UNIVERSITY OF THESSALY 
INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP 4th – 9th JUNE 2018 | VOLOS | GREECE

RE-STREAMING
THE CITY



REFORMATIVE POLICIES
& LANDSCAPE INFRASTRUCTURES
TO ADAPT TO CLIMATE CHANGE






Important dates:
Summary

The developmental trajectory of urbanization in the region of Volos has diachronically been accompanied by the regulation and taming of the floodplain’s natural landscape. The city’s expansion followed the pattern of a densely arrayed grid that rationally reshaped much of its watercourses to open sewers as it co-evolved with priorities of industrialization and networked infrastructures that linke port to rail activities. With the recent de-industrialization and the shift towards services and tourism economy, public spaces (such as the waterfront) and cultural amenities (such as the conversionof former industrial complexes) received a renewed interest.
Despite the elevated notion and need for open spaces, Volos, now a city of 145.000 people, relies on a segregated network of small green space summing to a mean ratio of  4sq.m. per inhabitant.


Paradoxically, the remarkable and extensive hydrographic networ that informs much of Volos’ territory, besides its two fold value as discharge drain and irrigation of the city’s agricultural periphery it  evades any aspect of cultural and environmental re-appropriation.
Still, the city’s steam network relies on an obsolete engineering approach and an outmoded pattern of land-stream development that make little response to the heavy and intense rainstorms, tied to climate change.


Recently, official flood risk charts unveiled the most blatant indicator for the failing nature of the stream’s hard infrastructure ideal, rendering necessary a new infrastructural synthesis involving technical, environmental and creative interventions to re-establish and heal the relationship between city and stream.  This context underlines the scope of “Volos: Re-streaming  the city” workshop, involving multidisciplinary research by design and strategic reactionary planning methodologies to develop new policies for the integration of novel stream-city infrastructural prototypes enmeshed to the urban morphology  in order to heal the broken relationship with water and watersheds but also respond to developmental and climate change imperatives.



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Annalytical Brief

During the last century, urban expansion along the soft alluvial deposits of three streams Xirias, Krafsidonas and Anavros (lined up from west to east) heavily transformed a sinuous discharge regime, partially allocating their natural watercourse to halt flush-floods from lowland residential areas.  This same process technically modified bed-profiles into channelized artificial boulders with concrete–lined conduits. But there were also further implementations of large technical infrastructures that lead to the alteration of the natural regime. These include: the expansion of the port activities to the delta of Krafsidonas; the ad-hoc vegetation clearings along the stream’s banks; the municipality’s monopolized interest to transform the stream banks into impervious driveways; the lack of provisions for adequate open public spaces with temporal allowance to mitigate excess floods. As a result, the streams’ bio-physical identity and ecological function have been discouraged swiping away any aesthetic comfort or recreational aspect that could be associated to its “first-nature” value. Volos’ current economy strongly relies -amongst other sectors- on services and tourism. In fact, the market’s tendency has built affinities with the rehabilitation of post-industrial sites and the cultural domestication of natural resources such as the waterfront. In this frame it remains a paradox why the official urban planning stance has not made any effort to integrate or recover the marginalized stream banks and segregated environments that alternatively might have supported a robust green corridor supporting social cohesion and mitigation of floods, besides an expanded open space network. In spite of the prevalence of contemporary discourse around resilient urban planning and design focusing on the implementation of green infrastructures into the urban landscape, traditional planning standards and codes show little regard for the threats posed by climate change. Even the growing skepticism and understanding of the streams’ cultural and ecologic value supported by local groups has been marginalized by the municipality, the latter still encouraging the stream’s role as an open sewer.




It is widely acknowledged that urban planning in Greece has relied heavily on the regulation of land uses. There is still a notable gap within the spatial planning instruments, such as the “General Urban Plan” (ΓΠΣ) to incorporate regulations that recognize, monitor and adapt to transitional aquatic-terrestrial ecosystems, such as streams. Besides the formal rigidity of protection measurements for the physical and natural environments it still remains to develop a deeper understanding of land use patterns that may adapt and develop in synergy and not against nature’s dynamics. Although climate change has introduced more frequent and intense rainstorms that led to severe flood incidents bearing social and economic consequences, local planning is still under-performing towards this alternative stance. Recently released flood-hazard maps for the GR08 floodplain of Thessaly, conducted under the Directive 2007/60 EU, indicate that in the lowlands of Volos region, for a return period of T = 50 years, the flood exceeds the boundaries of the channelized stream’s bed diffusing flush-floods within the Municipality. The situation becomes more unfavorable at flood periods of T= 100 years resulting to even greater hazards (see cover photo).



