Arch.Uth Postgraduate Course Postgraduate Course Postgraduate Course Postgraduate Course Arch.Uth Ελληνικά
Lecture by Evangelia Chatzikonstantinou: Modernization, road network and the city

Modernization, road network and the city. The paradigm of Syngrou Avenue in Athens at the turn of the 19th century.
Evangelia Chatzikonstantinou

27/3/2023, 14:00, room Γ

Syngrou Avenue, the emblematic road that connected Athens with the coastline, opened to the public in November 1904. Its plan was a product of a long negotiation between Greek and foreign engineers, public authorities, and private landowners; its construction was interrelated with the introduction of modern ideas about infrastructure and urban planning; and its ground became a field of socio-technical experimentation and a contested space between different land uses and users. Based on the analysis of the paradigm of Syngrou and drawing mainly on archival material and recent theoretical approaches regarding infrastructure planning and construction the presentation follows the shifts, the tensions and the conflicts that were connected with the production of modern space in Greece at the turn of the 19th century and during the Interwar period. The narration begins at the 19th century, a period when the modern ideal of networked infrastructure was constructed, and it ends at the Interwar period, when the discussion about technical modernization acquired in Greece concrete characteristics. In this context it analyses how the idea of modernization was perceived and appropriated in Greece and the ways it was interwoven with the notions of progress and development and with the expectations of emancipation of broader social groups.

Evangelia Chatzikonstantinou is an architect with an MSc in Urban and Regional Planning and a PhD in Urban History. Her research focuses on urban history, critical geography, and environmental planning. Her dissertation explores the socio-spatial and socio-technical dynamics that made roads a critical symbol of Greek modernization. She has taught urban history, planning and sustainability at the “Plato Academy” program of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the College Year in Athens, and NTUA, and has contributed to multiple research projects at the Urban Environment Laboratory NTUA. She has published several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and a book entitled, "Geographies of Energy Poverty in Athens in the Context of the Crisis"(Angelus Novus), in collaboration with Fereniki Vatavali.