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Filothei and Palaio Psychiko- Galatsi and Kypseli

The top of a hill separates the robust garden towns οf Filothei and Palaio Psychiko with the middle-class densely built districts of Galatsi and Kypseli.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

Through this route, one can get to know a very large part of the city’s urban and social history. Filothei and Palaio Psychiko districts belong to the first attempts to create a garden city in Athens, so the houses are sparse and green predominates. Residences are mostly the luxurious homes of high income residents. On the other side of the hill is Galatsi, a middle-income district that was aggressively developed in the last decades of the 20th century. This area is a prime example of the rapid expansion of Athens in the second half of the 20th century, with an emphasis on the number of buildings,  rather than aesthetic quality. Continuing south to Kypseli, we see a neighbourhood where many artists and other prominent personalities of the country once lived. The architecturally interesting old houses and blocks of flats still retain the imprint of the Kypseli period of prosperity, which lasted until the law of the contractual consideration (antiparochi), and later the increase of structure density by the junta, created a densely built and crowded urban environment. This resulted in a reduction of the quality of life and a deterioration of the neighbourhood. Today, few remain who are the old residents of Kypseli. Most of the original residents have moved to more robust districts to the north, such as Kifissia. The majority of today’s residents are of middle and low income, and many residents are immigrants, who filled the gap left by the old inhabitants of Kypseli.

What I can't see

These urban contrasts are not accidental. The arrival of the Greek refugees in 1922 pushed the bourgeois into closed communities. The bourgeoisie was urbanely developed vertically with the construction of the first blocks of flats, while the refugees expanded horizontally in space with one-storey houses. New, unplanned settlements were developed by the incoming refugees, with the result that the state lost control of urban planning in those neighbourhoods. The rapid development of apartment buildings in neighbourhoods such as Kypseli, as well as in garden cities like Psychiko and Filothei, blurred the lines separating the bourgeois from the refugees and the working class. This happened largely because the nouveau riche, an economically unstable class who were influenced by the peculiar propaganda of the time to imitate the wealthy, often chose to live in these high-density areas. Thus, residency in blocks of flats was no longer considered a status symbol by the truly well-off, and when the city centre deteriorated during the period of the junta, the lower and middle classes began to expand into areas like Galatsi.


Field observation by scientific editors

Leontidou L., (1989), Πόλεις της σιωπής, εργατικός εποικισμός της Αθήνας και του Πειραιά, 1909-1940, [Cities of Silence, Worker Settlement of Athens and Piraeus, 1909-1940], Cultural Technological Foundation HBID

Maloutas T., (2003/4), Προβλήματα κοινωνικά βιώσιμης ανάπτυξης στην Αθήνα, οι μεταβολές της τελευταίας εικοσαετίας στην κοινωνική γεωγραφία της πόλης και η κρίση της ιδιότυπης κοινωνικής συνοχής, [Problems of socially sustainable development in Athens, the changes of the last 20 years in the social geography of the city and the crisis of peculiar social cohesion] Working Paper, Athens: NCSR

Sarigiannis G.M., (2000), Αθήνα 1830-2000, ΕξέλιξηΠολεοδομίαΜεταφορές, [Athens 1830- 2000, Evolution- Urban Planning- Transportation], Athens: Symmetria Publications