City at a Time of Crisis

 

 

Tracing and researching crisis-ridden urban public spaces

in Athens, Greece.

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The various urban (re)development projects such as mega-infrastructures, shopping malls, transport networks etc. built during the so-called golden period of the Greek construction sector (Tarpagos 2010) namely during 1990s-2000s, led to a transformation in real estate prices around Athens. But it was not only the exchange values of real estate that changed, the symbolic values attributed to parts of the cityscape also changed. The new social perceptions of the new, renewed and old Athenian materialities were linked with a proportion of the city center falling into “material decay”. Simultaneously, marginalized social groups—such as undocumented refugees—started to replace the better-off classes as the latter moved out of some central Athenian neighbourhoods (Maloutas 2007, 2004; Kandylis, Maloutas, and Sayas 2012; Arapoglou and Sayas 2009). Yet, this is not a clear-cut and rapid process of socio-spatial segregation, since Athens socio-spatially is porous (see, e.g., Stavrides 2007; Maloutas 2007; Leontidou 2012), but still it was/is a very explicit process.

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City at the Time of Crisis is a research project tracing and researching the effects of the ongoing financial crisis on urban public spaces in Athens, Greece. Read more...