Saturday, December 26, 2009

So what do we do after the Copenhagen letdown? Meet the Transition Towns Movement

Climate change is a reality.
Copenhagen didn't bring the deal people all over the world hoped for. There's something to be said about the gap between what people want and what governments deliver.
The psychological "climate" after Copenhagen seems to be that of disappointment, pessimism and abandon. Yet, pessimism has never been a good ally.
There are already several other approaches to these issues in the world that may serve as examples. See how others see these issues through the "lenses" of the burgeoning transition towns movement:

Transition Towns
are communities found in several countries already that attempt to change their functions having in mind the looming oil depletion, the peak oil phenomenon, the energy crisis and climate change. They volontarily turn to renewable energy, cut down consumption, place emphasis on local food and local goods in order to increase resilience and work to foster community in order to boost self-reliance and individual and community robustness and health. This can be achieved through identifying specific targets and reaching them, targets that aim to re-introduce a simpler way of life, less dependence on fossil fuel and local production. Ia a sense, this movement is a direct descendant to the Permaculture principles and attempts to bring transformation within existing communities.

Transition Towns Movement

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A People's Declaration from Klimaforum09

Please sign the Not-done-yet campaign: not-done-yet! not-done-yet

In this picture from the People’s declaration for the climate meeting the text of the declaration is projected on the screen in draft form while it is being read and people can comment on it by suggesting additions and changes. You may find the final text here:A People’s Declaration from Klimaforum09

Here you can get an idea on the Copenhagen "climate" last week (8-13/12)!

Friday, December 11, 2009

TREE's brief initial report from the Copenhagen climate

Denmark after centuries of deforestation and transformation of its land into pastures has ended up with a completely altered landscape.Rivers have been diverted into straight lines and channeled into crop fields while many species of its fauna and flora have vanished forever.
Having said that, it also needs to be said that the Danes give lessons of sustainability these days to all of us on many other fronts. That includes renewable energy, urban mobility and transportation, strong social networks and good education. Today, a large percentage of citizens uses bicycles to move around town and much of the energy used is from renewable sources. These days, Copenhagen is host to the UN Climate Change Conference, an event of paramount significance for the future. People from everywhere are flocking in, including government officials, NGO representatives, activists and independent travelers.

Bella Center is the official headquarters where the COP15 proceedings are being held. Access is not easy to anyone without accreditation. The interesting meetings though take place at GDI, a sports center near the train station bustling with human energy. That's where NGOs and activists from all over the world hold meetings, conferences, exchange information and just generally network:
People's Climate Summit
On the other hand at Christiania, the independent community of Copenhagen, (for more on Christiania see it is where the Climate Bottom Meeting: Windows of Hope is held.
There, a different type of approach is being developed: it is we, the people that need to empower ourselves in order to achieve both social and climate change.

Several cultural parallel events take place. The '' Rethink contemporary art and climate change event comprises of Rethink Kakotopia at the Nicolaj Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, the Den Frie Centre for Contemporary Art and the Danish Art Gallery, Rethink Relations and Rethink the Implicit the produces an interesting link on the topic and art.

The COP15 event has a great significance for the future as everything is at stake. Also it means something else for everyone.
At one event taking place at DGI the Klimaforum 09 Declaration was being prepared. This text was being put together by people from many countries(many of them indigenous people)attempting to incorporate the ramifications of history of more than two centuries into the current state of things. Tomorrow (12/12) is the big march with an official estimate of at least 50.000 people from 516 organizations.
Climate March at the climate summit 12-12

Sunday, December 6, 2009

TREE will be in Copenhagen

We will be able to bring back information on COP15 and the atmosphere of the global community in what affects our future.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The experimental forum Sustainable Nea Makri has begun. This forum attempts to function in a proactive fashion tackling issues that affect the area. This effort is supported by TREE and the entities DYNAMI POLITON-ΔΥΝΑΜΗ ΠΟΛΙΤΩΝ and SARCHA (School of Architecture for All). This experiment is an open call to everyone related to the area or the greater Eastern Attica region who is interested in participating in productive discussions and actions.
For more info and if you would like to participate you may apply

