• The Absence of Plan as a Project

Issaias, Platon, 2013, Book Section, The Absence of Plan as a Project In: Aureli, Pier Vittorio, (ed.) The City as a Project. Ruby Press, Berlin, pp. 292-331. ISBN 978-3-944074-06-1

Abstract or Description:

In less than two centuries, the city of Athens grew from an Ottoman town of 6,000 inhabitants to a dense metropolis of four million people whose overwhelming sprawl covered the landscape of the Attica Basin. This profound expansion was the result of several consecutive population influxes, as a series of disruptions – violent changes in the city’s social consistency, marked by crises, social conflicts, and increasing housing needs – that required immediate political responses. Beyond a mere historiographical documentation of their development, the evolution of these projects suggests a link between the political initiatives, institutional decisions, and social practices that formulate the Athenian and the Greek method of urbanization.

Since Athens’ initial stages of development as a modern city, the discourse on Athenian urban planning and architecture has been linked to a particular mode of economic development in which space and landownership are seen as the most fundamental and necessary assets of production. The Athenian housing market has been in constant flux for nearly 200 years due to a variety of factors – speculative or opportunistic, conscious or spontaneous, desperate, deliberate, urban or peripheral. This range of spatial and building practices has defined a method of city planning in which the state is content to provide only the basic platforms and regulatory framework, which, in the form of protocols and archetypes, have prescribed the environment for these flexible praxes to flourish.

This chapter investigates the genealogy of events and projects that exhibit the foundation and evolution of modern, urban Athens – a political project within a spatial apparatus that has been progressively based and developed on abstract planning norms and architectural systems. In this particular case study, the “plan” operates at its most fundamental configuration, and its essential qualities comprise a basic framework that governs both the needs of the short-term present and the unforeseen possibilities of special development.

Official URL: http://ruby-press.com/shop/the-city-as-a-project/
Subjects: Architecture > K100 Architecture > K110 Architectural Design Theory
School or Centre: School of Architecture
Funders: Berlage Institute - Postgraduate laboratory of architecture, Rotterdam, Department of Architecture, TU Delft
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2018 13:46
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2018 14:32
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/3580
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