This is an article about a neighborhood in the north of Athens city center called “Kypseli”. Kypseli is an area that has been through many transitional stages over the last decades, having seen both rise and decline. The present period though, it looks like this location is about to experience a new era!
Kypseli before its first demarcation in 1908 was a rural area, while it’s clearly urban development started as a housing zone in the 1930s with beautiful neoclassic houses, shopping districts, green areas and squares. Later on, in 1960s, international trends influenced its architecture and modern multistory buildings aroused. For many decades Kypseli together with Pangrati, were the two main residential regions of Athens addressing to upper-middle class. However, in the early 80s the situation changed rapidly due to decentralized planning of Athens. Residents from the city center moved to the suburbs and immigrants started using it as cheap habitation. For many years Kypseli suffered a decline but this place had the potential to recover due to its past glamour.
Great changes have been presented the last three years in the area and though the marks of the past are obvious all of these elements synthesize an interesting puzzle. Going for a walk you can easily observe the nice urban planning with green areas, squares, elegant neoclassic buildings and busy streets with people from all around the world. Kypseli is maybe the most multicultural neighborhood in Athens with an interesting everyday life having small shops, markets, restaurants and bars inspired from civilizations from all over the world. Moreover over the last years there is a tourism growth in the city of Athens which enriches the existing multinational atmosphere and gives motivation to the owners to renovate their properties and exploit them through Airbnb.
This was the reason why the area, together of course with the low property prices, initially attracted young hipsters, who together with the remaining residents transformed Kypseli to a creative hub. Because of their actions the neighborhood was upgraded and during the past years more people came to live there, new shops opened and society started visiting the area for leisure and fun. Places like the “municipal market” and “Saint George square” are the proof that things are changing and town has earned its past charm back but in a modern way.
Talking about Kypseli this is just the beginning, its potential to grow much more is great, mainly because all the initiatives can easily be based on a preliminary well designed town plus there is a strong intention of the Greek government to re-inhabit the city center.
Influenced from other developed European countries, Greece has certain plans for the city center which were postponed a little because of the economic crisis. The vision is an accessible and ecofriendly smart city center with green spaces and nice paths without cars and traffic. Most of the projects are related to transportation and urban regeneration, many of them have already been designed and some others have already started shaping a bright future!
Athens values are underestimated compared to the rest of the European capitals and this fact gives excellent growth prospects, especially for neighborhoods with well-designed structures such as Kypseli!. More than that the booming of tourism the last years, which is considered to be the heavy industry of the Greek economy, leads to the conclusion that the redevelopment of the city center is one of the biggest projects for the country for the next years!