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Few Days left before the Copenhagen Climate change conference

Watch a video on the meaning and symbolism of the landscape design for the entrance to the Bella center where the COP15 events will take place:

Friday, October 30, 2009

TREE's new program first announcement

We live in a region that has its own peculiarities, unique landscapes and richness in natural beauty and cultural life but is at the same time quite vulnerable in present and future challenges. We feel that there is a great void in knowledge and dissemination of information regarding these facts and the ways that we may take advantage of them so as to achieve a better quality of life in harmony with the environment.
TREE therefore continues with a new program of events that explore the notion of the local through a variety of approaches that are both practical as well as theoretical.

We launch a cycle of events that belong to the larger theme of "the Mediterranean:
Place, climate, nature and gardens"
Relevant events are being prepared and will be announced shortly.

TREE takes the initiative to launch an experimental forum of discussion and action entitled
ViosimiNeaMakri” which stands for "Sustainable Nea Makri" focuses on the region of Nea Makri and attempts to act proactively in tackling issues that involve the Nea Makri greater area. This effort is being supported and will be jointly managed by ΔΥΝΑΜΗ ΠΟΛΙΤΩΝ ΝΕΑΣ ΜΑΚΡΗΣ TREE and SARCHA (School of Architecture for All) if interested in participating or for information write here

In January a public round table discussion being organized by TREE will take place using the upcoming COP15 UN climate change conference taking place in Copenhagen in December as an opportunity to examine what climate change means, how it impacts education and the everyday, what is the notion of resilience and how it may be cultivated in communities to better cope with what lies ahead.

Finally, one more theme involves the first workshop on home composting as an alternative approach to the discussion around consumerism, waste management and recycling at the source. The topic will be addressed both practically (with participant involvement) and theoretically in examining the practice of composting through various philosophical movements, religious beliefs and practices as well as an approach to life at large.

Full schedule and details to be announced soon.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Thoughts on Permaculture2 at Pikermi

Permaculture2: Diagnosis, ideas and actions (Pikermi, 5/10)

Old and new friends took part in this event during which we had the chance to analyze the landscape and the place through the "glasses" of permaculture. Again, we left with the feeling that the event stood as an opportunity to open up new channels of thought and explore new approaches which will have to continue with the right methods at the right time. TREE wishes to thank Dina Kousouri for her hospitality, Elena Gogou for providing us with an excellent simultaneous translation and Mark Krawczyk for sharing his time and knowledge with us!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Permaculture2: Diagnosis, ideas and actions, Monday 5/10

< -Earth Care<-->People care <--> Reinvest the surplus->

Once more (and for the last time!) after the Introduction to permaculture event at Nea Makri, we will have Mark Krawczyk with us and this will be a good opportunity to further discuss what was initiated on Sunday 27/9!

Pikermi is an area in Attica that used to be the vineyard and productive region for all of Attica. Here, we will attempt to read the landscape and the place together with Mark and we will attempt to formulate some initial diagnosis.
As we already know, proposals are not to be made before we acquire a deep understanding of the place, something that also requires a knowledge in time (allowing at least the four seasons full cycle observation). Nevertheless we will attempt to express thoughts and ideas. We will then have a group discussion that will lead to the option to break into smaller special interest groups and in the end the re-grouping of all participants.

As on Sunday, we ask everyone to bring something that they may have prepared themselves in order for us to share in closing the evening with a communal meal!


μμ Whoever has the option may join us for a walk through the area with Dina Koussouri as our guide.

μμ We all meet at the estate and together with Mark Krawczyk we discuss once again the principles of Permaculture while attempting to focus and get inspired by the land that hosts us tonight.
6:00-8:00μμ Group Discussion

8:30- Communal meal followed by whatever develops…so bring what you have made with care (needless to say you are welcome without bringing anything also, if you can’t prepare something this time...) Also, if you play a musical instrument-guitar, accordion, flute,etc-bring it along –your voice of course will also do!)
Directions in order to get there:

< -Earth Care<-->People care <--> Reinvest the surplus->

Urban Permaculture and the right to the city / Urban Void

Here you can check out excerpts from one of the three acts that took place as part of "The Path":

An Invitation to participate

Urban Void/The Path/ For the right to the city, 2009.
The Urban Void group invites you to participate in an action defending public space and the right to the city through a proposal for uninterrupted passages cutting through the block where EMST is temporarily housed and through institutional properties in the center of Athens with the temporary inscription of a path.

