Urban upgrading of villages and towns in the northern part of Cyprus

What is the project about

 KID IN A CYPRIOT VILLAGEExhibition of traditional rural-house tools & fornitures UNDP Photo/Olkan Erguler

The project aimed to revitalise the urban cultural and social heritage of small towns and villages in the northern part of Cyprus. The main objectives were to:

  • Test a pilot scheme to guide future EU funded efforts to preserve the identity of village centres while upgrading their infrastructure;
  • Sensitise village inhabitants to the importance of preserving traditional rural identity and appearance.
  • To upgrade local urban infrastructure to improve that quality of life of the residents;

The project was carried out in 11 villages and small towns and included the main following components:

  • Upgrading and improvement of public spaces;
  • Modernization of water sanitation and water supply systems;
  • Restoration and modernization of the main square and/or of other historical areas/buildings;
  • Upgrading of sewerage systems and improvement of waste collection systems;
  • Rehabilitation of old buildings and creation of new community centres for bi-communal activities.
  • Restoration and rehabilitation of traditional coffee shops
  • Promotion of cultural activities

What have we accomplished so far


Galinoporni/KaleburnuThe new Cultural and Community Center was inaugurated in April 2013, UNDP Photo

Conversion of an old school building into a cultural/community centre. Thanks to European Union funds, UNDP was able to renovate this old school building and rehabilitate it as a cultural and community center. The center is now used by the local communities for traditional handicrafts workshop led by the local association CATOM and hosts the exhibition room of the local artist Kemal Devegi. Click here to read more!


Kalyvakia/Kalavaç: upgrading of the main square, surrounding buildings and local coffee shopThe traditional coffee shop of the village was renovated in 2012. UNDP Photo/Kerim Belet

Upgrading of the main square, water pipeline, surrounding buildings and local coffee shop. This project brought many improvements in the daily lives of the residents of the village.

  • A 3.2 km new pipeline conveying fresh water from three local springs to the village’s reservoir was built to halt the short and irregular access to tap water that was obliging residents to rely on weekly tanker deliveries. 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.
  • 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. Click here to read more!


Kampyli/Kambili/Hisarkӧy coffee shop inaugurationCypriot folklor April 2012 UNDP Photo/Kerim Belet

Upgrading of the main square, surrounding buildings and local coffee shop.
Over 200 residents of this village can now enjoy a constant water supply by uniform pressure without disturbance related to any loss or leakage.
The upgrading of the public sphere brought more social collectiveness to the village, beautifying it while maintaining the architectural pattern as a traditional village. The village can now be viewed as an example from among villages seeking to preserve the tradition and originality of their infrastructure, whilst upgrading them in accordance with modern standards and usage. Click here to read more!


Home composting komi buyukkonukHome Composting brochure UNDP Photo/Tuğberk Emirzade

Sustainable rural development, promotion of eco-tourism, home composting. The project consisted of providing solar lightings in the Public Square and streets to save on solar energy. It also set up a system of rainwater collectors for public buildings which can be used for gardening and other purposes during the dry period. For private households a mulching machine was lent out to the households to produce mulch for their gardens and fields.
Each household has been contributing with the cost for the petrol in order to run the machine. Click here to read more!



Kormakitis/Kormaçit cultural centreInauguration Ceremony of the new Maronite Cultural and Community Centre, February 2012. UNDP Photo/Kerim Belet

Conversion of an old school building into a cultural/community centre. The old primary school of the village has been restored to become the first Maronite Cultural Center in the northern part of Cyprus. Today the center hosts a folkloric museum that brings together a collection of everyday objects from farmers' clothing and tools all voluntarily donated by the people of the village. The centre also offers language courses, and host other cultural activities aiming at preserving the Maronites’ unique culture, language, and history in Cyprus. Click here to read more!


prevention of soil erosion and protection of endemic local plantsLocal children planting new native trees to prevent further soil erosion. November 2012, UNDP Photo

Prevention of soil erosion and protection of endemic local plants. This project focused on preventing further soil erosion in the area through terrace building, replanting of 800 native plants and creating a new green recreational area of 5.000m2. The area now includes new hiking plants trails and is already benefiting the communities of the surrounding villages and their visitors. As part of the project, a botanic research was also conducted in 2012 and 32 plants were identified. Of these, 4 are endemic in Cyprus and one – the Kythrean/Değirmenlik Sage (Salvia veneris) - is endemic for the Kythrea/Değirmenlik area. This specie is very localised, very rare and endangered. Click here to read more!

Lapithos / Lapta

ROAD IMPROVEMENT WORKSPaedestrian pavements. UNDP Photo

Improvement of the local roads infrastructure - The project aimed at improving the quality and safety of four roads in the town by introducing pedestrian pavements. New pavements and sidewalks now provide a safe travel route for residents and visitors, especially students going to school and visitors to the town. Click here to read more!



LEFKA/LEFKE Paving of new pedestrian areaLefka/Lefke renovated area. UNDP Photo, 2012

Upgrading of the main square and surrounding buildings - This project aimed to revitalize the town’s centre and make it an attractive place for both locals and visitors. The facades of the main historical buildings, including shops, offices and residential houses, have been rehabilitated. The project also included: i) the construction of sidewalks along the shopping area; ii) the renewal of the lightening system; iii) the abolishment of landscape degradation. Click here to read more!


Lefkonoiko / Gecitkale Main StreetBefore and After road improvement works. UNDP Photo

Improvement of the local roads infrastructure - The works included the reconstruction of approx. 365m of the main road, erection of the retaining wall, and construction of sidewalks – mainly used by local students - in a manner to allow safe pedestrian access all along the existing road.The local community contributed to the project with road markings and traffic signs and, in the near future, also railing along the retaining wall will be installed. Click here to read more!


 Overview of the village after restoration. UNDP Photo

Upgrading of the main square, surrounding buildings, local coffee shop and sport field - In this village we have worked to preserve the unique urban and architectural heritage of the village. By creating new public spaces and renovating several buildings’ facades overlooking the main streets of the village, the project aimed to return the village to its economic activities while raising awareness on the importance of conducting sustainable restoration by combining original materials with modern techniques. Click here to read more!


 new village squareInauguration of the new village square, June 2011. UNDP Photo/Olkan Erguler

Upgrading of the main square, surrounding buildings and local coffee shop - In this village we worked to strengthen the local community by enhancing the existing public spaces and promote their public use for community purposes. The project also ensured that the new spaces include features which will be attractive to families and children. A playground for children was relocated in a new space far from traffic, and public furniture such as shading elements, benches and bins were provided as an incentive for outdoor activities.Click here to read more!



Improvements to the storm water drainage - The new drainage system, built in response to the severe flooding of February 2010, benefits a community of 4,000 people living in the area.The project included an assessment phase on the storm water drainage covering an area of 33 hectares, and the design of a new system with all its auxiliary structures. This included the installation of 850 meters of new pipes, 80 manholes and 70 gullies, and covers an area of 25 hectares. Click here to read more!

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