Assistanship in the workshop by: Phyllio Katsavounidou, Nikos Platsas, doctoral candidates of the Department of Architecture, U.Th.
As the living standards of the inhabitants of cities ameliorate, they tend to escape en masse from the urban web, and to urgently privatize their way of life, by distancing themselves from the public arena and social interaction. When private residences are constructed in the countryside surrounding a city, free country space is consumed, the environment is harmed and urban public space is abandoned. As a result of this massive phenomenon, with the desertion of public space, we come to a point where we have neither cities nor countryside, just an extended diffusion and dispersion of private residences creating a geographic building slab on a universal scale, which will be obstructed only by hard to overcome and unknown geographical elements but ultimately, thanks to the necessity to build new floating continents, the oceans will be inhabited.
Thus, we recognize the danger of doing away with the city as a cultural entity, which is an irreversible fact, if we consider drastically defining the borders of cities by rethinking the possibilities of increasing the density of public space and of producing new one within the cities’ given borders.
3 issues for the city of Volos:
In the workshop, the above mentioned research hypothesis will be examined, using the city of Volos as a case study. Volos is a medium-sized European city with very powerful topographical and environmental characteristics. The workshop proposes three different theme-areas where we will examine the feasibility of designing using as criteria the definition of the borders of the city, the increase of densities, the production of public space together with the residence, and the improvement of the countryside surrounding the city.