Summer School in Athens 2018

From 24th June to 29th June, the students’ workshops – with this year’s topic covering resilience and socio-economic consequences of the crisis – took place in Athens. The Summer School is part of the framework of the project HeKriS – Challenges of resilience in European cities – funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

The Summer School 2018 is one of the pillars of the joint educational and research activities between the Faculty of Architecture and Landscape at the Leibniz University of Hanover (LUH) and the School of Architecture of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). The primary task of the Summer School 2018 was to conduct an own research analysis and develop planning strategies and concepts dealing with socio-economic aspects, with a significant focus on resilience, in the most vibrant and full of contrasts district of Athens – Exarcheia. The five topics covered by participants were:

  • Abandoned buildings
  • Affordable housing
  • Homelessness
  • Local food production
  • Temporary uses

These topics are challenges to be faced for the creation of socially and economically resilient district of Exarcheia. The primary task was to find solutions in which, both, social and economic impacts of crises would eventually be minimised and efficiently solved in the Athenian neighbourhood. To fulfil the Summer School’s programme, ten master degree students from LUH (study programmes – Environmental Planning and European Master in Territorial Development) and ten students of the NTUA (study programme – Architecture) worked together in 5 interdisciplinary and international groups developing detailed analyses and concepts encountering the challenges mentioned above.

Participants of the Summer School 2018 © Choconta, Laura

The programme of the event was not only based on participants’ work but was also accompanied by a field visit around the study area and several keynotes given by local and international researchers and institutes. The presentations were held by Zoe Hatziyannaki – a Greek artist, who presented her installation in one of the previously squatted abandoned buildings in Exarcheia district – and Dr. Simone Tulumello – an Italian lecturer from the University of Lisbon in Portugal – who focused on Fighting ‘post-austerity austerity’: From the housing crisis to the right to the city in post-crisis Lisbon”. Furthermore, Prof. Thanos Pagonis from NTUA held a presentation covering the topic of “Development of Athens and urban resilience”, whereas Prof. Maria Stratigaki – a vice-mayor of Athens for Social Solidarity Welfare and Equality – presented ways how the municipality of Athens is dealing with social integration problems.

Dr. Simone Tulumello during his lecture © Greinke, Lena

The Summer School 2018 was concluded with lectures given by Constantina Theodorou from the Co-Hab Athens Initiative on “Challenges and possibilities of introducing collective ownership pattern in Athens. The Co-Hab Athens initiative” and Dr. Riccardo Guidi from the University of Pisa in Italy on “Everyday Mobilizations in the Age of (Permanent) Austerity. Framing, Exploring and Questioning Southern European Experiences between Resistance and Resilience”. Moreover, the 100 Resilient Cities Athens, an initiative of the Athenian city council, presented itself and its work in the city.

The Summer School 2018 brought many excellent ideas and thus outstanding results, which were the outcome of the participants’ hard work and dedication within five days of the workshops.

Example: Aban[don’t] Exarcheia – Analysis © Ayesh, Husni; Bassoli, Andrea; Papaevaggelou, Eleni; Pisimisis, Nektarios; Spanalios, Isidoros

The DAAD partnership will continue its work with an NTUA student excursion to Hanover at the beginning of September, as well as LUH student excursion to Athens at the end of September. Furthermore, there will be further excursions to Athens and Hanover in the following year.

Example: Enhancing community cohesion in Exarchia (Temporary Use) – Concept © Brenner, Jana; Jordan, Hanna; Valli, Evdokia

The next Summer School will take place in summer 2019 on the topic of “Urban governance resilience” in Hanover.