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  • The architecture of distributed social care: the case of Athens

Sakellariou, Angeliki, 2019, Thesis, The architecture of distributed social care: the case of Athens MPhil thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

The financial crisis that emerged during 2008 in Greece resulted in funding cuts to social services that contributed towards various forms of social care being forced to close or to relocate. In some
cases, social care provision became mobile, offering skeleton services across streets and public spaces of Athens. This thesis examines the architectural characteristics of these distributed social
care services and identifies the nature of supportive infrastructure and the need for it to become embedded within public space.
The thesis begins with an examination of the political, economic, and social drivers for the relocation and redistribution of social care including an identification and appraisal of key theorists in this field.
Collectively, they have emphasised on the specificities of social care in Greece, the struggles of public healthcare to cope with funding cuts forced by austerity policies, the range of informal
solutions that emerged and the implications of these events for public spaces of Athens. For the purpose of this study, emphasis is also given on theories concerned with the production of space
and with informal activity in the urban environment. The literature further identifies the correlation between the rising number of hospital closures at the early stages of the crisis and the effects on
social care provision. Moreover, it also evidences the extent to which cuts in public funding have contributed to the decline of social care and the rise of distributed street based social care.
Subsequently, in order to understand the nature of the contextual issues, the study examines different types of Athenian urban space where the distributed social care provision is situated.
Primary evidence collected during field work followed four distributed social care case studies, and identified that the re-distributed social care services fall into three spatial categories; (1) citizen-led (2) municipally funded and (3) private initiatives. The study identifies the architecture of distributed social care provision in terms of their materiality, structure, and equipment. It also considers the sites where social care is situated across Athens, and the extent to which these facilities rely upon and leverage public space, where there are shortfalls in practical resources, and the ways in which public space could be adapted or re-designed to better support distributed social care.
With the realisation that ten years into the crisis the redistribution of social care into public space remains prevalent, the study evaluates the impact of the transition from perceiving public space as a
social space to a public space where social care can also become intrinsic. As part of this evaluation the theme of whether the two could be mutually supported through thoughtful re-design within
today’s public spaces in Athens is considered.

Qualification Name: MPhil
Subjects: Architecture > K100 Architecture > K190 Architecture not elsewhere classified
School or Centre: School of Architecture
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2019 17:01
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2019 17:01
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/3845

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