Field trips

[download field trip and public events booklet]

Monday, August 31st

Field trips 1 _ Alternatives for urban development: the case of Peiraeus Port neighbourhoods

1a _ Municipality of Keratsini-Drapetsona : urban development of a historical refugee settlement. Detailed description [pdf]

The field trip will first visit the brownfield of the former fertilizer at the south-west end of Drapetsona now claimed by citizens and the local authority for recreational and social infrastructure for the city. It will then walk through the neighbourhood towards the City Hall -situated in the centre of the largest refugee housing complex – to discuss about the process of urbanisation of the area, its historical development and current situation.

1b _ The port of Piraeus: privatization, institutional changes, political and economic stakes and the local movement. Detailed description [pdf]

There will be a guided tour of the port authority premises. We will discuss with representatives from the adjacent municipalities and specifically with the municipal authority of Keratsini – Drapetsona and the civic movement “To Limani tis Agonias” about the future of the port, as well as alternative policies and proposals regarding its operation and planning. We will also come in contact with members of the Union of Permanent/Probationer Dockworkers of PPA, so that they get to inform us regarding the working conditions, the problems and the proposals of the Piraeus Port employees.

1c _ Municipality of Perama : life in a neighbourhood with more than 80% of unemployment – Detailed description [pdf]

The field trip will start from the Shipbuilding and Repair zone of the Port of Piraeus, the main economic activity (and employer) in the area, now in decay, to discuss with members of the workers unions, and members of the municipal council of the newly elected left-wing local government. We will then visit the social centre of the popular assembly of Perama to discuss about the efforts made to develop solidarity networks and social support  initiatives, as well as to fight rising xenophobic and fascist attitudes.  Finally we will visit the informally developed quarter of Ano (upper) Perama.

Tuesday, September 1st, morning

Field trips 2 _ City centre: competing imaginaries and everyday lives

2a_ Plans for the regeneration of the city centre – Detailed description [pdf]

In this fieldtrip we will visit central neighborhoods of Athens and discuss the urban policies promoted in the context of the crisis. Since the beginning of 2010, a number of committees were formed and numerous reports were published with analyses, evaluations and proposals for the problems the centre was facing. We could say that the centre of Athens became the stake and the terrain of regeneration projects, specific measures and plans that were focusing on interventions for improving the physical environment, tax incentives and policing.

2b_ Behind the image of the touristic, historic downtown: contested interests and multilayered city – Detailed description [pdf]

The fieldtrip will explore the downtown part of Athens, also known as its “historic center” (a concept grounded in the “archaeological discourse”) and consequently its touristic center. This area is also one of the most important commercial and leisure parts of the city while at the same time retaining residential areas and cites.

2c_ Facets of an escalating housing crisis in the centre of Athens: housing struggles and policies – Detailed description [pdf]

The field trip will first visit a Day centre for homeless to discuss with social workers about the changing profile of users, the growing demand and the difficulties faced, as well as potentials and shortcomings for the development of a coherent strategy to cope with rising homelessness and housing deprivation. We will then walk in the centre of Athens and discuss about practices and policies to dwell the empty and abandoned housing stock of the city centre. Finally, we will meet with members of the Stop Auctions platform to discuss about the problem of over-indebtedness of households, social mobilisations and related policies.

2d _ Antifacist initiatives in inner-city neighbourhoods

This fieldtrip will discuss about the anti-fascist struggles in neighbourhoods of Athens. It will focus on the neighbourhoods of Victoria square, Attikis square and Ag. Paneleimonas square, where we will meet and discuss with people involved in anti-fascist actions.

Tuesday, September 1st, afternoon

Field trips 3 _ Social solidarity initiatives 

3a _ Social solidarity initiatives at Vyronas neighbourhood

As a response to the repercussions of the crisis, but also as an effort for different politics, the social-cultural centre of Vyronas “Lambidona” was established in 2011. This centre will be focus of this field trip. There we will meet with people involved in this initiative and will discuss how such initiatives and solidarity networks emerge and evolve, what are the opportunities but also the limitations of such initiatives and where do they see themselves in the future. 

3b_ Social solidarity initiatives at Kypseli neighbourhood – Detailed description [pdf]

During the fieldtrip in Kypseli, we will refer to the historic processes of urban development and social transformations of the neighborhood, and discuss about the multiple effects of the current multi-faceted crisis, the difficulties of social cohesion and the “challenge” of multi-ethnic coexistence. We will also meet and discuss with people involved in local initiatives emerging from below.

3c_ Refugee crisis in Greece : solidarity and policies

The field trip will discuss the impacts and responses to the what is recorded as the biggest refugee crisis in the last decades in the Mediterranean in the city of Athens. It will focus on a recent incident of a self-organised solidarity network that emerged to respond to the needs of refugees settled in downtown Pedio Areos park, as well as the rapid creation by the state of an open accommodation structure in Elaionas very near the centre.

3d_ The occupied refugee housing complex at Alexandras avenue

The field trip will focus on the history and current reality of a housing complex built in 1935 as part of the state programme to provide shelter to Minor-Asia regugee population, today partly being transferred to the HRADF for privatisation and/or redevelopment while occupied by a diversified population which struggles to survive. 

Wednesday, September 2nd, morning

Field trips 4_ What alternatives to neoliberal privatisations and big investments?

4a _ The former international  airport  of Hellinikon: the process of privatization and the struggle for a Metropolitan Park – Detailed description [pdf]

We will discuss the privatization process and the possible alternatives with members of the ‘Struggle Committee for the Metropolitan Park of Hellinikon’ and members of the board of the local government. We will also discuss with members of the ‘Metropolitan Community Clinic of Hellinikon’ and the ‘Self-managed urban garden of Hellinikon’, a grassroots initiative of urban farming. While driving along the waterfront of Athens to Hellinikon, we will discuss about the conflicts and challenges regarding the management and development of the waterfront of Athens.

4b_ Solid waste management – Detailed description [pdf]

Apart from a tour through the industrial zone of the plain of Thriassio, we will visit a municipal plant of Municipality of Elefsina where a project for local treatment of part of city’s solid waste is running, though enough satisfactorily. We will meet representatives of the relevant office of the Municipality of Elefsina. The fieldtrip will close with a discussion in a hall in Elefsina, in order to make an overall assessment of fieldtrip and answer questions. Members of the citizens’ initiatives PROSYNAT and ECOELEFSIS that accompany the group will provide information.

4c_ Olympic assets 10 years after – Detailed description [pdf]

The field trip will visit the area surrounding the main Athens Olympic Sports center to discuss about the series of transformations it has undergone along the years as a number of projects and planning initiatives have developed around it. The gradual redevelopment of the area into a ‘developers utopia’ has had import impacts on the local economy, land and housing values and the socio-professional composition of residents.

4d_ Local conflicts and challenges over a football stadium development plan –  Detailed description [pdf]

The field trip will mainly focus on conflicts that have emerged regarding the plans to rebuild the football stadium of the historical local football team AEK in the Municipality of Philadelphia-Chalikidona. During the field trip we will meet with members of the municipal council and citizens groups to discuss the challenges and dilemmas arising due to this project in the area, but also about other important stakes for local urban politics.