The intention behind this thesis is to examine how the latest socio - economic crisis, in Greece, Europe and the World affects our cities.This thesis is an attempt to invent strategies for the declining city of Athens and trace the opportunities offered by the Athenian landscape and the recently ceased airport of Hellinikon.Twelve years after the cease of its operation, Hellinikon remains the largest abandoned urban void in the fabric of Athens.Neither the public demand for a Metropolitan Park nor the state - driven privatization attempts have yet proven to be fruitful.In a critical time of economic recession and social segregation, the question of the large urban void emerges and traditional redevelopment practices are questioned.
The answer to the question of the large urban void lies next to grassroots initiatives currently active within Hellinikon that creatively exploit the public land.This thesis argues that spontaneous and individual activities can shift into a holistic self - instituted narrative for the Hellinikon area, constructing a new urban vision; the Collective Superstructure. The urban narrative commences with the gradual occupation of the former airport’ s territory and evolves as a community - based development, relying on the use of local natural resources, water - management systems and re - use of facilities found on site.
The goal of this thesis is to state that the use of prime urban land as an investment to generate profit and redistribute it to the people has failed us and can no longer constitute our primary objective.The post - crisis era should signify a holistic turn on how we perceive urban space and spatial justice.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
School of Architecture - Urban Design Studio
Quincy Adams, USA
Professor: Alexander D’ Hooghe
2012 Cambridge, USA