ARCHITECTURE HISTORY THESIS
Public space and its evolution: Athens’ example of political spaces and urban movements.
supervised by C.Wagenaar & F.Marullo
“Public sphere for man constitutes the territory where human can experience freedom through the collective, the event of being together with other human.” Hannah Arendt in her book ‘The human condition’ written in 1958, emphasized this importance of the public space, directly relating it with the political action, the “ability par excellence of man”: "Man is by nature political, that is, social."
It is a fact that the character of public space has gone under major transformations through the centuries. “Public space is being transformed slowly and steadily –sometimes quickly as well- but it reflects in a multidimensional way the structure of society and the way society perceives its public self.” The scope of this essay is to observe these transformations concerning the relationship of public space and politics and attempt to give an interpretation of what can be a political space in modern urban condition, using the example of contemporary Athens and its spaces that trigger collective action.
“The teenage revolt against the fossilized standards and conditions of the past is aimed chiefly at the recovery of social space -- the street -- so that the contacts essential for play may be established. Idealists who think that these contacts can be arranged by organizing youth clubs, publications, or hiking groups are seeking to substitute prescribed norms of behavior for spontaneous initiatives. They are opposed to the most important characteristic of the new generation, creativity -- the desire to create a behavioral pattern of their own, and ultimately to create a new way of life.” [Constant Nieuwenhuys, New Urbanism