Athens has more than 1200 vacant buildings that like many other European cities are dotting the post-crises urban landscape. There have been many attempts to address this issue, but none has been developed properly. Therefore we think it is time to utilize the properties waiting for 'better times' as a legitimate urban typology. k3no is a platform that will bring together empty property owners and not-for-profit organisations to develop socially inclined cultural, art, and educational projects.
Our ambition is to create an infrastructure for the utilization of disused spaces in the urban scale, as well as to facilitate organizations and citizens to work together in a well-organized structure that would emit a sense of community. We believe that arts and culture that aim for social change could become a catalyst to spark that change.
We want to challenge the notion that empty building serves no one, and based on the needs of the city re-define its use.
The outcome of the project within the proposed timeframe is to launch the on-line platform k3no and a pilot project that would take place in one of the empty properties.
These two initial steps would allow us to maintain a comprehensive database of empty properties and urban actors that need them, attract investors for grants to kick-off cutting edge social change projects, put forward policy framework for disused spaces at the municipal level, and share the knowledge with other cities.
1: Feasibility Study
To create a database of empty properties and their typologies in terms of the usage. We will collaborate with real estate agencies and conduct interviews with the property owners.
To understand the legal framework that is required to lease the spaces to the not-for-profit actors. The aim is to offer rent free spaces with maintenance costs to be covered only. We will work with legal advisors to create that framework.
To create a database of not-for-profit actors in the fields of arts, education, and social change in general by conducting interviews to identify their needs.
To make a feasibility study.
2: Development Of The On-Line Platform
To identify the main parameters of k3no.
To design and code the platform.
3: Launch Of The Pilot Project
Directly involved project stakeholders are empty property owners and not-for-profit actors.
Main project audience is the citizens generally, but to a large extent the more vulnerable groups of the society. They would directly benefit of the activities and initiatives, because large amounts of the empty properties are located in the neighborhoods that are in need of regeneration, for example, Omonia.
Whereas the fascination on the topic of vacant spaces within the architectural discourse has been evident for some time now, the project is not just a theoretical tool on understanding the phenomena of abandonment, nor pop-up project that aims to activate the space for a short span of time and draw an attention to the issue, but an ambitious platform that brings together diverse stakeholders to utilize and perceive the empty spaces as an infrastructure of the city – an untapped resource.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
Development and launch of k3no on-line platform: 23,500€ Travel costs for two European experts: 550€ Accommodation for two European experts: 250€ A grant towards launch of a pilot project: 600€ Public Relations: 3000€ Fees: 5000€ Personnel costs: 14,000€ Contingency: 700€
We are keen to hear about similar projects, because we are aware that there are case studies of mapping and studying the nature of the vacancy, as well as organizing events in disused spaces, and commercial practices that take care of empty properties. We would also love to hear about inspirational stories about events and projects that have happened in vacant buildings but also new visions on what people would like to see in their city's empty shop fronts, offices and roof tops.