ECOWEEK Crete 2016

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Public Space & Tourism on One Planet

The Municipality of Agios Nikolaos in Crete marked the beginning of this year’s tourist season with an environmental message. Ιn collaboration with NGO ECOWEEK, the G. & A. Mamidakis Foundation, Bluegr Hotels & Resorts and the Region of Crete Regional Unit Lassithi, the mayor of Agios Nikolaos Anthonios Zervos and the President of the G. & A. Mamidakis Foundation Gina Mamidakis, hosted a week rich with activity around sustainable design, environmental awareness, and interventions in public spaces and schools titled “Public Space and Tourism in One Planet.”

The weekly schedule of ECOWEEK 2016

Sunday 12/6

A workshop for primary school students: “Visualize your school’s yard!”

Monday 13/6


Chamber of Lassithi Prefecture

12:00 – 12:05


Moderator: Anna Karayiannaki, Journalist

1 2:05 – 12:55

Anna Hatzigianni, Advisor to the region of Crete on environmental issues

Antonios Zervos, Mayor

Gina MamidakiPresident of G. & A. Mamidakis Foundation

12:55 – 13:30


13:30 – 14:00

Elias MessinasEcoweek’s Founder and President

14:00 – 14:30



Sunday 3/7


10:00 – 12:00

A walk in the city and free drawing with the architect Elias Messinas. During the break the group was welcomed by Café Palazzo with fresh juice.

Monday 4/7


Chamber of Lassithi Prefecture

10:00 – 10:30


The International conference ECOWEEK on sustainable and green design was greeted by the Mayor Antonis Zervos, Lasithi’s MP Manolis Thrapsanos and the Founder and President of NGO ECOWEEK Elias Messinas.

10:30 – 11:50


Speakers: Benjamin Gill (Bioregional, UK), Theodora Kyriafini and Fotini Lymperiadou (EuZen Architecture, Thessaloniki), Jorge Martin(Marko&Placemakers, UK), Thanos Stassinopoulos architect (Greece and Turkey), Panos Parthenios architect (University of Crete), Nasrin Mohiti Asli and Margherita Manfra of Orizzontale group (Italy), Galia Hanoch Roe (Company of Environmental Protection, Israel) and the Canadian Chris Doray.

10:00 – 10:30


“The Human Scale”, A film by Andreas Mol Dalsgaard (2013). Film featuring the work of architect Jan Gehl.

10:30 – 11:50

OPENING PARTY, at the beach Ammoudi.

Detailed lectures’ schedule: εδώ

Tuesday 5/7

09:00 – 18:00


The eight (8) workshops of ECOWEEK in various parts of the city of Agios Nicholaos and Sissi are continuing. Detailed schedule below.  

18:00 – 20:00


On the same day a beach and sea bed cleaning was organized at Ammos beach, in cooperation with Pelagos diving center and Rescue Team Crete.

Wednesday 6/7

09:00 – 18:00


The eight (8) workshops of ECOWEEK in various parts of the city of Agios Nicholaos and Sissi are continuing. Detailed schedule below.

18:30 – 21:00


Lectures were held in the Chamber of Lassithi, on the theme “building with natural materials” by:

Kristell VanHove, group LIMNI

George Ritsakis, group Archanes

George Sakellaris, Crete Natural Building

Sharon Jackson, Founder and CEO of ESA (European Sustainability Academy) Crete

Thursday 7/7

09:00 – 18:00


The eight (8) workshops of ECOWEEK in various parts of the city of Agios Nicholaos and Sissi are continuing. Detailed schedule below.

18:00 – 20:30


Lectures took place at the Municipal Gallery from:

Prof. George Kyriakidis, West Virginia University & Physics Dept. University of Crete Innovative Ecological Building Materials with Antibacterial Properties

Eleftheria Deko, Lighting Designer, Αthens, “Light and Health or Therapeutic Light”

Αntonia Apostolaki, from the System Zeus WECD, Crete, “Alternative Waste Management from construction and demolition”

20:30 – 22:00


The film “The Secret Life of Materials” was screened at the roof of Agios Nicholaos’ gallery, in cooperation with the Film Club Agios Nicholas, about the application of nanotechnology in design, in cooperation with the European program “Materials for Sustainable Future” and “Koyaanisqatsi” documentary by Reggio Godfrey, scored by Philip Glass. This documentary observes moments in nature and human activity and the relationship between them.

Friday 8/7

09:00 – 18:00


The eight (8) workshops of ECOWEEK in various parts of the city of Agios Nicholaos and Sissi are continuing. Detailed schedule below.

18:00 – 20:00


A visit at LIMNI with host Kristell Van Hove.