Flood‐prone zones estimated for a return period of T=100 years exceed stream discharge capacity and widely affect urbanized areas of Volos Municipality. Image by: Io Carydi, based on the Flood Risk Management Plan for Thessaly, (Ypeka, 2017)



Since it is widely recognized that excessive floods are associated with the failing nature of grey infrastructures as well as with the aggressive urbanization which has lowered infiltration capacity of densely built-up areas to zero, there is a strong challenge to:

• Introduce reformative policies that recover the streams cultural and ecologic value, besides recovering their role as resilient systems against climate change.
• Investigate how the re-organization of the streams as urban water systems improves the whole city structurally.
• Design synthetic landscapes of living and biophysical systems that operate as novel green infrastructures capable to re-shape open space morphologies.
• Research how these green infrastructures may develop synergies across different economic sectors with an impact on Volos’ urban economy, on future expansions and re-discovered cultures.
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The Scope of this Workshop is:

• to expand the need for a multidisciplinary thinking and collaboration between different scientific disciplines over current urban issues that involve environmental and developmental parameters.
• to introduce novel design methodologies capable to relate natural dynamic environments to current urbanization trends.
• to introduce novel representation  tools that enable as to exemplify complex and dynamic trends that affect urban planning.
Structure


• The workshop will include lectures from accredited academics in the field of Infrastructures, Urbanism and Landscape Urbanism as well as seminars for design tools including GIS, Rhinoceros and Illustrator.
• The workshop will involve accredited academics, community groups’ representatives and official representatives from the municipality in the final jury in order to expose the novelty of the research with a wider audience.



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Diary
Monday 4th June to Saturday 9th June
• 4th June
(AM) Arrivals at Volos
(18:00) Workshop Introduction



5th-8th June:
Fieldwork, Seminars, Studio Work, Open Lectures

9th June: (10:00‐13:00) PIN UP presentation, Certifications of Attendance, (14:00‐17:00) Lunch at Makrinitsa, Pelion
Marker

The Workshop is Addressed to:
• Undergraduate (3rd year or higher) or Graduate students from the disciplines of agronomy, planning, architecture, urban design, landscape architecture and civil engineering

• The workshops tutorials, seminars and  lectures will be in English language


Attendance

• 30 students

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Eligibility to Participate:
1. Expression of Interest:

The workshop will be based on a pre-selection. To secure your attendance please send a short letter of interest (100 words max.) indicating your name, year of study / university, contact details (telephone and email address) together with three images from your design work as an attached two-page PDF (max. size<2MB) to: iokarydi@prd.uth.gr

2. Acceptance of Applications:

Prospect participants will receive feedback upon their eligibility to participate in written in their e-mails by Friday 30th of March.
3. Ensuring Participation:

This will only be guaranteed upon paid fees until the dates provided below.

New Date
for the expression
of Interest:


Monday 26th March



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Fees
// Early Bird - Fellowship Fee*: 100 euro

* the workshop's committee will accept up to 15 applications with a reduced fee. Please include the word "fellowship" at your letter of expression of interest.



// Early Bird registration is 250 euro available up to Friday 6th April, (00:00, GR TIME).



// Final Registration is 320 euro eligible up to Monday 23rd April, (00:00, GR TIME).
• Payment by credit/debit card or bank transfer following acceptance of your application.
• Fees do not cover accommodation, travel, or food expenses.





• Cancellation Policy Please note that no cancellation or reimbursement of the fees will be made possible after the 30th of April.


Accreditation:

With the completion of the workshop, participants will receive a workshop certificate from PRD /UTH, accrediting the hours of lectures, seminars and studio design work of participation. 




Research unit host coordinator:




Dr. Pantelis Skayannis
Professor of Infrastructure Policy, PRD UTH


Pantelis Skayannis (Architect AUTH, Urban & Regional Studies Sussex) is Professor of Infrastructure Policy and the Director of the Research Unit of Infrastructure, Technology Policy and Development (RUITEPOD) and of the Unit of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UTH, Department of Planning and Regional Development, University of Thessaly, School of Engineering.
Professor Skayannis has an extensive experience as a researcher in infrastructure development and as a regional analyst and planner and he will be a core coordinator and consultant into the methodology of this research process providing systematic knowledge about the impact of Rail Infrastructure on development of Rail Regions and defining the challenges of smalls scale investments associated to innovation and regional development of Rail Regions. He will further provide a systematic input to the examination of how those investments  “fit for purpose” in face of the spatial complexities, uncertainties, risks and opportunities that characterize their context environments.

Workshop scientific coordinator:



Dr. Io Carydi
Adjunct Lecturer, PRD UTH

Io Carydi
is an adjunct lecturer at PRD UTH and a registered architect and planner. She holds a PhD from the NTUA School of Architecture and an MA with Distinction on Landscape Urbanism from the Architectural Association of London.
Her profile combines academic research, teaching and professional practice with an international design portfolio of award winning projects and international collaborations dealing with landscape and urban infrastructures across Europe. All her three activities come under a core study interest that aims to redefine the morphology and sustainable function of infrastructures within the spatial planning discipline. Within this scope, Io has developed a critical insight for the spatial issues relating to the technological modernization of infrastructures and the socio-ecological implications of this change. In this context, she engages in a multidisciplinary research approach that has been tested throughout various collaborations across interrelated fields (ecology, design, planning and engineering). Her research has been published in international journals and conferenceproceedings.



Accredited Academics

The detailed list with all accredited academics to enroll in the workshop is currently being updated. Please do take the time to visit the website again in the next few days to check for the updated material.
UNIVERSITY OF THESSALY | VOLOS

THE WORKSHOP IS OPERATING UNDER THE AUSPICES OF:
The Department of Planning and Regional Development
(http://www.prd.uth.gr)
The Research Unit of Infrastructure, Technology
Policy & Development (www.ruitepod.prd.uth.gr)

       
SPONSORED BY