Join us tonight (October 1st 2009) in this urban walk through this "path". During this exploration we will discover together what urban permaculture is -or could be- in the center of Athens and we will discuss about public space, participation and the future of cities...
Meeting point is the Evangelismos Metro at the Rizari exit at 7:00pm. Please be there at 6:45 since the action will start at 7:00 sharp!

This event is part of the Expanded Ecologies/ Perspectives in a Time of Emergency exhibition Duration: 11/6/2009-4/10/2009
curated by Daphne Vitali
The exhibition showcases work by 27 mostly Athens-based artists, architects and artist collectives who propose works for the outdoor public spaces of the Athens Conservatory. The exhibition is cast in the form of an open narrative that juxtaposes themes and approaches pertinent to the many-sided issue of ecology. It features sculptural and sound installations, in situ works, evening video projections, landscape interventions, participatory and community-based projects.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Permaculture Sunday with Mark Krawczyk and walk through the ex-american base

(photos NA/EG)
TREE wishes to thank Mark Krawczyk and all participants in Sunday's event for their contribution in making it a success.
A public dialog on permaculture, on Nea Makri, as well as on community-related issues has just opened up!
So, as a development to this beginning a new appointment was made for Monday October 5th at a friend's farm in Pimermi for further development of the concepts discussed during the presentation, during the walk and afterwards...

Tune in towards the end of the week for details.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Permaculture: An exploration of the landscape in Nea Makri, Sunday September 27th

Our guide: Mark Krawczyk
Time and place:
11:00 am, Sunday, September 27th at the foyer of the Aliki movie theatre in the Athletic and Cultural Park of Nea Makri.
It is expected to have light clouds and some wind tomorrow.
For the tour in the area of the ex-American military base and the archaeological site of Brexiza make provisions to carry with you a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen, light clothing (including a sweater) and walking shoes, as well as water. This is an easy hiking activity suitable for everyone but during the tour there is no place to sit other than on the ground. We should be back by 1:00 for discussion and whatever seems appropriate at the time!...

Join us for a tour through the basics of permaculture design and for a rare reading of the landscape – By permaculture, still little known as a term in Greece, we refer to a holistic design system with origins in Australia, that helps us create environments that meet human needs while improving the ecosystem health. After an overview of the practice, principles and pursuit of permaculture ('permanent agriculture' that builds 'permanent culture') join us to assess a neglected and abused urban landscape generating design solutions that restore and regenerate it for the good of humans and all beings.

Mark Krawczyk is a permaculture designer and ecological landscaper who resides in Burlington, VT, USA. He has worked with leaders in the permaculture field throughout North America and the UK. He owns and operates 'Keyline Vermont' - a sustainable farm design/consulting business, is a member of Seventh Generation Natural Builders collective and is the co-founder of the local permaculture and sustainability-focused community group Burlington Permaculture.

Keylinevermont Permaculture
Burlington Permaculture
Seventh Generation Natural Builders

Attention! Please tune in again prior to the event for possible changes and last minute details!
How to get there:

If coming by public transport (buses going to Marathon, Grammatiko and Ag. Marina all make stops there) the ex-military American base site is also a bus stop, so just notify that this is where you want to get off. From there the Aliki movie theater is a 5’ walk inside the Athletic and Cultural center of Nea Makri.
If coming by car from Marathon avenue driving towards Marathon, about 150 m after the Dionysos intersection and just after the fire station you need to slow down and turn right into the Athletic and Cultural center of Nea Makri. Park and walk to the movie theater.

