Athens, Greece

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Building on the success of the Boston lab held from February 28 to March 4, 2016, an Athens lab will take place from June 26 to July 1. The lab’s recommendations will feed into Athens’ Resilience Strategy, which is being developed as part of the 100 Resilient Cities process.

Project Elements

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Lab Composition/Structure: The Athens lab is composed of fifteen American and European policy experts drawn from a diverse range of disciplines. Participants are divided into two teams, each guided by four local experts. Experts will focus on two districts:

  • 6th District (Victoria Square)
  • 3rd District (Avdi Square)

Lab experts will focus on two topics from the perspective of equity and inclusive growth:

  • Job creation, employment and entrepreneurship
  • Placemaking - reviving public space for residents and businesses

Lab Process: The lab is an intensive, on-the-ground exercise designed to produce targeted and implementable recommendations for the Municipality of Athens based on community input.

Day 1: Framing. The first phase of the lab process involves defining the equity challenge in Athens. Headquartered at the Impact Hub Athens, the lab begins with briefings from city officials, local academics and community members. The day concludes with a citywide walking tour to put the focus neighborhoods in geographical context.

Days 2-3: Neighborhood exploration and analysis. Lab experts explore the 6th and 3rd districts to learn about the organizations, programs and initiatives working to advance community development and revitalization. Experts uncover each district’s specific equity challenges through informational briefings, site visits and small-group discussions with community stakeholders (representatives from business, nongovernmental organizations, unions, arts and culture, etc.). Engagement in both districts culminates with a networking lunch and facilitated roundtable discussion with civic leaders, business owners and institutional representatives.

Days 3-4: Processing. Following the neighborhood site visits and stakeholder engagement, lab experts use a SWOC (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Challenges) model to analyze the inputs and information received. Experts then employ the design thinking method to process their experience in each neighborhood. Through intensive discussion and debate, lab experts use their expertise and knowledge of innovative practices to identify policy interventions to address the issues at hand.

Post-Lab: Research and development of recommendations. Following the Athens lab, experts conduct remote sessions via conference call from July 1 to September 15. This step involves additional research and engagement with local stakeholders and officials from the Municipality of Athens.

Policy Recommendations: The lab will release its findings in a two-prong format:

  • A city recommendations memo for the Municipality of Athens that outlines the lab findings and recommendations. The city memo will include specific recommendations for improving social equity/economic opportunity in the two focus districts, and a review of best practices (policies and programs).
  • A trans-Atlantic policy brief that identifies a shared set of trans-Atlantic lessons to enhance economic opportunity and inclusion at the local level on both sides of the Atlantic.

Implementation: Following the Athens lab, the Transatlantic Policy Lab will collaborate with the city and local organizations to integrate the lab’s recommendations into Athens’ Resilience Strategy.


For more information on the Transatlantic Policy Lab, contact Anthony Silberfeld, anthony.silberfeld@bfna.org or Jeffrey Brown, jeffrey.brown@bfna.org.