Jan 2, 2011

Urban Constitution_Votanikos City

Hello and happy new year! It has been more than a week since our final presentation in Lausanne (the 22nd of December).
This is the presentation and the urban constitution of our team: Eva, Inês, Marta, Pierre, Sizhou.

Athens is at an important moment of its history and developing Votanikos could help change Athens for the best.
Votanikos is part of Eleonas, an historical area at less than 2 km of the Acropolis. Due to its situation between the river and the railroad, it is a gap in the middle of the urban fabric of Athens. Eleonas used to be a sacred olive grove until the 18th century, but from the 80’s it turned into a deprived industrial zone. Divided between 5 municipalities, Votanikos is nowadays a forgotten part of the city with contrasted aspects. On the one hand, it is unstructured, unwelcoming and degraded because of its lack of cohesion and infrastructures, on the other hand its former rural history and its neglected aspect generates high quality spaces. The botanical garden and the Agricultural University of Athens are two of these oasis lost in the industrial fabric. Furthermore some small plots of housing are developed as islands for community life. Votanikos has very few historical remains, nevertheless small churches are scattered around. Iera Odos, literally meaning “sacred road”, is the main road that connects the west highway with central Athens. It used to be a processional way from the antique cemetery of Kerameikos to Eleusis’ Temple.
The Urban Constitution for Votanikos proposes a framework for the future development that re-connects Votanikos with the city. The objective is to turn the neighborhood into a high quality environment of living while keeping its own identity.

The proposal is constituted of two intervention principles:
- an urban design area: “Step on stripes”
- areas only under the control of regulations: “Step by step”

Main objectives
- Take advantage of the existing
- Repeat and emphasize working schemes and behaviors
- Encourage the transformation of Votanikos by developing its infrastructures
- Increase the attractiveness

Step on stripes
- Take advantage of historical remains : Reveal Iera Odos by making it mainly pedestrian
- Revitalize and reveal the stream : Draw a new city-scale bank promenade through Eleonas
- Completion of the stadium : the stadium will stand next to New Iera Odos and the bank
promenade, integrated into the sport stripe
- Injection of a new program : Create a local polarity. Missing programs of Athens: Institu-
tions, museums, cultural centers, etc implanted along Iera Odos thus completing the existing

Step by step
- Keep the existing urban fabric. Create a network of new pedestrian-friendly roads by com-
pleting the existing network
- Improve public transport: new metro station on Iera Odos, bus lines redrawn in order to im-
prove accessibility
- Redefinition of public-private boundaries through building regulations: Public squares are
patios surrounded by private parcels (“Public patios”), integrated into the community life of
each plot
- Enhance use and maintenance of public spaces: Encourage appropriation of “public pa-
tios” by the communities. Public squares are accessible through servitudes
- Facilitate pedestrian circulation: unified paths (no sidewalks), green environment