‘ENtopia-Our Places in Europe’ meeting took place in Athens

On 13 June members of the ‘ENtopia – Our Places in Europe’ project committee met at the offices of Elliniki Etairia during the 50th Anniversary Congress in Athens. “What human beings need is not utopia (‘no place’), but entopia (‘in place’)…a place which satisfies the dreamer and is acceptable to the scientist, a place where the projections of the artist and the builder merge.” This is how Costantinos Doxiadis defined the word “entopia” in his book “Ekistics”.

Photo: Island of Patmos, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, Andrea Moroni

Photo: Island of Patmos, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, Andrea Moroni

‘ENtopia – Our Places in Europe’ is a newest European project promoted by Europa Nostra to solicit applications and participation from smaller towns and villages across Europe with the aim to define a “Future Vision for Sustainable Settlement” and to implement qualitative norms for good places to live in and enjoy. This project is not an “Award Scheme” but rather an “Incentive Scheme” which seeks to encourage and endorse smaller towns and villages and their local authorities and communities to work towards their sustainable futures through identifying and celebrating their cultural and environmental qualities and assets.

During the meeting in Athens, Greek case studies from the Sustainable Aegean Programme were illustrated by Miltiadis Lazoglou, Staff member of Elliniki Etairia, including the islands of Sifnos, Nisiros, Patmos and Skopelos.

Subsequently, Philip Gheoghean, the project leader who is also a Europa Nostra Council member and a former chairman of the Jury for Category Conservation of the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, presented an impressive progress report on this project, including the project Manual, at the Europa Nostra Council meeting which was held on 14 June at the Acropolis Museum.

The production of the project Manual was kindly funded by the Government of Ireland (Department of Arts, Heritage and Haeltacht), and was launched in Athens during the Irish President of the European Union. In this initial phase, the project is being developed by Ireland (Philip Gheoghean) and Greece (Costa Carras and Elliniki Etairia). It is expected that other countries will start participating in this programme in the following years.

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