Guerilla Gardening: Greek style


The crisis in Greece has emboldened activists, and made many look for alternative ways of living and reclaim public space. In the heart of Athens lies Exarchia, a radical neighborhood. Here, on the block between the streets Trikoupi, Navarino, and Life-Giving Fountain Didotou a parking lot has been turned into a neighborhood park. Check the images in this link.

Upon the expiration of the lease of the parking lot at the end of 2008, people in Exarchia reclaimed the park for public use. On March 7, 2009 with the collective "We, Here and Now and for us All" organized an event which mobilized an enthusiastic and dynamic unity of supporters; they occupied the space and broke the asphalt with jackhammer and cutters, brought truckloads of soil, planted trees and flowers and celebrating. The response defied the organizers expectations and a new people's park was born.

The park is governed by regular open meetings, and separate comissions, which is responsible for maintenance and development. In a period of economic hardships and insecurity, this park is but one of the symbols for the new wave of alternative approaches.

Check these photos:

Antother interesting example is found in the North of Greece, on the island of Kerkyra, where abandoned factories have been turned into agricultural collective. Download a pdf with photos here.