Olympic Village: A new town is born

Visitors to the Olympic Village are not likely to be seized with euphoria but rather with melancholy. One does not find a village immersed in darkness, as some have said, but neither does one find a thriving community. On the one hand there is the flawless arrangement of the 2,292 houses in the form of a large village – small-scale residences, electricity cables buried underground, a bioclimatic system to ensure the houses have maximum sunlight, natural gas installation and large green spaces with withering although not allergenic plants. On the other, the site evokes a sense of absolute solitude, particularly at night, for those bold enough to take up residence. Schools are devoid of children’s voices because they remain inoperative and stores remain shut as the results of the tender for the International Zone have yet to be revealed. Naturally, the site is littered with paper in keeping with Greek tradition. It is a residential estate with wonderful infrastructure – despite the chipboard and cheapness of some of the materials used – but this is a far cry from being a village, city or neighborhood. In short, the Olympic Village is still a group of numbers: for example, street 03, 04, or 05, house number 219 or 220. For these numbers to come to life and avert ghettoization, a great deal of effort is required. In particular, answers are needed to the many questions regarding its administration and the groups that will manage the village, ensure the social cohesion of the residents and solve delays in the international commercial zone.