Cyprus’ urban population is concentrated in 4 urban areas with a total of 595,888 inhabitants (239,277 in Nicosia, 95,014 in Limassol, 192,904 in Larnaka, 68,693 in Paphos) and located with the exception of Nicosia on the island’s periphery.
Cyprus cities and especially their historical areas face complex socio-economic problems as a result of the stress on the natural environment, increased congestion and the inability to develop and promote alternative and environmentally friendly means of transport. Furthermore there is a lack of social services and welfare benefits for vulnerable groups.
The economic recession has further accelerated the economic decline of city centres and their gradual commercial abandonment which resulted more socio-economic and environmental problems, especially accessibility issues and safe mobility of pedestrians and cyclists.
During 2014-2020 cities will implement actions in the context of Strategic Plans for Sustainable Urban Development which will focus to the economic, cultural, social, environmental revival of the deprived historic city centres in an integrated way to promote the improvement of the quality of life, the urban environment and the exploitation of their comparative advantages through:
- Revitalization of degraded urban environment;
- Promoting entrepreneurship with focus on SMEs;
- Identification of cultural resources and creation of cultural and social infrastructure in important historical sites.