Innovative solutions for the urban upgrade of the Greek capital topped the agenda of talks between Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis and Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science, Minouche Shafik.
The two parties signed a memorandum of cooperation in Athens, for 18-month guidance and technical direction led by LSE Urban Studies and Cities Program Director Ricky Burdett.
Under the agreement, LSE will be providing knowhow and direction for the design and implementation of a 264 million-euro urban redevelopment and building upgrade program which will focus on public space, accessibility and walkability, increasing green space, and effective management of homelessness.
LSE experts will also be collecting and assessing Athens municipality data in order to provide a strategic plan based on the city’s needs.
Joint working groups consisting of city technical staff, LSE technical consultants and the National Technical University of Athens experts will oversee the implementation of the program ensuring time schedules are met and all available national and EU resources are tapped into.
Findings and progress will be presented periodically during special events co-organized by the Athens municipality and LSE’s Hellenic Observatory with the participation of experts in urban design, planning and redevelopment, and local government.
“This is one more collaboration with a leading scientific body to realize a project that respects the city of the past and prepares it for tomorrow. Perseverance, creativity, and knowledge are required to change Athens,” said Bakoyannis.