The FOTA collective is a spin off that voluntarily came out of the recent processes of 'revitalization' in a part of Athens' downtown, named the 'Athens Trigono' (triangle). The area has historically functioned and still is the (old) commercial 'heart' of the city. However, a number of processes including prevalent suburbanization and the expulsion of small scale industry in the late 80' led to the area's economic and social demise.
Lately, there have been efforts by the Athens Trigono, a non-for-profit organization funded by the Stavros Niarhos Foundation, in close collaboration with the municipality of Athens to create a better quality public space with less cars and more pedestrianized streets for residents and visitors to stroll around. As this program comes to an end (June 2019), the FOTA collective sprung out as a loose association of local businesses, residents and other stakeholders to continue the efforts for a cleaner, safer and more pedestrian friendly urban environment. However, the collective is still in the making, as it has not yet crystallized its agenda and has not been embedded into any legal form. As a matter of fact, one could argue that it is a collective still in the making, which tries to create a consensus between its constituent parts.
The meeting of the 21st of March took place in the offices of the ABCitiEs partner on behalf of the Municipality of Athens along Aiolou Street and involved 5 members of the FOTA collective and 4 members of the Greek team. It was an informal meeting based upon questions like how the collective came about, next steps, current actions, visions for the future, etc. We promised to keep in touch and communication is ongoing, as we clearly have a lot to learn from each other. More members of the collective will be met in the coming weeks.