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'Hands-On-Famagusta' project gets underway

04 July, 2014

A group of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot architects, planners and urban designers, called `Imaginary Famagusta`, and a bi-communal group of volunteers walked the streets of Famagusta last week to gather information on the region’s buildings and structures.

With the information gathered by this bi-communal group, `Hands-On-Famagusta` will develop the design tools needed to support an informed and participatory planning process for the future of the region.

Project Leader Socrates Stratis noted that the goal of the `Hands-On-Famagusta` project is not to encourage any particular vision, but rather `to support all of those working to build Famagusta’s future with practical models and tools including an interactive website; a physical, transportable model; and an online game that will capture the imagination`.

`Hands-On-Famagusta` is organising a series of workshops to include a variety of stakeholders, international experts and the general public in reconciling conflicting planning priorities and building common ground.

The activities of `Hands-On-Famagusta`, which will last 15 months, are made possible with support from the United States Agency for International Development, the Mahallae Platform, UNDP-ACT and the University of Cyprus.

The Republic of Cyprus, an EU member state since 2004, has been divided since the summer of 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of the island's territory. Famagusta is occupied by Turkey since then.