The program focuses on comparative studies of Mediterranean urban and island communities. Beginning with an exploration of the importance of public spaces in Athens, we then shift focus to examining traditional medieval villages of the Aegean and Ionian Islands. The course emphasizes studies in sustainable development in urban and traditional Mediterranean Island communities and includes field investigations emphasizing sustainable development, the study of village form, and current issues facing Greece. Students will explore neighborhoods in transition as well as ancient sites and will assess village form using sustainability methods. Our residency stay in Ithaca focuses on a design project as part of our continuing research in Ithaca. The Ithaca project received the 2017 Outstanding Student Planning Study awarded by the American Planning Association and the Planning Association of Washington.
Explore Mediterranean architecture, urban planning, traditional village development, and culture while performing fieldwork in village community settings.
The program involves 3 parts:
Part 1: Our exploration begins exploring urban Athens, examining urban design and spaces, the city’s historic development, plans to pedestrianize the central city, historical sites and museums, and the impacts of austerity and migration.
Part 2: involves island hopping across the Aegean islands for comparative studies of traditional settlement villages in the Cycladic chain of Islands.
Part 3 includes a residency in the island of Ithaca with planned excursions. In addition to Ithaca Island, we plan to visit Aegean Islands that include Syros, Folegandros, Serifos or other islands in the Aegean and Ionian Sea depending on scheduling feasibility.
Expectations of Participants:
Activities include visits to museums, cultural sites, and hikes to and around medieval hilltop villages. With or without reasonable accommodations, students must be able to: sit and/or walk for 8 hours/day, walk for hours at a time in warm weather, climb stairs and stand for prolonged periods.
Periodic refrigeration provided in many, but not all of our accommodations. Durations of traveling with no refrigeration available.
Nicholas Zaferatos, PhD, AICP, Professor of Urban Planning and Sustainable Development, Huxley College of the Environment, WWU
Nicholas Zaferatos is a professor of urban planning and sustainable development at Huxley College of the Environment, Western Washington University. Since 2005 Zaferatos has directed many Mediterranean teaching and research programs in sustainable development. His programs have partnered with international universities including: United Nations University in Amman (Jordan), University of Patras (Greece), and the Hellenic American University in Athens, Greece.
Dr. Zaferatos’ research and global education studies in Greece has received numerous domestic and international recognitions, including: Best Planning Project from the American Planning Association and the Planning Association of Washington (2017); the Green Good Design Award from The European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies and the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design (2009), the SETE National Honor Sustainability Award from the Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises (2008), and the sixth Honorific Mediterranean Sustainability Award from the Mediterrania Center D’Inciatives in Ecologiques, Spain (2006).
His current research involves the application of sustainable development strategies to Mediterranean island communities.