Excursion to Athens

Exciting excursion in the course of the research project “HeKriS” to Athens

Through the research project “Challenges of the Crises of European Cities (HeKriS): Development of Planning Strategies and Creative Actions”, a group of students has been able to have a closer look from 3rd to 8th September 2017 in Athens on implemented measures and future plans to improve the resilience of the City. The excursion is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The supervision took place in particular by Prof. Dr. Rainer Danielzyk from the Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH) as well as Prof. Konstantinos Serraos and Maria Papaioannou from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA).

The theme of the excursion addressed questions and challenges to secure Athens’ resilience against social, economic and, above all, natural events. In order to gain a first overview of the local situation and the individual dates, the students held presentations before and during the excursion to related topics. The lectures of Mr. V. Asprogerakas and Mr. Y. Evmolpidis about the metropolitan area of ​​Athens and the city community are particularly worth to be mentioned. After this lead-in, the city center of Athens was visited with regard to planning aspects. As a special example, the “Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center” was visited, which combines both economic, cultural and ecological backgrounds and functions. Furthermore, there was the opportunity to listen to a lecture on Athens’ role in the “100 Resilient Cities” union and the resulting development strategies by Prof. E. Myrivili. Another appointment was a lecture by the Ministry of the Environment regarding the city and regional administration in Greece. The findings conveyed here by S. Psyhogios und D. Litsardou were illustrated by a review of the infrastructure of Athens’ coastline. In the course of this appointment the following photo was taken.

Group photo at Poseidon temple © Michael Stelte

Final points of the excursion were the island of Aegina and its connection with Athens as well as the port area of Piraeus, which is important for Athens economic stability.

The aim of the excursion is to promote the exchange of knowledge between the Faculty of Architecture and Landscape of the LUH and the Faculty of Architecture of the NTUA within the framework of their university partnership. The exchange also took place through a summer school in May 2017 and an excursion of Greek students to Germany.

In the coming years, further excursions will take place in order to raise awareness of the issue and to deepen the exchange of knowledge.

Excursion to Hanover and Hamburg

Field Trip on “Resilient European Cities” to Hamburg and Hannover

As a part of the research program “Resilient European Cities”, a group of 25 students from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) School of Architecture, visited Hamburg and Hannover between the 22nd and the 27th of September 2017. The field trip was organised by the Urban Planning Research Lab of NTUA and the Institute of Environmental Planning of Leibniz Universität Hannover and supervised by Prof. Konstantinos Serraos, ass. Prof. Panagiota Theodora and PhD candidate Katerina Christoforaki and funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The main objective of the field trip was to broaden the understanding of the impacts of environmental disasters on the urban infrastructure of the cities.

Before the field trip, an extensive research about the cities of Hamburg and Hannover was carried out, regarding their history, economic and social character as well as the environmental quality and urban texture.

Environmental research focused on factors such as tidal movements, sea level rise and global warming, in juxtaposition with economical and urban growth factors, setting the main focus points of the excursion.

On the first day of the field trip, during the preliminary visit to the city center, the group walked around the Rathaus and took the Mönckebergstraße towards the central train station (Hauptbahnhof), taking a first glimpse of the character of Hamburg, the quality of the public infrastructure as well as the circulation of vehicles and pedestrians within the city.

Students visiting the model of the Hafencity area

The day after, the group visited the Elbphilharmonie, the Hafencity area and City Nord. In Hafencity, a thorough tour expanded the understanding of the historical background of the area, its functions and uses, as well as the environmental challenges that it has faced through the years. The design and development of the Hafencity area was analyzed, highlighting the social, economic, environmental and urban factors of the ongoing large scale urban development project. Following Hafencity, the group was offered a guided tour to the city’s business district, City Nord. The tour focused on the development of the area in accordance to the Chart of Athens principles, with large-scale office buildings and extensive green spaces, as an economic zone as well as its long history, the different periods it had gone through, the problems it had faced and its prosperous future as a business district for the 21st century.

On the third day, the group visited the Steilshoop neighbourhood aiming to further research an old example of the model of large scale residential units applied in the suburbs of Hamburg in the 80s. The group continued towards Park Fiktion, a typical example of a cooperatively run urban park.

In addition, part of the group travelled to Lübeck in order to examine differences between alternative approaches upon urban development of post-war German cities.

On the following day it was time for the area of Wilhelmsburg and the Ministry of Urban Development and Environment, along with IBA Hamburg exhibition. The main points of the presentation in the Ministry where the urban design of Hamburg, the results of research and development projects as well as the integration of the Bunker infrastructure on the urban network. The IBA exhibition exposed the city’s sustainable building views, while the neighborhood of Wilhelmsburg gave a different view towards planning and implementation of contemporary social housing.

Field trip to the IBA exhibition

On Tuesday, the team travelled to Hanover where it walked through the city, finally reaching the new town hall where an extensive discussion concerning the urban development and the social character of the city took place. Later on, Bürgerbüro Stadtentwicklung Hannover held a presentation for the group, offering a thorough view of the participation of local citizens on urban design and development. On the last day of the excursion, the team had the chance to revisit some of the places of interest and indulge in bike rides around the city.

Model of Hanover