THE ATHENS URBAN REGENERATION PROJECT The northwestern region of Athens is undergoing powerful urban changes. As in other big cities, the economic and territorial restructuring also entailed deep social changes. The real estate industry in this area is picking up…
The broader objective of the urban regeneration project was to change people's attitudes towards the environment by increasing their awareness of environmental problems and ways to overcome them. Physical improvements and environmental protection measures were designed to complement and facilitate leisure, training, and social activities on the grounds of the Park. The Park's development was based on a well-integrated Master Plan.
The Urban Pilot Project focused on the first stage, which developed an area of about 0.7 km. The Project was implemented from January 1991 to June 1995. The planned cost amounted to 7.68 MECU, 75% of which comprised co-financing from the European Regional Development.
The aim of the project was to address the poor quality of the environment and the economic and social blight. This project combines a scheme which would have an immediate impact on the quality of life of the local inhabitants, but which would also be of a broader benefit in terms of increasing the environmental awareness of the general public. The objectives of the Queen's Tower Park project were: to improve the quality of the environment in West Athens : a.) to develop leisure and sports facilities; b.) to increase the public's environmental awareness; c.) to spread the benefits of economic growth to local communities; d.) to unite members of immigrant minorities into the community's; e.) to push local authorities to develop a more integrated approach to their problems; f.) to foster trade activities to support the Park; g.) to preserve historic buildings within the Park's boundaries.
DISCUSSION OF THE QUOTATION AND THE EUROPEAN LANDSCAPE CONVENTION
The Athens Urban Regeneration Program mirrors the key themes of the Olwig quotation, "Architects who think only in terms of the power of scenic space, ignoring the exigencies of community and place, run the risk of producing landscapes of social inequality like those of the great eighteenth-century British estates It is also possible, however, for architects to shape environments that foster the desire to maintain the continuities that maintain a collective sense of commonwealth, rooted in custom but open to change." (Olwig, 2002).
This quotation is applicable to the Athens Project since the architectural developments in that area focused on fostering close interaction among communities and uplifting their socio-economic welfare through well-paved roads, telecommunication facilities and other infrastructure upgrading system.
The Athens Urban Pilot Project aimed to tackle environmental and social problems in West Athens. Prior to this development, this city district has been affected by rapid urbanization which, coupled with a lack of planned urban development, has led to a series of social and environmental problems. The district had no social amenities, inadequate social, educational, leisure and welfare facilities, and the absence of accessible green open space. Moreover, economic conditions became difficult. The decline in manufacturing employment in Western Athens led to high unemployment to the region, with a large proportion of the population on a low income. The area is filled with immigrants who transferred in the 1950s and 1960s.
Graham et.al., (2000) argued that heritage exists simultaneously as an economic commodity. The economic functions of heritage have generally been presented as secondary and barely tolerated uses of monuments, sites and places, which have ...
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This statement rings especially true of British society, which, by common consent, is a complicated affair, with many loose ends and bits that don’t fit and couldn’t be taken in a single grand theory, although some ideologies have repeatedly tried to (Obelkevich and Catterall, 1994).
The psychical and cultural landscape of the country is quite fascinating and it is a wonder to consider how the country has thrived under harsh desert conditions that make it difficult to sustain any noticeable plans for agriculture or to gain adequate and safe access to drinking water.
Its landscape is dramatic as it is famous for its outback, the secluded lands of the interior (Duncan, Nuala, and Richard 78). For example, the desert outback’s covers the largest part of the interior, and stands out as too hot, barren and cannot support many people.
Works of religious art depict a different spatial sense – a three-dimensional concept where the heavens above and the underworlds in the depths were at least as important as the simple realities of the topography. Tuan (1978) describes the landscape as a ‘diaphor’ as it combines at least two meanings of ‘landscape’ viz. ‘domain’ and ‘scenery’.
As cities compete with one another for inward investment and struggle to deal with problems of social and economic disruption, increasingly cultural policy, including policy for sport, is developed to address the twin aims of economic development and social inclusion.
Despite public bodies being in possession of large chunks of land, they nevertheless lacked the necessary capital and will to aid in its redevelopment (Church 1988).
As such, the private sector was only in possession of limited land, leading to a market insensitive land control.
The concept of 'landscape' alternates between definitions of aesthetic and scientific values within heritage protection, and an understanding that draws intangible associations such as identity, social history and a sense of place, thus providing an important focus for local communities (Stewart, 1996).
In an attempt to facilitate this involvement, it is prudent that a Local Development Scheme (LDS) be utilized as a means of establishing a point of reference for local communities and stakeholders. The LDS sets
In this regard, the Conservative government of Britain in the year 1981 founded special urban development corporations, which was known as ‘London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC)’. 5
The LDDC policies advocated
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