About the Project

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For a summarized history of Cyprus and the demise of Famagusta, please take a moment to read this.

We are a team of mainly Cypriots and Famagustians from both sides of the divide who aim to promote a sustainable city for the benefit of the whole island.

About The Famagusta Ecocity Project

The Famagusta Ecocity is our vision for an integrated, sustainable, environmentally responsible Famagusta that promotes peaceful coexistence among all of its inhabitants and embraces the latest environmental and urban technologies. In our vision, the Famagusta Ecocity will be a centre for peace and sustainability within a troubled region and a magnet for high-quality trade, commerce, tourism and investment. We do not take a position on when Varosha should be returned. The core project team is made up primarily of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots who were either born in or hail from Famagusta. You can find more about the team at https://www.ecocityproject.org/team/.


Our work

a. Education & Outreach (design studio, public town hall events, film & book)

b. Developing a Participatory Planning methodology

c. Creating test sites in other parts of the island to showcase the latest ecocity technologies and practices (H4C). 

Activities to date

  • 2014 Architectural Design Studio January 2014: 63 local specialists and stakeholders comprising mainly GC-TC Famagustians with MIT Professor Jan Wampler & his students from University of South Florida. Town Hall meetings.

  • Ongoing: Post-production fundraising for Waking Famagusta documentary film (projected release 2020).

  • Ongoing: Public outreach (media, students, academics, international community).

  • 2017-18: Famagusta Ecocity official NGO set-up. Began seeking viable projects that will engage stakeholders and demonstrate ecocity principles, including:

    • Renovating a home/building in line with ecocity principles.

    • Developing a participatory planning process for the city.

Why Famagusta needs an ecocity

  • The issue of Varosha, the uninhabited ‘ghost city’ in the district of Famagusta, has traditionally been a source of tension between the two communities. However, it also represents an opportunity to transform the issue into a force for peace. Even with a settlement of the Cyprus problem, Famagusta will be a city and a district that falls across two administrative boundaries. This could create new tensions.

  • Engaging stakeholders in the creation of a common vision for an integrated, sustainable and prosperous Famagusta Ecocity, spanning the whole district, will support mutual cooperation, attract investors for cutting-edge technologies, and bring sustainable employment opportunities for the young. In the event of twin referendums on a settlement deal, the Famagusta Ecocity will also give Cypriots “a big idea”, with clear broad benefits, about which everyone can get excited.

Global ecocity principles

  • Respects the rights of humans and nature to coexist in a healthy and sustainable relationship of inter-dependence

  • Is based on stakeholder engagement

  • Relies on renewable energy sources

  • Produces little to no waste

  • Focuses on economic and ecological security

  • Provides empowerment, responsibility and a high quality of life

To see what we achieved in the initial stages of our project, go here.

2014 Kickstarter Campaign Video



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Vasia Markides

Director of Waking Famagusta and Founder/Creative Director of The Famagusta Ecocity Project; A painter originally, Vasia completed her first documentary short in 2008. Hidden in the Sand is a chronicle of her mother’s hometown under Turkish occupation, which is now off limits within the six-square kilometer fenced off abandoned district of Varosha. Hidden in the Sand has screened in venues and festivals across the U.S., Puerto Rico, Germany, Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, France and Portugal. As a video producer, Vasia has worked with clients such as Oxfam America, Global Nomads Group and other human rights organizations. After launching the Famagusta Ecocity Project and directing a documentary about the effort, her team’s work gained worldwide media attention (CNN, BBC, Associated Press, Huffington Post, National Geographic, Boston Globe, ABC News, U.S. News & World Report, and TedX Limassol). In addition to working on her personal projects, she freelances as a filmmaker and video producer in Maine, New York City, and Cyprus.

