by Emela Fazlic, EER Volunteer
This article represents the latest research about the park and its potential for the future use by the local community.
The focus of this research and the focus of the project that is to be followed after completion of the before mentioned is Karatasou Park located in the city of Thessaloniki Greece.
Using the secondary data analysis in terms of the existing articles, photos, maps and other useful
material that can be found online, the historical research section will focus on the past and current developments of the park area and its impacts on the future.
The name of the park dates back to the 19th century, in the time when the Dimitris Karatasos, after whom the park was named, was taking actions in order to liberate Greek Macedonians, through Greek-Serbian alliance (Wikipedia). Over the years park was used as a military base, however in more recent times it was converted into the park, accessible for everyone in the local community to be used.
The Karatasou park spreads across the generous area of 689 acres. The precise mapping of the area is yet to be done, however it should encompass quite big area of the city. Currently the area of the camp is used as a public park area. In 2011 one section of the park , 68.9 hectares, was converted to the communal garden by the urban and peri-urban crops groups. Their main goal was to create communal and in season cultivation of vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs in a field or an appropriate space near the city of Thessaloniki. The cultivation provided by the PERKA group is non-profit, it is for socially vulnerable groups and it is based on the principles of organic, biodynamic or natural farming ( Perka).
For the sociological part main method of data collection is again going to be secondary data, due to impediment to use any other method in the current situation.
Conservation and re-purposing of the park, since it used to be military camp. Enhancing the natural aspects of it through eco-initiatives and sustainable practices, but also making it a cultural spot of Thessaloniki, where festivals, events, concerts and etc. can be held.
· Insufficient awareness of the locals of the services the park provides, or the ones that it could provide with little enhancement
· Need for the restoration of the park in terms of the worn down amenities and ruins it is surrounded by
· Need for creation of new amenities and activities that could be held on its grounds
· Ecosystems could be endangered if the park does not
AREA OF FOCUS – multi-use areas that is environmentally friendly
After identifying the main issues that park faces, through this project the focus should be drawn on the all three of them, since they are issues easily solvable with limited amount of resources we’re presented in this case.
The area of the park is in major need of the holistic development, that will enable community to have multi-use are in terms of recreation, environmental conservation, cultural hotspot, biodiversity conservation etc.
PROPOSED SOLUTIONS/ ACTION PLANS
Bird house workshop in the park – to promote park as a bio-diversity hub for the different species of birds, which will raise awareness of local community of its importance (FB event) – ecosystem conservation.
Create an outdoor library – a cupboard where the people can leave the bo
oks they do not need anymore and they can get books from them – increase the existing content of the park so more people come.
Create recycling bins – to promote park as an eco-friendly hub – restoration of amenities. To be done sign scraps materials such as leftover pallets, wood boards...
Organize food fair- in collaboration with the PERKA or alternatively in collaboration with the
FB page for the park – with weekly posts – in terms of open panel for suggestions about the improvements for the park made by the local community in the comment section.