About the Project
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 Project
Any reopening of the 44-year old militarily occupied ghost town of Varosha, a district of historic Famagusta on the Eastern coast of Cyprus, presents a unique opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the past and rebuild for a better future. Yet it comes with significant risks. Without careful planning, it could become just another unsustainable development in an already crowded Mediterranean tourism market, while cementing Famagusta as the second divided city in Cyprus.
Rebuilding Varosha in the context of a model ecopolis promotes peaceful coexistence amongst all of Famagusta’s inhabitants while embracing the latest ecocity technologies and turning Famagusta into a center for peace and sustainability within a troubled region. The project ultimately aims to turn all of Famagusta into Europe’s model Ecocity. This is a multi-track approach to environmental sustainability, economic prosperity and peace building. Those involved are local and international architects, permaculture designers, economists, business owners, urban planners, engineers, horticulturists, historians, artists, filmmakers, conflict mediation specialists and much more.
Our aim is to prepare the communities for the implementation of the Famagusta Ecocity into a thriving cultural, economic and environmental hub. This takes much planning a preparation ahead of time before the area opens up again to human habitation, and after 40 years of separation between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, the road is certainly a bumpy one.
In addition to completing an architectural design studio, which brings five sets of ecocity ideas to the communities, we are working on a documentary film that will both tell the story of the city and show why it is the perfect laboratory for an ecocity to be born.
2014 Kickstarter Campaign Video
Director of Waking Famagusta and Co-Founder/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.
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.
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.
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’’.
Famagusta native; Professor of Permaculture and Building Sustainable communities; Doctoral degree in Counselor Education (University of Maine). Emily’s areas 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.
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).
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.
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.
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