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Larnaca

Larnaca has a continuous and uninterrupted history extending for 4000 years, on exactly the same area that composes the municipal boundaries today. The importance of the city, for large periods in its history, was prevailing for the whole of the island. In the Old Testament which is one of the first great books in the history of humanity, there are 28 references of the city then known as Kition. Some of these references identify the whole of the island with the city.The city lived in glory as a kingdom from Prehistoric times (before 1000 b.C.) down to the beginning of the Hellenistic Period (312 b.C.).  After Roman times the city becomes again the main port of the island during the Venetian period (1490-1571), all through Ottoman rule (1571-1878) down to the first half of the British administration (1878-1960). Today, the city is the third largest of the Republic of Cyprus in terms of population (80.000) and economy. It hosts the main international airport, a port and a nice marina for yachts. It has clean sandy beaches with clear blue waters and an efficient tourist infrastructure. The town is organized with everything that a large city can offer, but it lucks vices and problems of big population centers. Low to inexistent crime rate, no traffic jams, and a well defined historic and city center near the beautiful promenade are just a few of its great advantages.

The SURE target area is a distinctive neighbourhood located approximate two kilometres from the city centre. It was traditionally home to two different communities. One was a close nit community of Greek Cypriot trades people and workers who lived in relatively poor conditions. The other was a Turkish Cypriot community who was one of two Turkish Cypriot neighbourhoods in Larnaca where they lived largely isolated from the majority population of Larnaca. The unsettled state of the communities living in St Johns, together with the low status of the area, may have been the reason why neither residents or government tried to improve the area. Much of the building stock dates back to the late 19th and early 20th century, is single storey and in poor condition. Many of these buildings have very basic amenities and people can either not afford to carry out the necessary improvements or feel that the current condition and status of the area does not reflect their aspirations. Another reason for the lack of investment in local property is related to the conservation area status of St Johns. A further challenge is the perception that St Johns remains an area that has little to offer to its residents and visitors alike. The dominant image local residents seem to have of themselves is that of a community which is not united and does share the same values.

A number of developments have been under consideration for some time for example creating a street market or a local museum and the LSG, which has the support from the elected Mayor and local politicians, has resolved to integrate such ideas into a coherent plan.  The inclusion of a wide range of residents from both communities in the development process for the LAP is also an agreed priority.

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SURE

Implementation of integrated socio-economic regeneration strategies which build on local strengths and opportunities. This will be achieved by...
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