In the emblematic area of Lipasmata (Fertilizers), which the local Municipality succeeded to redevelop after years of reclaiming, our project creates a prototype for civic participation where the community, with the support of the local authorities, co-creates & takes active part in the development of cultural projects. Cultural grassroots initiatives & Municipality, together, create a cultural program & raise awareness around the concept of public space & the historic identity of the area.
Lipasmata (Fertilizers) park, former industrial area of Drapetsona, southwest Attica, Greece
Lipasmata (Fertilizers) is the former industrial area of Piraeus port, located in the small historic working class town of Drapetsona. The area faces many sociocultural challenges and deals with constant environmental issues. The large-scale bare fields left from the deindustrialization created a complex network of ‘gray zones’ between public and private interests.
In 2017, the Municipality succeeded in reclaiming a part of the area and for the first time since the 40’s redeveloped the space into a public park with access to the seaside. The project aspires to strengthen the sociocultural nexus around the park, in order to engage citizens’ participation and influence local administration processes in open decision-making.
Lipasmata park offers a variety of activities with the most notable being the annual -no entry fee- music festival “Festival by the sea” (Jun-Sep) that signifies the vision of the local municipality to repurpose & establish the area as a public space. While the festival hosts more than 15000 people, locals are not involved in its content creation or development.
Our idea aims to transform the local community from spectators to spect-actors by engaging them to contribute to the establishment of the public space’s (future) identity. We will prototype an open consultation for creative & cultural groups of the area in order to design, develop & produce together a site-specific cultural community program, parallel to the festival, with activities in the thematic of the Lipasmata area’s history
We are focusing on cultural organizations, artistic and creative groups of the area who will be interested to participate and contribute to the development of the parallel cultural program along with entities from the private sector who will be interested to further support the process in the future.
We want to work along with the local authorities in order to develop this prototype process that can be used as a methodology blueprint in the future to open the space for more co-creation and decision-making around the area of Lipasmata park, beyond the cultural sphere. This target includes people working in municipal departments that will advocate internally for the further development and incorporation of the idea.
P1: Internal process structure & framework (in cooperation with Municipality) | What kind of cultural activities could be implemented? Which will be the thematic areas the activities should address? How could the municipality support them? etc.
P2: Invite local cultural initiatives to a series of participatory workshops, to share their cultural ideas, co-create the content and program of the parallel site-specific thematic mini festival.
P3: Support selected initiatives till the festival in the following 3 directions:
a. Interaction with the local authorities and social impact
b. concept development, curation and production
c. accessibility and inclusiveness
P4: Evaluation & support municipality to incorporate the prototype
P5: Project assessment
We aim to create a sustainable structure where people from the local community will be invited and will be asked to take the responsibility for the co-creation and production of a site-specific thematic mini festival. Our vision is that the municipality will be the facilitator of the overall process and responsible for the continuity of this structure within the years.
For our team, success is measured in the overall engagement. How the “seeds” that will be “planted” to all stakeholders involved will open the space and the discussion around each one's responsibility to become a spect-actor and not remain a spectator in the future identity of Lipasmata area.
The case of the former industrial area of Lipasma, the collective reclaiming of the right to public space, as well as the right to preserve the historical identity of an area and its people, exceeds the local sphere of the project.
The local narration, in our case, which lands on the persistent participation of the local community for almost 80 years, gives us the opportunity to claim a different narrative for the future and relates to other grey zone areas in european level. Taking as a prototype the case of Drapetsona we explore, map and record specific tools and practices in order to co-create, along with all the stakeholders involved, a guide for any community who is interested in integrating collective sustainable practices.
In the 50’s it was our grandparents who were workers at the local factories, fighting for a better quality of life for them and their children. In the 80’s and 90’s it was our parents who suffered from pollution and its effects on the health of their loved ones.
Now it feels like it’s our generation’s turn to voice the needs and the potential of a space that was demolished without a clear plan or strategy for the future and its potential impact on the local community.
Although the area still deals with serious environmental issues, creating a space of participation, co-creation and culture feels like a beginning of a narration change in the history of Lipasmata.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Project Management: 4.320 Euro
Services: 17.638 Euro
Production: 16.812 Euro
Communication: 6.716 Euro
Evaluation: 4.416 Euro
We would like to receive your feedback but also inspiration on our process, ideas on municipal community festivals, participatory co-creation of cultural content and any other idea that comes to mind hearing about Lipasmata!