Public Space and Local Democracy in Contemporary Athens

Semaine de la démocratie - Quinzaine de l'urbanisme

Urban public space as an object of analysis and a subject of action is often posited to be a core symbol of the collective will. Greek cities, beset by acute current problems but also shaped by long term historical processes, are vibrant democratic spaces where citizens deliberate the consequences of economic, political, social and environmental crises. Greek public space has been revived as a lively Agora, where critique expresses itself with vehemence, tinged with bitterness but also often with a novel creative collective pathos.


At this public workshop, urban planners from leading architecture schools presented recent innovative projects in the Athenian city centre, focusing on the twin issues of public spaces and public participation.

  • Local democracy and public participation - Prof. Shalini Randeria, Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy, The Graduate Institute
  • Reactivating Athens, 101 Ideas - Alfredo Brillembourg, ETH, Zurich
  • Désapprendre d'Athènes - Marc Armengaud and Steven Melemis, ENSAPM, Paris

Moderator: Panos Mantziaras, Director, Fondation Braillard, Geneva.