20:30 – 22:00


A lecture took place at the Miramare Hotel on ” Composting at Agios Nikolaos’ Hotels” with:

Νikos Varkarakis, Owner of Miramare Hotel, “Presentation of Miramare’s Hotel Composting equipment”

Μanolis Vidalis, Agriculturist, “Composting with Earthworms for Growth and Health in Plants and Trees”

Μanolis Gerondis, Organic Farmer, “My Experience at Composting with Earthworms”

Μanolis Sisamakis, Researher, “Hotel’s Composter Cost – Benefits”

Τasos Spyrides, Hotel Manager, “Hotel Composting: Hotel Benefits”

Giorgos Papadakis, Director of Solid Waste Managenment N. Valley AETO, “Hotel Composting: Municipality Benefits”

Μanolis Papadimitropoulos, Composter Designer, “Q & A”


Saturday 9/7

09:00 – 12:00


The presentation of the workshops took place at the Chamber of Lassithi Prefecture and diplomas were given to those who participated.

The film “The Human Scale” by Andreas Mol Dalsgaard was screened, inspired by the work of the Dutch Jan Gehl.

19:00 – 21:00


The week came to a closure with an exhibition at the Municipal Gallery of the proposals that were put down during the workshops. The exhibition will be hosted at Minos Beach Art Hotel.


Between 4/7 and 9/7, the city of Agios Nikolaos hosted the ECOWEEK international conference and sustainable design workshops, an event that takes place in more than 15 countries around the world since 2008. The ECOWEEK workshops were led by experts from Greece and abroad – Canada, Italy, United Kingdom, Israel and Turkey – and attended by students in architecture and engineering from universities in Greece and abroad.

Workshop 1

Workshop leaders: Nasrin Mohiti Asli and Margherita Manfra (Orizzontale, Italy)

Team: Antonia Apostolakis, Eugenia Efthimiadou, Maria Kriou, Elli Ntaountaki, Eirini Syka, Sophia Tsiteli and Andreana Ephimia Tzeka.

Location: Municipal Park.

Theme: The objective was to unify public space, giving an identity to the Park, so that the local community will use it in a different way. To formulate the design approach, the group worked with the local community in order to identify their needs and how to use a space in the city center, which, although it is adjacent to shops, cafes, houses, office buildings and a hotel, remains unused and could be an integral space for city life.

Presentation of project: here


Workshop 2

Workshop Leaders: Jorge Martín Sainz Terreros (Marko & Placemakers, England) and Leyla Mehtap Turanalp (Turkey / USA)

Team: Betul Bas, Naida Kibaroglu, Cansu Aybuke Taskin and Anastasia Printziou.

Location: Seafront of Sissi.

Theme: The aim of the group was to seek the public space, which is occupied by parked cars and restaurant tables and chairs. The group spent time discussing these issues with the local community, restaurateurs and tourists in search of information on local history – such as the Locust tree – and how the early storage rooms have shaped the seafront. In particular, the group searched for ways to raise awareness among local residents for the reuse of public space by pedestrians, sought ways to sensitize people about the reuse of public space for pedestrians – including creating a path through parked cars. The group called its intervention ‘Sissi-mou’ (‘my Sissi), thus urging ownership – not alienation – of the public space by pedestrians and visitors.

Presentation of projecthere

Workshop 3

Workshop Leaders: Chris Doray and Pooya Khaliliaraghi (Chris Doray Studio, Canada)

Team: Ming Rang (David) Bai, Blackbeard Maria, Maria Eleni Manika, Alexia Stavropoulou, Imge Esmer. With the participation of Ewa and Piotr Sroczynska Pasierbinski (Poland) and Despina Kouinoglou (Greece).

Location: Seafront of Agios Nikolaos.

Theme: With the project titled ‘Symbiotic Urban Reef’ the team studied the seafrontand proposed an intervention which would turn the seafront as the new facade of the city, aiming to unite the city with the sea and give order to the city. The team created a temporary space which forms the transition between the city and the sea and creates new spaces for the enrichment of public space in the city waterfront. The proposed structure is based on the (sea-front vacation)‘cabana’ multiplied, while remaining transparent and porous. The proposal includes pedestrian promenade, increasing the width of the waterfront for pedestrians.

Presentation of projecthere

Workshop 4

Workshop Leaders: Galia Hanoch Roe (Environmental Protection Society, Israel) and Elias Messinas (ECOAMA / ECOWEEK). With the cooperation of Thanos Stasinopoulos architect (Turkey).

Team: Anna Bampaitou, Zaklyn Maroukian, Calliope Dokolianidou, Eda Kale, Suna Irem Oker, Foteini-Ioanna Tsoumpou-Andriopoulou, Stavros Avramakis, Michail Gounalakis, Evangelos Papadakis and Georgia Tzanopoulou.

Location: 3rd Primary School of Agios Nikolaos.

ThemeTitled “Reviewing the green school’ the team launched the design process with two interactive workshops with schoolchildren at the Children’s Festival in June and with parents and schoolchildren in July. Recognizing the multitude of problems facing the school and because of the limited time, the group focused its attention on two main directions:

  1. To create new spaces for schoolchildren (placemaking) using the ‘Smaller, Quicker, and Cheaper’ approach.
  2. To take advantage of the participation of parents, teachers and schoolchildren, and launch an empowering process which will reveal the potential and possibilities, and ensure commitment for the continuation of collective work after the ECOWEEK week is over.