Closing of the AMOR1 workshop on Friday

The workshop came to an end on Friday night with a public discussion focusing on the issues about Nea Makri, the area that formed the case study for the workshop with the notions about the 'local' as its theme. This public discussion was indeed one of the main goals of this workshop:
to facilitate contact between the organizers, the participants and community members in a discussion where everyone tunes into a common frame of thought, stemming from the theme of the workshop. This did occur and it allowed to conclude that the workshop had succeeded in what it had set out to accomplish. Therefore, the prevailing feeling after that heated discussion was that something was about to start rather than something that reached its end.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The workshop takes a walk in Brexiza 17/9

Herodes Atticus (Ἡρώδης ὁ Ἀττικός), also known by his Roman name, Lucius Vibullius Hipparchus Tiberius Claudius Atticus Herodes Marathonios (ca. 101-177) was a Greek rhetorician.
He was born in Marathon in Attica to a distinguished and fabulously wealthy family and besides traveling a lot, he became known as a benefactor erecting various monuments. Reminiscing his trips to Egypt and his recollections of the Nile Delta he had a temple dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis erected near his hometown.
So workshop participants wandered in the former american base which contains the ruins and is known as Brexiza to discover -in this 'black hole' that forms a significant part of the territory the workshop covered- treasures not only of history but also of a whole ecosystem surviving at the edges of human intervention in spite of abuse.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Public events launched by the AMOR1 workshop program (16, 17, 18 September):

Public events launched by the AMOR1 workshop program:
An important part of the workshop currently in effect is the public dialog. An opportunity for exchange of thoughts between participants to the workshop both organizers and students, as well as members of the community and all interested citizens.
The meeting place for this public forum is the foyer of the Aliki movie theater (a component of the Athletic and Cultural center of Nea Makri) and all following events are open to the public.

Wednesday 6:00pm:
Discussion and presentations from members of the community

Thursday 1:00pm:

A walk through the archaeological site of Brexiza with guide and inside the former American military base. The walk is open to the public.

Thursday 5:30 pm:
A presentation by architects Christina Frageti and Yiorgos Drakopoulos of their thesis at the National Technical University of Athens School of Architecture:
With nature as an ally: a walk towards the archaeological site of Brexiza ath Nea Makri”. The presentation will be followed by a discussion

Friday 5:30 pm:
Presentations of the projects by the attendants of the workshop and discussions followed by group discussions. (open space technique)

How to get there:

If coming by public transport (buses going to Marathon, Grammatiko and Ag. Marina all make stops there) the ex-military American base site is also a bus stop, so just notify that this is where you want to get off. From there the Aliki movie theater is a 5’ walk inside the Athletic and Cultural center of Nea Makri.
If coming by car from Marathon avenue driving towards Marathon, about 150 m after the Dionysos intersection and just after the fire station you need to slow down and turn right into the Athletic and Cultural center of Nea Makri. Park and walk to the movie theater.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New discussion group established

Sign in to a discussion group that is place to discuss issues related to the workshop:

Workshop Discussion group

Thursday, September 3, 2009

September Workshop approaching...

It's September and the time when the workshop begins is near. During the time that went by since July the fire events in Attica, (very close to our case study area) affected everybody and no doubt, will profoundly affect the future as well.

The workshop title «At My Own Risk» tackles the notion of responsibility, either personal or collective towards the place and the local, and explores the ways by which we understand and engage in what happens or will happen.

In view of these recent developments, the workshop aspires to adjust the program so as to engage in debate organizers, participants and community members interested in attending.
The program will be announced shortly. Meanwhile, feel free to convey any questions, ideas and suggestions.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Introductory meeting for the AMOR1 workshop 23/7

We meet tomorrow 23/7 at 19:15 at the entrance of the Conservatory of Athens, where the National Museum of Contemporary Art is housed on the occasion of Jednnifer Nelson's "Salad Party" event.

This will be a good occasion to meet, ask questions, organize!
If you intend to come please be prompt!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

AMOR1- [At my own Risk] / A workshop for students of architecture and the arts

AMOR1- [At my own Risk] / A workshop for students of architecture and the arts
An alternative approach to the local

A workshop taking place during : 27-31/7 and 14-18/9 at Nea Makri, a coastal town in Attica.


