Anastasia Gravani MSc Dissertation Urban
Eleni Kaltsogianni MSc Dissertation Arcades
Byron Mardas MSc Dissertation Urban Blocks

These three projects explore the potential for regenerating central areas of Athens that currently suffer from poor environmental conditions due to air pollution from traffic and excess heat generated from anthropogenic sources. A stripe of the city’s central tissue was chosen for field studies, microclimatic modelling and parametric analysis. Field studies focused on the environmental attributes of “voids” in the urban tissue: streets, squares, arcades and leftover spaces at the centre of urban blocks. Spot measurements of environmental variables were coupled with observations of pedestrian movements recording changes in microclimatic conditions as a function of urban morphology. Simulations tested typical urban block configurations. Varying key geometric and material properties highlighted the effect that these parameters can have on urban microclimates. Proposals are illustrated here for the city’s streets, arcades and enclosed courtyards. Individually, each of the proposals will improve environmental conditions in its immediate vicinity. Combining these proposals will provide further improvements. Duplicating such interventions across the city’s central areas could help mitigate Athens’ intense urban heat island effect creating much improved conditions for outdoor activities as well as reducing the need for air-conditioning.