June 14 2013

Nightlife in Neglected Areas: A Recipe for Successful Upgrades in Thessaloniki, Greece

As the years pass, there are certain areas in every city that tend to be neglected. But what happens when the nightlife industry intrudes in those areas and changes their whole vibe?

This is exactly the case for Valaoritou and Sigrou Streets in Thessaloniki, Greece. The area around these streets were the city’s old shopping mall many years ago.  Today when you visit this area, you can easily discover the two faces of the neighborhood. In the morning, you can find many shops ideal for cooking lovers, since there are more than 30 different shops with spices, tea leaves, special oils, many different types of honey, and extra healthy oatmeals for a delicious breakfast.  If you wander around the area, you may find a really cute and cozy café that you can take a break and read your book in peace and quiet.

Alley with Bars near Valaoritou Street, Thessaloniki, Greece

As the night falls, you can easily see the changes in the area. In the last 5 years, tons of buildings have been transformed into cafés, bars, and fast-food restaurants. There are many bars located in neoclassical buildings, really appealing ones for people interested in architecture, that have been partially restored. Many of the bars are not located on the ground floor, but on various floors of the building, or even on the roof!

Bars in Valaoritou Street, Thessaloniki, Greece

Bar near Suggrou Street, Thessaloniki, Greece

Similarly, visitors of the historic area “Ladadika” can find a beautiful pedestrian zone with traditional paved roads leading to a town square, which is filled with restaurants and cafés.

"Ladadika" in Thessaloniki, Greece

It really seems interesting that these areas have not only been upgraded because of the nightlife industry that has been developed there, but they also function as a centre for many artistic interventions. There are many bars that offer space for theatrical plays, concerts, photography, and contemporary art exhibitions.

The citizens of Thessaloniki are quite afraid that this “bubble” of development in these areas will soon burst; but at least for now we can safely say that this is something that the city needs and that we all enjoy.

Is there an area in your city that changed thanks to the nightlife industry?

Credits: Photographs by Dafni Dimitriadi. Data linked to sources.

Dafni Dimitriadi

Dafni Dimitriadi is a student of Architecture at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Her numerous experiences in participating in architectural competitions have helped her understand the importance of research and design. She is interested in building and urban design restoration and aims to continue her studies in order to gain more knowledge related to these fields. She is an active volunteer and has participated in many interesting projects, including Open House Thessaloniki. She currently lives in Thessaloniki and through her blogs aims to explore developments associated with architecture and urban design.

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This entry was posted on Friday, June 14th, 2013 at 9:36 am and is filed under Architecture, History/Preservation, Land Use, Urban Development/Real Estate. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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