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 An ongoing research-proposal on co-housing and collective ownership models for reclaiming affordable  habitat quality in Athens

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#CoHabAthens

A practice-led research currently in progress has, through case studies in the neighborhoods of the center of Athens and using physical and online tools of participation, come up with the idea of a ‘common land bank’ as a stock for the future habitation & remediation of the urban quality of life in Athens.

 The research investigates the possibilities of transition to a different model of ownership and the terms on which this scenario could be achieved, as an urban defense amid the changes in ownership and the redistribution of land which are taking place as a result of the financial crisis the last six years.

A system of redistribution in the direction of collective ownership is being explored in terms of legal framework, theory, design and community building.

In collaboration with groups and initiatives across Europe,  existing paradigms of co-housing, collective ownership and de-commodification of urban space are brought together in order to build upon them a  realistic adaptation and implementation scenario for Athens.

Realities

Insecurity of housing, high taxation and rise of housing maintenance costs
Shift from small ownership to big ownership
Poor urban quality in the center of Athens and extended degradation
Big percentage of inactive empty properties; apartments which cannot be used, sold, or rented
Ageing, poor quality building stock with a lifetime limit and big costs of renovation
Loss of the city’s productive base; unemployment and poverty
Lack of social welfare, funding and state support

Questions

What to do with all these empty buildings?
How to reverse the degradation of the center ensuring the social inclusion of those in need; How to deal with the former middle class that now moves below the poverty line;
How to address the new housing needs through citizens synergies beyond State intervention

Tools & Methods

Community Land Bank, Construction workers’ co-operatives, Co-app Platform, In-crisis Financial Alternatives, Architectural Interventions, Participatory Mapping, Time-sharing, Antiparochi revisited, Polykatoikia,  Alternative Law Framework, Legal Innovation, Administration protocols, General Assembly, Social Engineering

 Values

Non-profit Ownership, Politics of Habitat, Social Inclusion, Public Realm, Glocal Networks, Domestic Realities, Collective Ownership, Self-organization, Autonomy, Ecological Housing, Housing as a Right,  Re-localisation of Economy

 

 

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