Architectural student competition for sustainable green spaces

WWF Greece with the cooperation and the scientific support of the Urban Environment Lab of the School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens, organised a competition, which was open to undergraduate students enrolled at the Faculties of Architecture and corresponding Departments in Greek Polytechnics and Universities.

Young students of architecture were invited to develop ideas and proposals for the creation or redevelopment of public sustainable green spaces, under low construction and maintenance costs.

On Tuesday, June 13th, Impact Hub Athens hosted the Press Conference for the Architectural competition, as well as the awards ceremony. Out of a total of 27 entries, the first three selected architectural proposals received a cash award, while the remaining seven finalists received honorable mentions. Of particular importance is the fact that the students’ proposals will be forwarded to the municipal authorities in order to provide solutions for immediate implementation, contributing to the improvement of the public urban green spaces in Greek cities.

The original competition was implemented as part of the WWF Greece program “Better Life”, which is made possible through a major grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) and the support of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation. The program features a series of open informational and recreational activities, focusing on mobilizing and raising awareness among school communities, as well as the wider Greek society for the benefit of the environment, economy and social solidarity.

“Governing the City in the Metropolitan Century”, Launch Event

The Cities Alliance is hosting a launch event for two publications recently developed by OECD – “The Metropolitan Century – Understanding Urbanisation and its Consequences” and “Governing the City”. Both publications are the result of an extensive OECD research project on “Urban Trends and Governance” that was initiated by, and has benefitted from financial and intellectual support of, the European Commission – DG Regional and Urban Policy.

The Metropolitan Century provides an outline of recent and likely future urbanisation trends and discusses the consequences. The world is in the middle of an urbanisation process that will cause urbanisation rates to rise from low double digit rates to more than 80% by the end of the century. It argues that this is both a great opportunity and a great challenge, as decisions taken today will affect the lives of people for a long time to come. The report aims at explaining why cities exist, and what can make them prosperous and function well. It also discusses whether cities are good for residents, for the countries they are located in and for the global environment. The report argues that cities exist and grow because they are a source of economic prosperity and offer amenities that benefit their residents. It concludes that urbanisation is a process that needs to be shaped by policy makers to ensure that all benefit from it.

Governing the City deals with the question of “How do cities govern themselves as they grow bigger?” The answer can shape the competitiveness and quality of life in those cities and depends on a number of factors, ranging from the country’s institutional framework to the cities’ specific socio-economic dynamics. This report presents a typology of metropolitan governance arrangements observed across OECD countries and offers guidance for cities seeking for more effective co-ordination, with a closer look at two sectors that are strategically important for urban growth: transport and spatial planning. The report draws from international examples of metropolitan governance mechanisms, and includes a series of in-depth case studies in a selection of six large metropolitan areas: Aix-Marseille (France), Frankfurt (Germany), Athens (Greece), Daejeon (Korea), Puebla-Tlaxcala (Mexico), and Chicago (United States).

About the Event

The launch event will present two recent OECD publications on cities and urbanisation. It will offer a platform for discussion between local policy makers, the European Commission and the OECD about the challenges and advantages of urbanization, and explore how policy makers can ensure that all citizens benefit from these processes. Another focus of the discussion will be on the different governance arrangements that metropolitan areas can adopt when dealing with cities that grow beyond their formal borders. This event is part of a global launch of these reports building upon launches in Washington (DC) and London (UK).

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