Citizen Participation and Self-Organization in Urban Regeneration in Greece

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Large sections of the central residential areas in the two biggest cities of Greece, Athens and Thessaloniki, have a number of attributes that define them as problematic areas, as a result of the history of their development. Urban regeneration on a wide scale has not been part of the Greek urban planning tradition but a focus on the urban environment and the emergence of an increasingly active civil society are leading to new approaches towards urban regeneration. This research thesis examines the concepts of participatory urban planning and citizen self-organization with a focus on urban regeneration. A qualitative analysis based on interviews and literature, academic or not, as well as policy documents, determines to what degree the necessary elements exist in Greece. Participatory urban regeneration has seen a substantial scale of implementation internationally, but in Greece only small attempts have taken place. The analysis of the data collected shows that not all necessary elements can be found in the Greek environment, based on the existing evidence. At the same time however the concept is taking some momentum and there are indications that suggest it will become an important element of planning in the future.
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