This is an exciting project of finding the heart of Athens from the concrete jungle.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The very existence of Navarinou Park

It is hard to miss the self-organized park in Exarchia even legally speaking it does not exist and you cannot find it from a map. It is a part of the idea to take life back into your own hands, make the urban environment blooming and, at the same time, make some dreams come true.

Jan Copyright 2012
Like everything in Athens, this park has also its own little history. The area was the location of a clinic called Geroulaneion Institute until 1972 when it was bought by the Technical Chamber of Greece. They demolished the old building but never build a new one and the plot was used as a parking lot with a lease for 15 years - until it was about to expire.

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Residents of Exarchia feared that it would be used as a office building space again and in one day, March 2009, over 1 000 people gathered together and in just 12 hours all of the cement was gone and there it was! A real park with trees, flowers, benches, playground for children and a small place for open air theater.

Jan Copyright 2012
The park is really nice even it´s, well in fact, illegal and protected by residents from the local government and the police to take any actions to close the park down. Nevertheless, it is an good example of how Athenians can combat some negativity surrounding the city and turn it something beautiful and useful.
 
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The park is a hot spot for a lot of events like free open air movies, communal cooking, music, art, children’s events and of course maintenance of the park.

Jan Copyright 2012
Jan Copyright 2012

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