Shared space is a canvas of multiple narrations. It is social in the sense that is defined by people’s relationships, physical as the terrain of everyday life and digital as a substantial part of contemporary interaction. We aim to collectively reveal places -physical, social & digital- where people shall coexist. These places will be open and accessible to all and the main goal is to set the ground for the creation of community networks and tools for empowering community demands on shared space
Acharnes, Attiki, Greece
The project will take place in the municipality of Acharnes, situated on the peri-urban Attica. It is a sprawled area characterized by the diversity of its composition. This diversity lies on the different social and ethnic groups that reside in the area, creating different social spheres and relations many of which can become contradictory or produce incoherent and discontinuous spaces. These daily relationships coexist with different spatial scales, land-uses and activities from social housing to industry and agriculture. The challenges faced by this region are intensified by the lack of sufficient open spaces, capable of hosting even the most necessary everyday activities, especially in the post-covid era, when the need for these spaces is all the more evident.
Strategic urban planning does not always come in accordance with community's needs and not every spatial decision is followed by a public consultation, a fact that puts aside vital democratic procedures. Although public space is not always used in the way that it has been designed for, users find their own way of re-appropriating its substance. By proposing an alternative way of observing and recognizing shared space by its users, the main claim of this project is to empower the local community to develop tools of re-defining what public space is for them. In this way, the local social network shall form their specific spatial demands according to their needs and claim their right to the way that shared space is produced. According to our beliefs, RE-claiming is a major act of democracy.
Acharnes is an area with a high-density population (approximately 150.000 inhabitants according to the local administration), where different social, ethnic and cultural groups reside. We believe that open spaces, when creatively combined with everyday practices, can provide powerful dynamics to enhance the expression of diversity. Our main goal is to set the ground for the creation of new networks based on hybrid-shared places, aiming to address both individuals related to the area (employees, residents and visitors) and local groups (civil society organisations, local associations and collectives). We set out to involve different social groups through processes of collective readings and re-claimings of the shared space.
-Local Network Campaign
-shaREd online platform (agenda, web-mapping, repository)
-2 pilot community meetings-p.c.m (workshops): Quantitative/qualitative readings of shared space
-2 p.c.m (workshops): Personal narratives on shared space resulting in community-drawn walking routes
-2 p.c.m (embodied trip): Community walks and maps the qualities of shared space
-2 p.c.m. (workshops): Community adds the mapped qualities in the platform
-3 p.c.m (workshops): Community explores the past p.c.m. experiences to specify their shared space demands
-3 p.c.m (workshops): Reclaiming Campaign (media, political engagement)
-3 reclaiming events: Demanding the community-specified shared public space (DIY parklets, play streets)
The project is expected to bring about considerable impacts to the local community. For instance, it will increase the interactions between the community members (stakeholders and individuals) and it will also enhance social inclusion, thus strengthening the people’s right to the city. In this augmented urban realm, public participation will be strongly encouraged. Besides, active communities are a key factor to local development. In terms of quantitative results, the project team will have organized fourteen (14) workshops regarding shared spaces (recognition and planning) at least three (3) reclaiming street events where people will attempt to implement shared space practices on the public space, a wide social network and a digital platform for discussing issues about shared space.
Democracy has multiple scales and levels. In order to ensure a truly representative and democratic future, Europe should strengthen local scale democracy, which is often neglected or undermined by central policies. In this context, the role of this initiative is critical, since it encourages interactions between people belonging to different social, ethnic and cultural groups in a multidimensional shared space. These interactions along with experience exchanges and direct communication, raise community awareness and public participation. These conditions shape a proper background for the development of active citizens, who will be ready to understand the crucial value of cooperation, at first in a local and then at a European level.
The project team focuses mainly on issues regarding the use of public space, the key actors encountered there and their preferences, the activities taking place as well as the mobility conditions (walking, cycling, etc.). An interesting urban feature encompassing all the aforementioned issues is shared space. Therefore, the project idea stems directly from the interests of the project team. For this reason, the implementation of the proposed idea is strongly connected with the mission of the project team and will be used as a stimulus for future initiatives. Furthermore, the project team considers that public participation and raising awareness in urban analysis and planning schemes is one notable tool for bringing prosperity to the urban environment.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
1. Project management and coordination: 9400 EUR
2. Workshops: 9660 EUR
3. Dissemination (Community outreach-marketing): 5000 EUR
4. Personnel costs: 12000 EUR
5. Founding and permiss expenses, network meetings: 3000 EUR
6. Digital platform and website: 6000 EUR
7. Final reclaiming event: 4500 EUR
We would like to receive feedback and suggestions about our proposal or any advice on how to make our project more effective. Any idea and opinion is welcome! We are willing to answer any questions you may have about the project.