Excursion to Athens 2018

Foto: The habour in Athen. Foto: The habour in Athen. Foto: The habour in Athen.

At the end of September – from the 23.09 until 28.09.2018 – a group of 15 students from the Faculty of Architecture and Landscape Sciences at the Leibniz University of Hanover took part in an excursion to Athens, Greece. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) supported the organization of the field trip as one of the main components of the research project 'HeKris: Resilience as Challenge in European cities', which is based on a cooperation of the Leibniz University of Hanover (Faculty of Architecture and Landscape Sciences) and the National Technical University of Athens (School of Architecture). The excursion was supervised by the Prof. Dr. Rainer Danielzyk and Filip Śnieg (LUH), as well as Prof. Konstantinos Serraos (NTUA).

While preparing for the excursion, the participants had to research given topics that were strictly related to development, resilience and planning issues of the Athens Agglomeration. The outcomes, in the form of presentations, were presented during the whole excursion time.

On the first day of the excursion, the students had an opportunity to visit the Ministry of the Environment and Energy, where they could get to know more and discuss the planning system in Greece and its contemporary issues, as well as different planning instruments for promoting public and private investments. The presentations were held by the director of the Urban Planning Department – Theodosios Psyhogios – and his colleagues. Afterwards, the group took part in a tour around the historical parts of Athens. The trip was guided by the Prof. Dr. Riva Lava (NTUA), who introduced all participants in detail to the ancient history of the development of the city and the latest development projects that were undertaken within the visited area.

Foto: Students at the City Tour. Foto: Students at the City Tour. Foto: Students at the City Tour.
City Tour. (Foto: Anna-Lena Brede)
Foto: View at the Falirou-Bucht from SNFCC. Foto: View at the Falirou-Bucht from SNFCC. Foto: View at the Falirou-Bucht from SNFCC.
View at the Falirou-Bucht from SNFCC. (Foto: Filip Śnieg)

On Tuesday, the second day of the excursion, the day started with a visit to the Athens Olympic Complex, where most of the competitions during the 2004 Olympic Games took place. The students could learn about the development processes of the complex. Moreover, the group was allowed to enter the main facilities, such as the Central Olympic Stadium or The Olympic Swimming Pool, which was followed by the discussion on the current use, as the area around the complex seemed to be deserted. In the afternoon, the participants were able to visit the "Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center" (SNFCC), where the Greek National Library and the National Opera House is located. Additionally, on the roof of the SNFCC, a big park is located and creates a green rooftop with solar panels, which does offer not only the use of green energy but also a great viewpoint on the surroundings.

On the third day, the students had an opportunity to listen to some exciting lectures that were presented at the NTUA by Prof. Thanos Pagonis and Miltiadis Lazoglou. The topics ''Resilience and Development of the City of Athens'' and ''For the Greece we love and want to save – past and present projects ...'' subsequently contributed to a fascinating discussion.

The penultimate day of the excursion – Thursday – started in Piraeus, a city located southern from Athens. The group visited the port of Piraeus with Prof. Dr. Nikolaos Belavilas (NTUA) and his colleagues. The participants had a very good opportunity to get to know the history and significance of the seaport of Piraeus in Europe.

The excursion ended on Friday, which is why only a few theoretical keynotes took place at the NTUA. The presentations by Dr. Penny Koutrolikou and Prof. Yannis Psycharis on "The History and Social Challenges of the Crisis in Athens" and "Crisis-related Regional Inequalities in Greece" have successfully completed the field trip.

In the coming year, further excursions will take place to raise awareness on resilience and to deepen the exchange of knowledge between the participants.