Dine with the locals

Format Action

City Athens, Greece

Varvakeios Square – Dine with the locals is a unique way for neighbours to meet, spend time together and have a conversation over a full table about ideas on their shared space: the neighbourhood!

A square or a central urban spot in each neighbourhood can be transformed into a location for community bonding. Focusing on the importance that food has in our social lives and across cultures, urban dinners can bring together different people and actively involve the community in preparing such an event. Facing social and financial crises, the implementation of gatherings that can redefine relationships within the neighbourhood through food ritual (fasting and feasting) will help inhabitants rediscover their connection with spatial and cultural values.

Location Re-use underused spaces

Find the perfect urban spot and re-use it creatively: spaces that are underused or places that people just pass by.

People Power Build an interdisciplinary team

Form a group of five to ten committed citizens. Interdisciplinarity is a key feature as the event requires skills for organizing, communicating, engaging, cleaning, and of course cooking!

Official / Legal Focus on the details!

For the implementation of the event, make sure you have the proper permission and official documentation for the use of the space (exact date and time) by the owner(s) or/and municipal authorities. Assure the owner(s) of the space that the spot will be properly cleaned after the event.

Mobilization Urban Recipe

Meet key stakeholders that can provide you with all necessary equipment, such as open-air kitchen equipment, pots, plates, cutlery, etc. Find possible materials that can be used to create urban furniture (DIY table, chairs, benches) or borrow some from inhabitants or organizations in the neighbourhood! Visit local stores, markets and restaurants that might be willing to contribute to the event with raw food materials, pre-cooked food or a skilled cook!

Funding It's a joint effort

The concept of the event is to bring local people together and enhance neighbourhood bonding through food. In this context, everyone is invited to participate and contribute with food, drinks, material or services. Possible local funding by payment in kind is more than accepted.

Communication Spread the word

The organizing team needs to engage and activate the local community through targeted communication on different platforms. Keep it simple and don't forget that it is a community and neighbourhood event. Be creative with personal printed invitations (door-to-door information), posters, banners, balloons, social media posts and ads, and so on.