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Dimitrios Panayotopoulos-Tsiros

The morphology of urban voids: a metabolic approach to cohesion. The case of Eleonas in Athens.

Primary supervisor:  Dr Susan Moore
Secondary supervisor:  Prof. Camillo Boano
Starting date: October 2016
Projected completion date: October 2019

Dimitrios

All macro trends of urban transformation — the shift from the industrial to the post-industrial city, from modernity to post-modernity — have either utilised or left in their passage voids. Voids in a physical, metaphorical and conceptual sense. Voids are part of urbanism, they are part of planning; deliberately or not, formally or informally.

Discontinuities and voids within the urban and social spheres are indeed at the heart of the post-industrial city where the significance of the historical urban space is replaced with inhuman and ephemeral “non-places”. In this new “connected city” driven by the optimisation of flows and commodities, a new territorial unevenness emerges between premium spaces and disfigured ones that tend to remain invisible, eventually becoming spatial gaps exacerbating social and economic marginalisation.

The industrial area of “Eleonas” in Athens, Greece, was selected as a case study for its strategic location and the long and successive stages of growth and decline that shaped its current incongruous landscape. This research argues that derelict areas like Eleonas are part, as well as the result, of the broader spatial, political and social dynamics and questions what their role is in the post-industrial city.

This research deals with these places of transition through the conceptual apparatus of the “void”. It is an exploration of the notion of the “void” as an intellectual construct capable of providing with the tools to perceive under a new lens the ever-evolving spaces of the city. This research analyses these places of transition using a relational approach through the lenses of Urban Morphology, Urban Metabolism and Urban Political Ecology to shed light on the reasons that created them and the way in which they can be sustainably integrated and addressed in modern city development.  

Biography

Dimitris is currently a PhD student at the Bartlett School of Planning, he completed his bachelor and master’s degrees in architecture, at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) of Brussels, Belgium, including a one-year exchange at the Department of Architecture and Building Sciences of Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan.

Rooted in Architecture, he gradually oriented his studies towards urban planning specifically in the fields of Urban Morphology, Metabolism and Sustainability to investigate in the complex interdependencies between people, buildings, infrastructures and flows that shape the urban form.

Before transitioning to more research-based activities, Dimitris worked as an architect in various architecture offices in Belgium and Japan. After which, Dimitris served as a research assistant at the “Laboratory on Urbanism, Infrastructures and Ecologies” (LoUIsE) of the ULB where he was involved in faculty related masterclasses and publications; a study for ULB’s forthcoming campus; and as a local expert on a research project in collaboration with Rotterdam Research Office .FABRIC for the International Rotterdam Architecture Biennal 2015.

In September 2016, Dimitris started his PhD at the Bartlett School of Planning, parallel to which he has been involved as a postgraduate teaching assistant on postgraduate courses in Comparative Planning Systems and Cultures, and as a research assistant on two EU-funded projects focusing on Industrial Symbiosis and the Circular Economy.

Publications and other work

OVAM, Casabella, N., Panayotopoulos-Tsiros, D., (forthcoming publication). Designing with the flows in the Brussels Metropolitan Region.

Domenech, T., Bleischwitz, R., Doranova, A., Panayotopoulos-Tsiros, D., & Roman, L. (2019). Mapping Industrial Symbiosis Development In Europe_ typologies of networks, characteristics, performance and contribution to the Circular Economy. Conservation & Recycling. Resources, Conservation & Recycling 141, 76-98.

Barrantes Chaves, K., King Lam Chung, C., Hincapie Trivino, M., Juangbhanich, A., Panayotopoulos-Tsiros, D., (2018) Taking Planning Forward (Third Edition): PhD Research Projects at the Bartlett School of Planning, 2017/18, The Bartlett School of Planning

King Lam Chung, C., Fiorentino, S., Juangbhanich, A., López Franco, M., Panayotopoulos-Tsiros, D., Rivero Villar, A., (2017) Taking Planning Forward (Second Edition): PhD Research Projects at the Bartlett School of Planning, 2016/17, The Bartlett School of Planning

Vanin, F., Panayotopoulos-Tsiros, D., Van de Wall, R., (2016). BRIDGES: Connections where line become urban spaces., LoUIsE - ULB, ISSN: 2294-8880.

Panayotopoulos-Tsiros, D. (2016). “Eleonas: Urban Voids as Opportunity for a Water Sensitive Approach to the Design of Cities”, Athens: ATINER’S Conference Paper Series, No: PLA2015-1809. ISSN: 2241-2891, http://www.atiner.gr/papers/PLA2015- 1809.pdf

Contributions

Moore, S., Trudeau, D., (n.d.). After New Urbanism: From exception to norm.

Domenech, T., Doranova, A., & Smith, M. (2018). Cooperation fostering industrial symbiosis: market potential, good practice and policy actions. European Commission.

Presentations, proceedings and papers

Panayotopoulos-Tsiros, D. (2019, April). Scale and Perceptions of Urban Voids in Post-Industrial Cities. Learnings from Eleonas in Athens, Greece. Paper presented at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, Washington D.C. - USA.

Silva L., C., Panayotopoulos-Tsiros, D. (2019, April). Urban Voids, Interstitial Spaces and Vacant Lands: An Emerging Agenda for the Vague Geography of Cities. Paper session at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, Washington D.C. - USA.

Panayotopoulos-Tsiros, D. (2017, April). The Morphology of Urban Voids: A Metabolic Approach to Cohesion. The Case of Eleonas in Athens. Paper presented at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, Boston - USA.

Panayotopoulos-Tsiros, D. (2017, March). The Morphology of Urban Voids: A Metabolic Approach to Cohesion. The Case of Eleonas in Athens. Paper presented at Losing Ground: On holes and other absences. University of Warwick - UK.

Panayotopoulos-Tsiros, D. (2015, June). “Eleonas: Urban Voids as Opportunity for a Water Sensitive Approach to the Design of Cities”, Paper presented at the 5th Annual International Conference on Urban Studies & Planning, Athens - GR.

Dissertations

Panayotopoulos-Tsiros D. (2015). Eleonas: Urban Voids as Opportunity for a Water Sensitive Approach to the Design of Cities. Master’s thesis (supervisor: Casabella Alvarez Nadia), Faculty of Architecture La Cambre - Horta, Université Libre de Buxelles - ULB, Brussels, Belgium.

Panayotopoulos-Tsiros D. (2014). Land-Use around Metro Stations: The Case of Oroshimachi in Sendai, Japan. Unpublished COLLABS Research Thesis (supervisor: Masashige Motoe), Department of Architecture and Building Sciences, Tohoku University. Sendai, Japan