HalandriCulture and cultural heritage
CULTURAL H.ID.RA.N.T. -CULTURAL Hidden IDentities ReAppear through Networks of WaTer
“The knowledge of a city’s history is an important precondition for the development of the multifaceted relationship that gives identity to both the city and its inhabitants. The promotion of this relationship through an ancient monument using as ambassador the common good-water fulfills this need while improving the quality of life of its inhabitants”.
Halandri is the biggest municipality in the North Athens Regional Unit of Attica covering an area of 10.805 sq.km, with a population of 74,192 inhabitants. The years following the economic crisis, recovery policies focused on supporting the market. The response of the city’s economy has prompted the development of a leisure and catering 'theme center' (216 new food & beverage facilities within 3 years, over 5.000 visitors each Saturday, etc.) in connection with wider development plans, (3 existing malls, a forthcoming casino, a new subway station, etc.). While this approach sought to provide development solutions for the revitalization of the local economy, it has not succeeded in addressing emerging challenges regarding people’s wellbeing and the city’s resilience.
The challenge to be tackled refers to the citizen’s low local cultural and natural heritage awareness with different points to be considered:
- weak mnemonic policy: In Halandri lies the important subterranean roman Hadrian Aqueduct that is 20 km long, connecting 7 municipalities supplying Athens with water for nearly 1800 years (140A.D. - early’30s).. Today hidden as it is underground but also «hidden» because it is unknown and forgotten.
- lack of conservation and cultivation of local cultural capital: the lack of bottom-up processes weaken people’s sense of ownership and belonging and the city’s heritage branding compared to Athens historical centre.
- weak access and walkability in quality green spaces the stream surroundings form a large green space which remains inactive. Low parks per resident ratio at 2sq.m., compared to Athens average at 4.8.
The main goal is to activate local Hidden Heritage Potential to enhance Local Wellbeing. Cultural H.ID.RA.N.T. will employ Hadrian Aqueduct as a vehicle to reveal local cultural capital, tangible and intangible heritage and natural and man-made resources. At the same time, the revitalization of the community/ies through participatory processes will operate as an innovative way to re-introduce a roman monument of high cultural and natural significance.
- Municipality of Halandri;
- 1 employees cooperative: COMMONSPACE SIN.ERG;
- 1 water supply company: Athens Water Supply and Sewerage Company - EYDAP S.A.;
- 1 architecture and urban design company: Thymio Papayannis and Associates Inc.;
- 1 institute: Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos (MEDINA);
- 1 university: Regional Development Institute – Panteion University (RDI);
- 1 not-for-profit performing arts organisation: Ohi Pezoume Performing Arts;
- 1 Ministry of Culture Agency: East Attica Ephorate of Antiquities (EoA)
The project’s main results refer to three main axes leading to one Major Result: the Improvement of Local Wellbeing.
- (i) Cultural Heritage Awareness will enable people to feel more connected to their heritage and cultivate a sense of ownership and belonging and the city to develop a new heritage branding
- (ii) Natural Heritage and Sustainable Water Use Awareness will contribute to the reduction of potable water use for irrigation and purposeless abstraction by drilling, the enhancement of walkability and accessibility of quality green spaces
- (iii) Community Building will familiarize inhabitants with co-governance and decision-making processes, promote solidarity economy and boost endogenous growth in local economy.
- July 2021: Design studies of the regeneration projects completed
- September 2021: Activities for the constitution of the informal community of Water Solidarity Economy commence | Participatory planning and design workshops begin
- January 2022: Local archive is created and HIDRANT digital platform is launched
- December 2022: Network and smart meters installed – beginning of operation
- March 2023: Regenerated public green spaces delivered to the public / The local “HIDRANT” festival takes place