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School of Architecture for All, Maria Theodorou, Athens

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[The Resourceful Architect] A network of associates rethinking the relationship between architecture and economics by viewing the city as a pool of resources requiring administration

The test bed for our proposals is Gerani, in Athens, an area covering 11 hectares with 243 buildings combining illegal retail stock, immigrant dormitories, roof-slums, drug addicts and homeless citizens.

It’s a two-stage process. Stage one is a mapping process, reappraising the built envinronment as a grid of public buildings within a grid of built and unbuilt plots.

We want to encourage a different economy for Gerani, one that relates and adds to the existing human, physical and natural city resources, by mixing ethnicities and activities across the area’s present three-layered townscape.

Layer 1, the upper floors and rooftops of Gerani, will accommodate housing and allotments. Layer 2, the area’s middle floors, will serve as an innovation hub for small-scale manufacturing that includes education, training, production and service facilities. Layer 3, the ground floor, becomes the site of welcome and help desks, marketplaces and Gerani’s street life.

Following a public presentation in Athens we are awaiting a response from the Hellenic Ministry for the Environment, Energy & Climate Change, who part-fund the project. However we are also seeking other partners to begin implementing the project and further develop our skill set to confront similar city conditions in other countries.

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