Nicholas Anastasopoulos,architect
Nikos Kazeros, architect
Dr. Maria Theodorou,architect
Jennifer Nelson, artist

Nicholas Anastasopoulos,

Master of Architecture Yale, USA (1985/ A.S. Onasis scholar). Studied architecture at the NTUA of Athens . Co-founder and program director of TREE / ΔΕΝΤΡΟ, a non-profit organization. Between 1985 and 1994 he lived, worked and taught in New York. Since 1996 he has an office in Athens. Teaching experience of more than two decades at institutions in Greece and abroad, such as Parsons School of Design/ NY, University of Patras and NTUA. Conducts research on alternative living communities and environmental management, topics on which he has lectured and written extensively.

Dr. Maria Theodorou
, :

PhD History and Theory of Architecture (AA), postgraduate diploma (La Sapienza, Rome) architecture professional degree (AUTH, Greece), Fulbright visiting fellow (Princeton 2005). She is director and founding member of SARCHA (School of ARCHitecture for All) in Athens, and was in charge of SARCHA’s Unbuilt 2008 international architecture research events She lectures and publishes on architecture theory and her current research focuses on architecture and the political.

Nikos Kazeros
Remodelling of Monastiraki Square (1st Prize European architectural competition 1998). Co-editor: Without Limits- the Vast Lands of the Athenian Suburbs (2003) and Urban Void- Actions 1998-06 (2007). Member of “Astiko Keno” (Urban Void), an open group of architects and artists working on collective actions in the city (1998-). His articles on issues relating to the city, the urban landscape and public space have appeared in journals, collective publications and newspapers. Adjunct Lecture Professor, “Architectural Design”, “Urban transitions” (Reuse of space) and “Cultural Geography”, Department of Architecture, University of Patras 2002-. Graduated from the School of Architecture at the Aristotle University of Thessalonica (1988). Inter-Departmental Postgraduate Courses Program, NTUA (2000). His research activity centers on the transformations of the urban landscape.

For details please contact:
Nicholas Anastasopoulos
Nikos Kazeros

Monday, June 1, 2009

Experiential Discussion: Craig Gibsone+Beatriz Gutierrez

June 14 18:00- 22:00

Craig Gibsone+Beatriz Gutierrez

Experiential Discussion and play

Craig and Beatriz are members of Findhorn, the pioneer ecocommunity in the north of Scotland and facilitators on topics relating to permaculture and community living. They bring along with them the precious experience that stems from the everyday practice of techniques on social structures, spirituality as well as an accumulated wisdom from daily life at Findhorn, a community that has the lowest recorded ecological footprint for any community in the industrialised world, just half the UK national average. This translates into proven adopted ways of living that guarantee a high quality of life in harmony with the environment.

Friday, May 15, 2009

"A tree comes to life" : An opening celebration

A tree comes to life!
28/04/2009 8:00 pm.

TREE (Take Responsibility for Environmental Efficiency) through its programs aims to mobilize and connect the mind, the heart and the hands… TREE’s mission includes the study of the manmade and natural environment and their intricate relationships. TREE seeks to raise awareness in topics that address the environment and lifestyles that affect the quality of life within the environment.

Among TREE’s goals are:

* To explore and promote altermative lifestyles and patterns of behavior that deal with the problems related to crises, either present and contemporary such as the financial crisis and the social and political crisis, or ongoing and long-term such as the energy crisis and the climate change.
* To promote environmental awareness and familiarity with ecological practices and life habits through education, thus attempting a reconciliation with the present and now.

Join us for a celebration of the TREE in the garden with wine and friends...

Friday, May 1, 2009

How to get there

You can reach the garden where most events will be taking place unless noted otherwise if coming from Athens or anywhere else more distant than a few kilometers from Nea Makri either by car or public transport. We generally favor reduced use of cars, therefore it is always a good idea to share a ride with someone else. If you drive, you must park on Argostoliou street and then walk on foot to Olympou 2.

Buses leaving from "Pedion toy Areos" with indications Marathon, Grammatiko, Agia Marina, all make a stop at "Agios Konstantinos", one stop past the Nea Makri square. From the stop you can walk to the house and it takes about 10 minutes to get there.
Please study and print the diagram below for directions and reference.