Mondrian in Athens

Playful art bringing color back into a vacant corner

How to revive dormant plots of the city to create useable vibrant spaces

Tucked away on Akakiou Street near Vathis square in central Athens was a small park neglected by the municipality and vandalised, with broken benches, scattered trash and parched trees. Once brought to the attention of Team Green of Atenistas, they decided to take matters into their own hands; the initiative was to fix the benches, redesign the plants and install playground equipment to revive the forgotten space.

Team Creativa took responsibility of painting the sounding walls with primary colors inspired the Dutch painter, Mondrian. Within hours the park was almost unrecognizably transformed with the help of the neighborhood residents and children. It has become an oasis for citizens instead of an eye sore and an instance of place making, creating a sense of belonging.

The city officials will (hopefully) continue to maintain the park from in on out without requiring further citizen intervention. However, such actions bring into question the responsibility of the local government and its delivery of services. By taking matters into the hands of their own, citizens bring light to the gaps of municipal services and put pressure on the authorities to fulfill their attributed duties. Citizen interventions address the continuation of such traditional municipal services by realizing the roles of the public sector is in transition.

See more in Greek here.

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