The Victoria Square Neighbourhood: Enhancing Resilience by Social Networking

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Busch, Christina; Johncock, Johanna; Boucoyannis, Shelagh-Katerina; Koulouthros, Antonis: The Victoria Square Neighbourhood: Enhancing Resilience by Social Networking. In: Othengrafen, F.; Serraos, K. (Eds.): Urban Resilience, Climate Change and Adaptation. Coping with Heat Islands in the Dense Urban Area of Athens, Greece. Hannover : Leibniz Universität Hannover, Institut für Umweltplanung, 2018, S. 147-164

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Athens is climatically characterised by a Mediterranean climate with mild and rainy winters and warm summers. In the summer the average temperature is 35°C, with many days exceeding 40°C. Athens is often struck by heat waves, meaning at least 3 consecutive days with air temperatures above 36.5°C. Since the 1950s the number of heat waves has increased substantially: in 2007 14 days have been recorded in comparison to only 6 days in 1955 (FOUNDA and GIANNAKOPOULOS 2002, 229). Inappropriate building materials, the lack of green and open spaces as well as high volumes of traffic contribute to the increasing temperatures in Athens (FOUNDA and G IANNAKOPOULOS 2002, 229). Some places within the city are easily prone to high temperatures, which is called the urban heat island phenomenon. The urban heat islands describe “the excess warmth of the urban atmosphere and surfaces compared to the non-urbanized rural surroundings” (STATHOPOULOU and CARTALIS 2007, 358). The development of urban heat islands is influenced amongst others by construction material, vegetation, emissions, circulation and topography (STATHOPOULOU UND CARTALIS 2007; KATSOULIS UND THEOHARATOS 1985; HASSID et al. 2000). The vulnerability towards natural hazards and risks, including urban heat islands, are multidimensional: human, social, economic, institutional, urban or individual to stress as a result of social and environmental change, where stress refers to unexpected changes and disruption to livelihoods” (NEIL ADGER 1999, 249). It depends on various factors, such as the lack of social cohesion, social exclusion, poverty, gender, age, unemployment, housing condition and the access to health and medical services (CUTTER et al. 2003; NEIL ADGER 1999, SAPOUNTZAKI et al. 2015). Athens is especially vulnerable, as many residence do not have sufficient insulation and thus the buildings heat up in summer (BANK OF GREECE 2011). The Victoria Square neighbourhood is characterized by low-income households and various ethnic groupings. The transformation of the neighbourhood to a more resilient one towards heat islands, is not possible without major state and private investments. As the inhabitants have other, more dominant problems to cope with, than being bothered developing a sustainable neighbourhood, we have decided to use the already existing grouping to create a neighbourhood which is connected among each other, for example by creating neighbourhood gardens and making use of the roof tops among others. The idea is to develop a mobile phone app named ‘Greender’, which aims at encouraging people in the district to help each other. In the following, the neighbourhood will be analysed along social structures and the built environment. Then, the concept of neighbourhood networks will be explained in detail, which will then be applied to the idea of ‘Greender’.
License of this version: CC BY 3.0 DE
Document Type: bookPart
Publishing status: publishedVersion
Issue Date: 2018
Appears in Collections:Urban Resilience, Climate Change and Adaptation. Coping with Heat Islands in the Dense Urban Area of Athens

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pos. country downloads
total perc.
1 image of flag of Germany Germany 25 58.14%
2 image of flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom 5 11.63%
3 image of flag of Greece Greece 4 9.30%
4 image of flag of United States United States 2 4.65%
5 image of flag of No geo information available No geo information available 1 2.33%
6 image of flag of Turkey Turkey 1 2.33%
7 image of flag of Russian Federation Russian Federation 1 2.33%
8 image of flag of Iran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic Republic of 1 2.33%
9 image of flag of India India 1 2.33%
10 image of flag of Czech Republic Czech Republic 1 2.33%
    other countries 1 2.33%

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