Piraeus Unsealed

Large scale infrastructural corridors offer the potential to bring biodiversity back to Piraeus.

Piraeus is a city that today, more than any other Greek city, suffers from the impacts of extreme densification. If one looks back in time, the plane between Piraeus and Athens was once a natural one and both cities had one of the greatest biodiversities in Europe. That has changed with the uncontrolled increase of urban sprawl since the 1950s. Our project focuses on the infrastructural corridor in Piraeus that lies between the former edge of the city and natural plane. We envision it as a green valley for Piraeus and a showcase for similar approaches in the region of Athens.

The Field Trip. Present.

A journey of three people along a disregarded infrastructural corridor in Piraeus.

The transport and water network in the region of Attica.

Flooding is a problem and a chance at the same time.

The region of Attica has a vast drainage network with its partly covered and uncovered rivers. While being the source of fresh water and vegetation growth these rivers also flood during the period of heavy rainfalls. Most of these floods accure in the wider Pirean region, the strongest of them on the East Side of the Infrastructural corridor. Instead of fixing the damages by floods in retrospect we propose to unseal the ground and create a blue network for natural drainage and plant watering.

The Infrastructural Corridor in Piraeus.

Grey Infrastructures can provide green solutions.

Due to their connectivity large infrastructures are naturally surrounded by industrial uses and have an unhabitable character due to noise and pollution, just as it is the case with our site in Piraeus. Yet in the time of deindustrialisation buildings and plots that surround traintracks and highways become obsolete. From that moment on they offer asylum for renaturalisation & new life. Our aim is to seize that opportunity.

It is necessary to act now.

Densification is about to gain the upper hand again.

We propose a series of strategies that can be seen as open spaces with different emphasis in terms of atmosphere, vegetation and use that can be of course combined according to the local conditions of the site.

Blue and green infrastructures replace conventional grey infrastructures by offering natural retention surfaces, besides helping to solve the issue of flooding

Participation is key.

From the single citizen to the city, everyone can participate and everyone will benefit.

Our approach to the site is multi-layered, so is the process of implementation. Ranging from property clarification, different actors as well as actions, strategies and outcomes the way to a more sustainable Piraeus is not at all a linear one but one that has turns and loops.

It is not only about trees.

Biodiversity is the variety and variability of life on Earth.

With more than 348 days of sun per year and almost only wind from the south, southwest direction, the plain of Athens ever since holds a unique micro-climate under the european metropolis, offering one of the greatest biodiversities in its well protected plane. Still more than 450 species naturally grow on the Western hillside of the city.

The Green Valley of Piraeus.

Grey Infrastructures can provide green solutions.

Based on the specific sites at the infrastructural corridor and our strategies we propose a vision for the future. We do not want to impose a definite design nor do we think a change would happen from one day to the other. What we want to show is the great potential of unsealing Piraeus.

The Field Trip. Future.

A journey of three people along a once disregarded infrastructural corridor in Piraeus.