Coverage on Spain's RTVE TV!  (at minute 16:45-18:45)  

The Ecocity Project makes it to Shanghai TV!

http://world.kankanews.com/w/2015-01-07/0016214422.shtml

NOTE: Although not mentioned in the video, the images seen were completed by Jan Wampler and his team of students during the Architectural Design Studio taking place both in Cyprus and University of South Florida in the spring of 2014.  

CNN International on The Famagusta Ecocity Project

(CNN) -- In 1974 the Mediterranean island of Cyprus was divided in two. A coup backed by the Greek government was met with a Turkish military invasion, partitioning the country between the Turkish-Cypriot north and Greek-Cypriot south. One of the most enduring symbols of the divide remains the resort of Varosha, an abandoned district of the ancient city of Famagusta that has come to act as a no-man's-land between north and south. Controlled by the Turkish military, the area's glistening beaches and apartment blocks remain off-limits to non-military personnel.  At its peak, Varosha had 25,000 residents and 12,000 hotel rooms, attracting guests from across Europe and the Middle East.  Today, all lie empty and in a state of disrepair.  "It was one of the centers of tourism of the Mediterranean Sea," laments Oktay Kaylap, the Turkish Cypriot mayor of Famagusta.  "It used to be very palatial but now it's not for neither Greek nor Turkish Cypriots."  A group of Famagusta residents and Varosha citizens in exile hope to change that.   New York based film-maker, Vasia Markides, whose Greek-Cypriot mother was forced to leave Varosha, has founded the Famagusta eco-city project -- a grass roots movement led by citizens from both communities. SEE FULL CNN ARTICLE AND WATCH VIDEO HERE:  http://edition.cnn.com/2014/05/27/business/varosha-famagusta-one-square-meter/index.html

(CNN) -- In 1974 the Mediterranean island of Cyprus was divided in two.

A coup backed by the Greek government was met with a Turkish military invasion, partitioning the country between the Turkish-Cypriot north and Greek-Cypriot south. One of the most enduring symbols of the divide remains the resort of Varosha, an abandoned district of the ancient city of Famagusta that has come to act as a no-man's-land between north and south. Controlled by the Turkish military, the area's glistening beaches and apartment blocks remain off-limits to non-military personnel. 

At its peak, Varosha had 25,000 residents and 12,000 hotel rooms, attracting guests from across Europe and the Middle East.  Today, all lie empty and in a state of disrepair.  "It was one of the centers of tourism of the Mediterranean Sea," laments Oktay Kaylap, the Turkish Cypriot mayor of Famagusta.  "It used to be very palatial but now it's not for neither Greek nor Turkish Cypriots."  A group of Famagusta residents and Varosha citizens in exile hope to change that.  

New York based film-maker, Vasia Markides, whose Greek-Cypriot mother was forced to leave Varosha, has founded the Famagusta eco-city project -- a grass roots movement led by citizens from both communities.

SEE FULL CNN ARTICLE AND WATCH VIDEO HERE:  http://edition.cnn.com/2014/05/27/business/varosha-famagusta-one-square-meter/index.html

National Geographic reports on Famagusta and the Ecocity Project

Excerpt: 

"What is Varosha?

It is the carcass of a once glamorous Cypriot city, a beautiful port whose great misfortune was to fall across the old front lines. At its peak, Varosha was a prime European tourist resort. Its chic beaches were lined with sunbathers. Its five-star hotels coddled movie stars such as Sophia Lauren and Paul Newman. The fancy high-rises remain. But they are empty. Pocked by artillery shells, they crumble in the sea air. Their windowless suites are homes to seagulls. The entire sprawling ruin has been declared off-limits by Turkish military authorities. A few swimmers—Turkish Cypriots, mainly—still frequent a slice of the best beaches in the Mediterranean. But they frolic in a graveyard. Behind them tower buildings that appear transplanted from bombed-out Dresden, circa 1945.

Ruha tells me of a plan to revive Europe’s only ghost city.

Greek and Turkish Cypriot activists are collaborating to turn the shell-pocked corpse of Varosha—once home to 25,000 tanned pleasure seekers—into a metropolis of the 21st century: a “green city” that grows its own food, that incorporates ecology into its design, that generates its own power from alternative energy sources. It will be a model of urban renewal and peace building. A university in the United States has drawn up master plan. Funds are being raised.

“We should start this project immediately,” Ruha tells me. “We’re just wasting time. It would be a bridge between north and south. I’m an optimist.” " 

To read full article go here:  http://outofedenwalk.nationalgeographic.com/2014/08/23/ghost-city/

BBC Magazine - Varosha: The abandoned tourist resort

The article on our team's efforts in the number 1 most shared news story on the BBC today!

The article on our team's efforts in the number 1 most shared news story on the BBC today!

 

Varosha: The abandoned tourist resort

By Richard Hooper and Vibeke Venema BBC World Service

Welcome to Varosha, the Mediterranean's best kept secret.

Miles of sand where it's just you and nature. Dozens of grand hotels where you'll have the pick of the rooms.

Just remember to pack your bolt cutters to make a hole in the fence - and watch out for the army patrols with orders to shoot on sight.

Before the division of Cyprus in 1974, Varosha - a resort in Famagusta - was booming. The rich and famous were drawn by some of the best beaches on the island. Richard Burton and Brigitte Bardot all dropped by - the Argo Hotel on JFK Avenue was said to be Elizabeth Taylor's favourite.

"Anyone who comes from Varosha has a romanticised notion of it," says Vasia Markides, 34, an American Greek-Cypriot whose mother grew up there. "They talk about it being the hub of art and intellectual activity. They describe it as the French Riviera of Cyprus."

SEE FULL BBC ARTICLE 

Kickstarter

Thanks to the amazing support we have received from all over the world, we were recently able to raise over $33,000 USD towards our documentary about the Famagusta Ecocity Project. We would like to extend a very special thank you to all of those individuals who came forward to give this grassroots movement the chance to be seen and heard around the world.

Although you are no longer able to donate through Kickstarter, you can still view our page here.