Δήμος Ελληνικού-Αργυρούπολης
The site of Hellinikon in Athens: development for whom?

The plans of the Greek government for the site of Hellinikon in Athens, currently promoted as the most valuable real estate asset in Europe, aim at privatizing the area, creating a new luxurious city, and bringing extraordinary profits to investors, while they demonstrate no concern for the needs of the residents of the Athens. Specifically, the government provisions for the 620-Ha site of the former airport of Hellinikon and the waterfront of Aghios Kosmas include:

  • 3,700,000m2 of new construction.
  • Demolition of more than 360,000m2 of buildings in the site, which are either currently used or can be reused in the future.
  • A wide range of land uses (hotels, golf courses, shopping malls, marinas, theme parks, casinos, offices, as well as thousands of luxurious residences).
  • Construction of expansions and artificial islands off the coast, as well as blockade of the free access to the coast.
  • Construction of large-scale infrastructure projects, such as urban highways and electrical power stations.
  • Eviction of a large number of administrative, research, transport, sport, cultural and social welfare organizations and institutions, currently located in facilities within the site.

These plans employ the arguments that privatizing and developing the site of Hellinikon “will bring money to the country,” “will contribute to economic development,” and “will create thousands of new jobs.” However, the fact is that the area is up for sale for an unacceptably low price by any measure, any resulting privatization proceeds will be used to pay just a few monthly instalments of the Greek state debt, while the Greek state will cover the huge cost of the construction of urban highways and utilities infrastructure well beyond the area, as well as the high costs of relocating the existing uses, both of which are preconditions for the real-estate development of the site.

Local government, professional, academic and scientific bodies, political formations and local urban movements are against any privatization and fire sale of the site of Hellinikon. They demand the creation of a public metropolitan park, a green park with low intensity recreational, cultural, research and other necessary social uses, which focuses on the social needs of the residents of Attica Region and the protection of environment. The creation of the park is extremely important for the residents of Athens, a metropolis with extremely few public spaces and with the lowest rates of green spaces in Europe (2,5m2 per capita). Further, it is a low-cost proposal which could be partly financed by the revenues of the park.

More resources in English:

 

- “Basic planning & design principles for the creation of the Metropolitan Green Park at the former Hellinikon International Airport of AthensSummary of research findings and key proposal points

Urban Environment Laboratory, NTUA, January 2011

 

- Polina Prentou, “Creating a metropolitan park at the former Hellinikon airport” (paper)

Association of European Schools of Planning 26th annual congress, July 11-15, 2012, AnkaraTurkey

 

- The self-managed farm of Hellinikon (English - Greek)

 

- Konstantina Soureli,"Privatizing European coasts by design? A fact-based counterproposal through the case of the former Hellinikon International Airport of Athens" (lecture overview and presentation)

 31st European Architecture Students Assembly, August 3, 2011, CádizSpain

- Metropolitan Community Clinic at Hellinikon

- Symposium “Hellinikon: Development for whom?”, organizers: City of Alimos, City of Glyfada, City of Hellinikon – Argyroupoli, National Technical University of Athens, Technical Chamber of Greece, Committee for the Metropolitan Park of Hellinikon, 20th April 2013, Athens.

1. Brochure of the symposium

2. Opening speech by Christos Kortzidis, mayor of Hellinikon - Argyroupoli (Video and proceedings).

3. Key-speech by Dr. Nikos Belavilas, NTUA Urban Environment Laboratory (Video and proceedings).


 

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