Author Archive

December 16 2013

A Farewell to The Grid, From Alkisti-Eleni Victoratou

December 16th, 2013Posted by 

Participating in The Grid for the past year was a fascinating experience. A virtual internship in which I had to write and transmit news for one of the cities that I love most, Athens, Greece. Not only did this opportunity intensify my interest in urbanism, but also transformed the way I perceive urbanism. Cities are […]

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December 02 2013

Homelessness on the Rise: 13,500 Tenants Evicted in Greece

December 2nd, 2013Posted by 

Athens and other major Greek cities, due to the economic crisis, are experiencing a sad mismatch between the increase of the overall homelessness and the rise of vacant buildings. Many middle- and lower- class people of moderate educational backgrounds that before the economic crisis could live in relatively good standards, now populate the decadent streets […]

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November 18 2013

Self-Made City: Collective Intelligence in Co-housing Projects from Berlin

November 18th, 2013Posted by 

In the past, participatory planning used to be regarded as an annoying factor in the already intricate procedures of urban planning. Fortunately, today participation seems to permeate through a variety of city projects. This time around, the good news comes from Berlin. Self-Made City is a bilingual (German-English) book by the German Jovis. As the […]

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November 04 2013

Mega-Projects Explosion at Faliron Delta in Attica, Greece

November 4th, 2013Posted by 

The construction of the largest public cultural complex in Greece is currently being developed at an unabated pace at the Southern coastline of Attica next to Faliron Delta. Personally, I don’t remember a public project progressing faster since the Athens Olympic Games in 2004. This is because the project is fully granted by the Stavros […]

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October 21 2013

“Square Camps:” The Squares that Cultivate Democracy

October 21st, 2013Posted by 

Historically, cities worldwide have proven to be the epicenter of social movements. The economic crisis imposed on Greece since 2008 and its failed management by the Troika and the IMF since 2010 have increased the general discontent and the number of strikes and manifestations in the Greek capital of Athens. According to statistics, in 2012 […]

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October 07 2013

Pop-up Initiatives in Athens, Greece Shed Light on Economic Crisis

October 7th, 2013Posted by 

A few weeks ago, I was invited to a party on the rooftop of a typical 1960s building in a block at the heart of Athens. I went to the party alone and met some good friends once I got there. However, there were so many people that due to the confined space started spilling […]

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September 23 2013

Greek Nationalist Party Chrisi Avgi Jeopardizing Public Spaces

September 23rd, 2013Posted by 

We have become accustomed to pop-up interventions in the public realm that reveal the countless  innovative ways citizens  (sometimes along with architects or urban planners) can transform open spaces, even for short periods of time. Nevertheless, not all “pop-up” interventions have the same effects. It’s been five years since the economic crisis broke out in […]

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September 09 2013

Micro Actions, Macro Changes: A Review for “Handmade Urbanism: From Community Initiatives to Participatory Model”

September 9th, 2013Posted by 

During the last few years, there has been a significant shift of interest towards grassroots interventions in the urban realm. A book like Handmade Urbanism: From Community Initiatives to Participatory Model is not just a compilation of grassroots initiatives, but an effort to set the foundations of a theoretical discussion around grassroots-driven urbanism. This endeavor […]

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August 26 2013

Greek Beaches and Coasts Heading Towards Privatization?

August 26th, 2013Posted by 

There is always a critical question that I pose to myself whenever a guest from other parts of Greece or abroad happens to visit me here in Athens. A full three-day tour can easily cover a visit to the Acropolis and the important archaeological sites around it, as well as to the adjacent vibrant areas […]

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August 12 2013

A Second Dive Into the World of Participatory Planning of Nabeel Hamdi

August 12th, 2013Posted by 

In The Placemaker’s Guide to Building Community, the latest book by Nabeel Hamdi (2010), the reader continuously travels among practice and theory, bottom-up interventions and top-down policies, uncertainties and certainties, informality and formality.  After a short introduction about the evolution of the development planning practices in the combat against urban poverty, the reader follows Hamdi into […]

