Athens will only change if we who live here change. The crisis may appear to be only financial, but in essence it is cultural. So we have to understand that we must deal with it as such. The heart of the city is its center and in my view that’s where change has to start, where there’s an urgent need to implement measures to recover public space. The ghettoization of downtown Athens in recent years has determined the way the entire city functions. So the first intervention should be to return it to all its inhabitants. Rules must be enforced and public space beautified so that everyone can enjoy it. Due to its structure – small city blocks and a mix of uses – Athens is a very vibrant city, which, unfortunately, is very ugly, dirty, chaotic and airless. Cleanliness, lighting, public order, sidewalk repairs, enforcement of parking regulations and removal of the visual obstacles that «adorn» buildings and public spaces, as well as creating islets of greenery in the few empty spaces are some basic measures that could be the first step toward an elementary upgrade of life in Athens. Only then can we claim we are taking action to improve life for its inhabitants.