With economic difficulties effecting the political situation of Greece, Atenistas from Athens attempts to regain an overlooked vacant plot through small projects
Atenistas is an open community for Athens’ citizens passionate about their city. They believe Athens is not merely a ‘finished story’, but rather a vast space of innovative and effective initiatives showing the potential for improvement and progression. Atenistas offers a platform for creative participation to the thousands of citizens who want to do something for their city. They are an independent non-partisan organisation and see themselves as a vibrant beehive full of creativity targeted at the unique object that is Athens.
One example is the transformation and purification of a neglected plot of land into a pocket park. This frugal placemaking initiative was supported by the neighborhood’s residents and local businesses in the form of material donations (soil, gravel, plants, plant beds) to create ‘opportunity’ and improve daily life.
The beautification of the vacant plot is nothing spectacularly new, however when it is a group effort on behalf of the local population, the process becomes cathartic. It creates a renewed sense of community and pride by reassessing the answer to the question of ‘who owns the city?’ And when the political and economic atmosphere is tense, such collaborative actions are very much needed to bring people together to work towards improvement addressing larger issues.