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July 29 2013

Athens, Greece: Let’s Talk about the Future City

July 29th, 2013Posted by 

Within the frame of the ninth international conference for Intelligent Environments, preceded by a series of in-depth workshops that took place in the Greek capital amid summer, an intensive exchange of thoughts, visions and questions arose concerning the galloping growth of pervasive technologies in relation to a different kind of city environment. A whole section of […]

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July 15 2013

Greek Urban Competitions for the Welfare of the Many

July 15th, 2013Posted by 

In contrast to the plethora of public-private architectural and urban competitions concentrating on museums, opera houses, and prominent public spaces, during the last three years there has been a shift towards a range of areas around big Greek cities.  One can say that the rise of interest in cities that tourism doesn’t reach was inaugurated […]

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July 01 2013

Cultivating Communities From the Bottom-up: Small Change by Nabeel Hamdi

July 1st, 2013Posted by 

Small Change, a 2004 book by Nabeel Hamdi, is a participatory design and place-making journey from the bottom-up. Through its pages the reader can witness the conception of a community and then follow its bit-by-bit emergence, gradual development and finally, its vitality. Nabeel Hamdi’s long experience in housing, in conjunction with his career as a […]

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June 17 2013

New Working Spaces for New Working Conditions: The Rise of Co-Working Spaces

June 17th, 2013Posted by 

It’s been a hard day’s night And I’ve been working like a dog It’s been a hard day’s night I should be sleeping like a log If the Beatles had the chance to rewrite these verses today, they should probably take into account that a rising number of city dwellers work at night and sleep […]

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June 03 2013

Parametric Design and Manufacturing: Cipher City Landing in Athens, Greece

June 3rd, 2013Posted by 

Parametric design and manufacturing, that seem to be in good tune with micro scale projects, are gaining more and more space in the architecture schools programs all over the world. Parametric workshops, camps, conferences and competitions combined with an increasing number of Fab-Labs are reflecting the accumulating theoretical talks, methodologies and the upcoming computational techniques. […]

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May 20 2013

Edible Landscapes of Attica, Greece

May 20th, 2013Posted by 

In Greece, during the last few years, a demand for transparency around food and a need to eliminate the intermediaries, mainly due to poor quality of products in combination to high prices, has resulted in a boom of collective action concerning the production and distribution of food. On the other hand, the proliferation of movements […]

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May 06 2013

Happy Birthday Navarinou Park: Athens, Greece

May 6th, 2013Posted by 

A park that was supposed to be a parking area celebrated on Sunday, 14 of April its 4th year of existence. A small self-organized park in the heart of Athens, Greece has set a very important precedent in the latest urban history of self-managed open spaces for all Greek Cities. The Navarinou Park is located […]

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April 22 2013

What Athenians in the Greek Capital are Rethinking

April 22nd, 2013Posted by 

Apart from the economic crisis that they have been facing for the past five years, Athenians also have to re-think the city center of Athens. More precisely, they have to re-think one of the most prominent axes that unifies Sintagma (Constitution) and Omonia (Concord) central Squares, which are also attached to the famous neoclassical trilogy […]

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April 08 2013

A Short River Story from Athens, Greece

April 8th, 2013Posted by 

Kifisos is a principal watercourse of the Attica basin which springs from mountains of Parnitha and Penteli, run through downtown Athens and eventually discharges into Saronikos Bay. Just before emptying into the sea, for a stretch of 20klm, river Kifisos has been regrettably covered by transportation infrastructure as means to avoid expensive expropriations. At its […]

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March 25 2013

Bioclimatic Upgrading of Open Public Spaces in Athens, Greece

March 25th, 2013Posted by 

Against all odds, municipalities, all over Greece, are in a race to propose projects for bioclimatic upgrading of public open spaces such as streets, squares, and parks. The “Bioclimatic upgrading for open public spaces” program is funded by the NSRF development program and guided by the Centre for Renewable Energy and Save (CRES). Its main […]

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