Eleonas is the key to the future of Athens. 850 hectares exactly in the middle of the city, it was the traditional olive-grove of ancient Athens, and continued to be so until the 20th century, when it became the city’s industrial zone. De-industrialization caused a last round of degradation to the area, which since the late 1980’s has been awaiting regeneration. Among other elements, the site contains the ancient Holy Way (Iera Odos), Plato’s Academy, a seasonal stream, numerous Byzantine and Post-Byzantine chapels, an Ottoman estate, interesting industrial architecture, agriculture and quaint neighbourhoods.
The proposal aims to develop a framework so that the area will not be developed haphazardly and in the end destroyed. Research identifies that the area is characterized by axes of great interest and pressure for development, and a chaotic hinterland. It is proposed that the interior form a new urban reality, developed along landscape corridors and public spaces, while the axes serve as connectors to the rest of the city. Landscape is viewed as the key resource in providing a high quality of life in a city which uses open space for roads and parking areas. A realistic plan for this transformation is proposed by developing the landscape infrastructure along «areas of least resistance», parcels either already belonging to the state or easy to acquire. A series of public spaces is proposed, the most important of which are located at the intersection of the two systems: the interior landscape network and the metropolitan boulevard network.
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