Seven days | intensive design workshop, Megalopolis

Reflecting on the challenges and dynamics of a contemporary mining territory, “Re-configuring productive Megalopolis” is an initiative with a series of events, aiming to mobilize the inhabitants and local stakeholders to get involved in a new vision for the future of the mining area.

Elena Kasselouri and Gabriella Georgakaki (±0.LAB) jointly completed their Master’s thesis, a design proposal for the active mining area in Megalopolis, Greece under the Master of Urbanism & Strategic Planning at KU Leuven. The constant dedication on exploring the particular landscape of her hometown and the personal interest in exploring the design approaches on the Greek landscape respectively are creating a mutual contribution to this platform. Subsequently, they organized this workshop and the series of events in the area, collaborating with the municipality, the power company and local community. 

At the same time, an open platform is being formed, where a multidisciplinary team of scientists and designers could meet and, together with the community, discuss and share common visions about the area. “Re-configuring productive Megalopolis” is the starting point for a new perspective in strategic planning on the mining territory, based on contemporary methodologies and practices of urbanism.

The Workshop

Megalopolis Local News

25th of June 2016
Immense rainfall. Flooding issues destroys large agricultural areas and seriously disrupts the functioning of the city

February 2017
Government’s designation of part of the mining area as a landfill for hazardous waste disposal, causes massive reactions from local communities

March 2017
Discussions on privatization of the Public Power Corporation give space for private investments to enter the field


Mining dominates till today the economy in Megalopolis basin. The ongoing lignite extraction goes hand in hand with radical landscape alterations, large scale expropriations, serious environmental pollution and a multitude of socio-economic issues. Simultaneously, mining closure in the coming decades is inevitable, as energy production based on non-renewable resources is fading out. Mitigating environmental issues is a major challenge. The question is however if good use can also be made of the still ongoing exploitation to simultaneously prepare and lay the basis for the future of the basin in ecological as well as in economical terms. Mining is by definition a temporal land use. Why not think of it in terms of transitional land use.

For such future oriented scenarios, urbanism, landscape urbanism in this case, is urgently required. Landscape urbanism as a transdisciplinary approach that sets the lines for strategic planning as well as concrete actions on the site today.

Given this complex situation a Landscape Urbanism design workshop is proposed. This workshop plays a very important role.  It has to be an eye opening starting point of an open discussion substantiated with explored and tested possibilities. All involved parties (stakeholders, the local community and all other actors) will be part of this discussion. Academics of various horizons and workshop participants will demonstrate their perspective and build their ideas and arguments about the next day of Megalopolis as a contribution to an informed and substantiated debate. The ultimate goal of the workshops is not ‘the solution’ but to acquire the commitment of the local stakeholders to a long – term strategic planning that is starting from today and it is evolving until and after the closure of the mining activity. The workshop is initiating this planning process as well as giving it a landscape urbanism scenario as a starting point.

During this intensive week, the participants are asked to work in groups and design in multiple scales for the mining area of Megalopolis. Based on systemic thinking, the design will be developed around 4 basic systems: WATER, ENERGY, WASTE and CULTURAL VALUE in a territorial scale. Each group will develop a design proposal based on one of the abovementioned topics, the merging of which will result in a common canvas for the mining area.

Participants: 16 – 20 students, recent graduates and young professionals in the fields of Architecture, Urbanism, Landscape Architecture, Engineering, Design and the like, with a strong interest in the topic, are invited to participate.

Participation fee: 50€

On-site accommodation and catering will be fully provided by the organization.

APPLY now!

Please send by Tuesday, May 30th to  megalopolisworkshop2017 at a short CV and max 5 A4 pages of your most representative work, along with a paragraph of 100 words explaining your interest in the workshop.


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