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Emily Markides

Famagusta native; Professor of Permaculture and Building Sustainable communities; Doctoral degree in Counselor Education (University of Maine). reas of special interest are the creation of sustainable and EcoPeace communities, spirituality, and permaculture design which melds ecology, agriculture and human settlement. She wrote her dissertation on Complementary Energetic Practices: An Exploration into the World of Maine Women Healers. She has written articles on “Creating a Stable World Peace,” “From Poetry to Community Building,” and “Energetic Healing and its Correspondence to Eastern Orthodox Spirituality.” The ideals that have inspired her work over the years, in terms of both theory and praxis, have been in the area of institution building. She has pursued those ideals in Cyprus by becoming the founder of a Women’s Studies Center/Peace Center and the International Eco-Peace Village (IEV). She served as a Commonwealth Peace Consultant in Cyprus. She also helped to launch a new program in Peace Studies at the University of Maine and served as its first Interim Director from 1988-91. Since 2004 she has founded and served as President of ESTIA, The International EcoPeace Community (www.estiamaine.org). Emily is committed to issues of personal, social and global change, spirituality, peace and ecological sustainability.

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Fiona Mullen

Fiona Mullen has been providing independent economic analysis to an international audience for over 20 years. She founded Sapienta Economics Ltd in 2006 and is the author of the monthly Sapienta Country Analysis Cyprus. She has written extensively on the economics of a Cyprus settlement, including several publications co-authored with Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots for the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). Mullen was economy adviser to the United Nations good offices mission from 2008 to early 2016 and author of the Cyprus reports for the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) from 2002 to 2015. Before living in Cyprus Mullen was Director of the EIU’s flagship Country Reports. In 2017 she co-founded Facilitas Advisory, a media communications and government relations advisory firm.

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Ceren Boğaç

Dr. Boğaç was born in Famagusta on 1979. She has a Master in Architecture and a Ph.D. in Environmental Psychology from Eastern Mediterranean University. She is currently an Assistant Professor of architecture at EMU. Her specific areas of expertise are architectural psychology, environmental meaning, environmental design and place attachment studies. She has publications in environmental meaning and place attachment studies both at the national and international level. Between 2010-2011, she received a scholarship from the European Commission and completed research about ‘Intercultural dialogue and active learning in design studio’ at the Academy of Art Design and Architecture in Prague/ Czech Republic. She has also been involved in many EU funded civil society projects based on human rights and is a board member of the INTBAU Cyprus Chapter.  Besides her academic works, she has many awarded and published short stories in Turkish.

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Nektarios Christodoulou

Nektarios Christodoulou is an Urban Planner and a PhD Grant Holder at the University of Cyprus. He graduated first in his class from the Department of Planning and Regional Development at the University of Thessaly, (2010) and then continued for postgraduate studies at the University of Cambridge where he obtained an MPhil in Planning Growth and Regeneration (2011). He has participated in numerous urban projects in Cyprus and he is currently working on his PhD thesis entitled “Planning in Contested Cities: The case of Famagusta’’.

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Roger Kelly

Architect, Energy Assessor and Sustainability Consultant. Studied at the Polytechnic of Central London, worked in the Housing Association sector and taught sustainable architecture in the UK and Cyprus before becoming Director of the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales (UK), the International Eco.peace Village in Cyprus and Energy Solutions in London. More recently taught architectural contexts and environmental technology at the Hull School of Architecture (UK).

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Armando Garma

Armando is the Co-founder of the Famagusta Ecocity Project; Architect, Educator, and Visual Artist who is preoccupied with the environment and the construction of energy conscious infrastructure. His work as an architect focuses on renovation, restoration, adaptive reuse and the socially responsible use of resources. When he isn't being an architect, he is a video producer and motion graphics creator.

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Christina Elia

Christina Elia is a Greek-Cypriot Architect. She has obtained a BA (Hons) in Architecture from the University of Brighton, UK and a MSc in Architecture and Sustainability from KU Leuven (LUCA) University in Belgium. Her master thesis focused on ecological architecture and urban sustainability; "The Transformation from a Highway to a Sustainable Urban District". After her graduation she was part of a team working on the architectural competition for the medical school building facilities of University of Cyprus. She is currently working as an architect in Larnaca. 

Click here to see more details about what we have achieved.