OKRA receives award in design competition for urban regeneration of Athens’s city centre

OKRA received the ‘first honorable mention’ for a vision in which the city centre of Athens is regenerated into an inclusive environment for children in particular, and therefore for all citizens. The design ideas competition was organised by the Hellenic Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks in collaboration with Athens Anaplasis SA.

Athens, as a metropolis, suffers from vehicular dominance, air pollution, ageing infrastructure, high vacancy rates and a lack of vital green and active public spaces. These issues have led to the creation of an inhospitable environment for living, dominated by work and trade functions. In OKRA’s vision, Athens’s city centre becomes a lively destination through the transformation of its public space into an accessible, green and vibrant place, where children feel safe to play and citizens are free to walk and interact which each other.  

The proposal develops strategies for the regeneration of the historical city centre in three layers: 1) upgraded pedestrian mobility with the creation of new car-free ’micro-neighbourhoods‘, 2) enhanced green network to improve the local microclimate, and 3) public life activation with the development of three internal backbones facilitating social interaction.

Urban regeneration prototypes
These strategies were applied in three targeted areas in the centre of Athens which can be developed as urban regeneration prototypes and enhance spatial and social porosity within the city centre. OKRA’s vision provides the tools for enhancing liveability and the social capital of the city. Apart from the transformation of the built environment, a key element of our strategy is the integration of models of participatory planning, implementation and management for the three detailed areas, which can contribute to the long-term success of the city’s new image.

For this design competition OKRA collaborated with NAMA Consulting Engineers & Planners S.A., Vivian Doumpa, Evripidis Bantis, Efthalia Vouta, STIPO, and Anastasios Rigopoulos.