The group focused on four strategic areas in school:

  1. The waiting area next to the school main entrance gate
  2. The front courtyard mainly used by younger pupils, which had no place to sit in the shade.
  3. The internal court under an existing skylight, which was abandoned and filled with garbage, and finally
  4. The herb garden in the backyard, which was also abandoned. Within an intense four-day collective work, supported by two skilled workers and a bobcat operator and thanks to the generous offer of materials by local hotels, the workshop team, along with parents, schoolchildren and teachers, transformed these areas. The group created new shaded sitting areas in the front yard and by the front gate, using gabions – metal boxes filled with rocks and recycled plastic bottles; shaped the herb garden with 6 planting beds – one for each class – and access corridor using reused wooden deck tiles, and installing a composter, seating and a watering pot to attract birds; in the inner courtyard, the team planted new plants, and created a ‘Zen’ garden using stones and pebbles.

Materials: The interventions were made possible thanks to the generous offer of materials and tools by Bluegr Hotels and Resorts, Ch. Iosifelis SA, Tsagkarakis, and PLEKTAM SA.

Presentation of projecthere

Workshop 5

Workshop Leaders: Dora Kyriafini and Foteini Lymperiadou (euZen Architecture, Greece). With the participation of Nikos Protogeros (computer simulations) and Benjamin Gill (One Planet Living guidelines).

Team: Stefania Adamaki, Androniki Cheimonaki, Antigoni Drosouni, Konstantina Photopoulou, Georgia Pantidou, Evangelia Siskaki, Christina Sophiou, and Magdalini Stiakaki Tzavla.

Location: 5th Primary School of Agios Nicholaos.

Theme: Titled ‘Bioclimatic and ecological renovation of the 5th Primary School Courtyard’ the team began the planning process in cooperation with parents and teachers, and a workshop where students were asked to draw how they envision the courtyard of their school. Living daily in a bare open space covered in concrete without shading or places to play, the children dreamed of trees and green in their school yard. This was precisely the approach of the proposal: a gentle, low-cost approach, which will convert the existing yard into a green oasis. The cement will be removed and replaced with earth and shrubs. The yard will be planted with local deciduous trees, and a few evergreen climbing bushes to create green walls on the facades and fences. Places are delineated for relaxation and play. Rainwater is partly collected for educational purposes. The team managed through planting of trees to achieve an improvement of the microclimate of the school. A series of simulations showed that the ground temperature was reduced by 13 degrees Centigrade in the summer, and a 7% drop in energy consumption of the school buildings. These were achieved only through planting trees and creating shaded areas in the school yard. Upon completion of the ECOWEEK workshop and the public presentation of the project, the Municipality of Agios Nikolaos considering the implementation of the proposal.

Presentation of project: here

Workshop 6

Workshop Leaders: Panos Parthenios and Anna Karagianni (Digital Media Lab, Technical University of Crete, Greece). With the participation of Nikoletta Chatzopoulou, Nikos Bolanaki, Thomas Pouliassis and George Hatzidakis.

Team: Chara Aidoni, Antigoni Ioannou, Areti Kotsoni, Maria Pachniotou, Dimitra Papadimadi, Konstantina Perivolari, Alexandra Psimada and Zissis Vomvas.

Location: Steps of Agios Nicholaos.

Theme: The team took measurements at two points in the center of town, focusing on the visitor experience on noise pollution, light and shading, moisture and carbon emissions. Through observation and the above parameters, the group proposed two structures which would create the conditions for a different experience in these sites: filtering of existing sounds, changing sounds, so the space can obtain harmony and become more welcoming and accommodating.

Presentation of projecthere


Workshop 7

Workshop Leaders: Kristell VanHove and Andreas Gorani (LIMNI, Greece).

Team: Constantina Boumpoulaki, Paraskevi Landou, Anastasia Naki, Michail Nikoloudakis and Iliana Pediaditi.

Location: LIMNI, Agios Nicholaos.

Theme: In a site of natural beauty that hosts agro tourist activities, the group focused on the construction of two small structures: an external oven and an outdoor seating area. The group learned the use of natural materials – earth, clay, straw, wood and stone – and construction techniques based on these materials.

Presentation of project: here

Workshop 8

Workshop Leaders: George Sakellaris (Natural Building of Crete).

Team: Dimitrios Athanasakis, Emmanouil Athanassakis, Flora-Maria Vletsi, Dorothea Mitrou, Rafaela Logari and Androniki Tsagkaraki.

Location: Located outside of Agios Nicholaos.

Theme: In a site of natural beauty that hosts ecological activities, the group focused on learning how to build with natural materials – earthbags, earth, clay, wood and stone – and construction techniques based on these materials.

Presentation of project: here


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