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Self-organized Park Navarinou and Zoodochou Pigis str., Greece

The residents of Exarcheia neighbourhood, along with grassroots located in the area, converted a block into a self-organised green free space in a very densely populated neighbourhood of Athens.


Exarchia is a neighborhood at the centre of Athens, close to the historical building of the National Technical University of Athens. It’s a famous region, as many intellectuals and artists used to live in the neighborhood and many leftist, anarchist and antifascist grassroots are located there. As in the majority of Athens downtown neighborhoods, there is a major need of free green open spaces.  In 2008, in Exarchia a 15 years’ old boy was assassinated by the police (Alexandros Grigoropoulos). Major rebels erupted in Exarchia, as well as across Athens and other Greek big cities. For more than a month, apart from demonstrations, various occupation actions took place.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Self-organized Park Navarinou and Zoodochou Pigis str., Greece
State or province:Attica
Location of conflict:Municipality of Athens, Exarchia district
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Urban development conflicts
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

A block of 0.15 hectare that used to be used as a parking, was transformed to a green park in a densely populated area in the centre of Athens

Project area:0.15
Level of Investment for the conflictive projectCommunity self-organised project
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:Municipality of Athens: 655,780 Region of Attica: 3,812,330
Start of the conflict:07/03/2009
Company names or state enterprises:Technical Chamber of Greece from Greece
Relevant government actors:Municipality of Athens
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Self-managed Navarinou and Zoodochou Pigis park or parking park,
Citizens, grassroots and organizations located in the neighborhood
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Land occupation
Media based activism/alternative media
Public campaigns
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Negotiated alternative solution
Strengthening of participation
Project cancelled
Proposal and development of alternatives:The residents of Exarcheia neighbourhood, along with grassroots located in the area, claimed and occupied a block for converting it into a green free space, instead of having another building built in a very densely populated neighbourhood of Athens.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:The social movement reclaimed an open public space, occupied it and converted it into a self-managed open high green space, where plenty of activities are taking place.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Pournara S.I., 2013, Green, Public, Urban Areas
[click to view]

Geronikos D., 2012, We are making an orchard in the park of Navarino
[click to view]

Official site of the Self-managed Navarinou and Zoodochou Pigis park or parking park
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Ermioni Frezouli, Geography Department - Harokopio University Athens (HUA).
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:2241
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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