2017 Documentary Trailer (yet to be released)
The Famagusta Ecocity Project in 18 minutes at TedX Limassol
A brief summary of The Famagusta Ecocity Project
[If unfamiliar with the Cyprus Problem and the plight of Famagusta and Varosha, please visit our page “A Brief History” before reading below]
Any reopening of the 43-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 Funding Campaign Video
The Documentary Film
Waking Famagusta the story of this mother/daughter-led team as they rally support across the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, to transform a captive ghost town into a model ecocity. Vasia Markides grew up in Maine, in the northeastern U.S., hearing stories from her mother, Emily Markides, about her lost city, now decaying behind barbed wires on the northeast coast of Cyprus. It was only in 2003 when Turkey loosened restrictions at the checkpoint when Vasia was able to see the ghost town herself, from across the fence. The grip it had on her from that moment forward was unrelenting, and Vasia devoted the next fourteen years of her young adult life to exposing Famagusta to the world. Her aim ultimately was to help Emily pursue her longtime dream of seeing the entire city of Famagusta revived into a model of sustainability and reconciliation at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe.
Famagustians from both sides of the divide, come together, stirring momentum beyond their expectations on the island and beyond. Historic peace negotiations aim to reunite the island after 43 years of division. If this happens, Famagustians will be given the right to return home, and will confront what could be the largest reconstruction challenge the world has seen since the end of World War II.
Whether the group fails or succeeds in creating an ecocity in Famagusta, this story inspires other communities to take action towards a more lasting future.