In terms of access to quality housing, there are many problems in Greek cities. Old buildings, unaffordable housing, unmet needs, energy crisis. This is a major obstacle in terms of creating a local community as well as a wider care system not only at home.

In view of all these challenges, the ROCK the BLOCK (RtB) project uses ‘Polykatoikia’ (block of flats) as an intervention unit for technical (green/ digital/ aesthetic) transformations and community building, towards affordable, shared living. This project takes into account that affordable housing is both a right and a need for people. Through its interventions, common housing problems will be tackled collectively.

The 3 main pillars of the RtB are
– Technical (green/ digital/ aesthetic/ functional/ circular/ inclusive) transformations: where there will be a public call for residents to join the program.
– Community building and empowerment: includes neighborhood community building, awareness raising, and empowerment activities related to meeting housing needs/expenses.
– Institutional interventions for care and support: defines the institutional role of the MoE in supporting housing affordability and community activation. It includes the establishment of the ‘Co-living Hub’ and the ‘Housing Office’ (one-stop-shop for housing) in municipal premises.

URBANA’s role in this innovative program is to emphasize the gender perspective in the interventions. Through the participatory redesign of the spaces, URBANA will highlight the perspectives of the people living in the apartment blocks (polykatoikias), to ensure that the interventions carried out by the RtB will meet their everyday needs and desires.

Location: Municipality of Egaleo

Period: September 2023 – August 2027

The project is funded by the European Urban Initiative (EUI) – Innovation Action (IA).

In collaboration with the Municipality of Egaleo (Leader), the National Research Centre for Physical Sciences “Demokritos”, the Laboratory of Building and Building Physics of the Department of Civil Engineering of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Institute of Regional Development of Panteion University, the urban and cultural development company Symbolo O.E, the architectural οffice AREA, and the organizations, InCommON (Innovative Communities Inwards), Organization Earth and Ohi Paizoume (UrbanDig Project).