as a green pathway in 2009.
Athens is unusual among European cities in not having a river that flows through the city – at least not one that is visible.
“Actually we have two rivers, the Ilissos and the Kifissos, but they are covered up and almost invisible,” said Prof Christoforaki, from Athens Anaplasis, an urban renewal firm.
Given Greece’s dry, hot climate, neither is huge – they are nothing like the Thames in London or the Tiber in Rome.