The urban reality has radically changed over the last years and urban centers undergo an extensive shrinking of their population. While the concept of development prevails in modern societies, the shrinkage is considered as an accident, an exception. However, this trend does not seem to be a temporary feature of the cities and the culture of shrinkage is going to be developed. The main effect is the creation of a stock of vacant buildings in every shrinking city, thus is more than clear that the future of design thinking is the response to something that already exists. We should dig, remove material, decompose, destroy. Whatever new is not made from scratch, but it needs to be found within the existing mass. While destruction is by definition the opposite of creation, it still is a part of the urbanity that is full of vacancy, and as such is to be found in other scientific and artistic fields.
Athens is in decline and this can be demonstrated through its historical evolution, through phases of development and shrinkage. A decline that leads to the creation of vacant building stock which is impossible to be captured in a classic map, as it is dispersed into the urban whole. It is now clear that in order to understand the modern city we need to find the one tool that scans the city in all its dimensions, and shows its scan, its stratigraphy. The urban planning maps should be able to capture this depth, since the city is not a 2D display, but a 3D structure. Accordingly, the thoughts on the management of this new urban territory should be focused on this key feature of the city. In this research, the thoughts mentioned above are summarized in diagrammatic proposals of intervention, which have in common the perception of the city’s depth and the microsurgical management of these vacuum pockets.