February 25 2013

Elliniko Coastal Area in Athens: Greece Is For Sale with Good Terms? Anyone Interested?

It’s been over 12 years since Athens International Airport moved from the Elliniko area, a significant coastal area of Attica, to its new home in Spata. Since then, there is an ongoing debate between the State, private investors, social movements and institutions, like the National Technical University of Athens with its Urban Environment Laboratory, on propositions for Elliniko area including the adjacent St. Cosmas coast. This debate is currently culminating given that, since July 2011, the public area of Elliniko, under the austere economical squeeze by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union, has been comprised in the privatization plans for the reduction of the State Debt.

hellinkon

The Greek State, in an effort to “grease” the privatization procedures and attract investors, has promised to offer all the necessary infrastructure for the area and flexibility in urban uses. In this context, some have dreamed of an “Athenian Las Vegas,” others a “Monaco-style area,” and others the creation of a new business center like that of “The City of London.”

At the same time, successive Greek governments have promised that the area of Elliniko would be converted into the greatest park of the Metropolitan area of Athens and, in this way, the dramatic lack of green spaces in Attica would be counterbalanced. This lack has become even more evident since the devastating fires in 2007 and the uncontrolled urban growth towards new areas. Elliniko, due to its great proximity to the city center, will have a new metro station inaugurated in the next few months, which will also support this ideal area for leisure and relaxation.

Furthermore, studies of the Urban Environmental Laboratory of N.T.U.A. have shown that Elliniko would be able to host cultural and sport uses because of its existing rich building reserve. Subsequently, the income made from these uses could partially cover the maintenance expenses of the park and, in this way, secure a more balanced and sustainable growth of the area.

What is the best way to create a sustainable urban plan, also taking into account economic growth and social justice?

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

Alkisti Eleni Victoratou

Alkisti Eleni Victoratou originates from Andros, a Cycladic island in Greece, and has lived and studied in Thessaloniki, England, Spain, and Athens-where she currently resides. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and in Architecture from the National Technical University of Athens. Having this multicultural and interdisciplinary background gives her a better understanding of socially sensitive urban issues. Her dissertation thesis in Architecture dealt with the study and assessment of the legislation relating to Bioclimatic Architecture in the European Mediterranean countries of France, Spain, and Greece. Her interests also extend to sustainable technologies and parametric design, contributing to building design and urbanism. During her internship with The Grid, she will concentrate on the most important top-down and bottom-up urban transformations of Athens during their current Crisis. Her aspirations are to further her academic and professional specializations in urban issues and sustainable design.

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This entry was posted on Monday, February 25th, 2013 at 9:39 am and is filed under Community/Economic Development, Environment, Government/Politics, Land Use, Urban Development/Real Estate, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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One Response to “Elliniko Coastal Area in Athens: Greece Is For Sale with Good Terms? Anyone Interested?”

  1. despina Says:

    Θα ήθελα να λαμβάνω ενημερώσεις σας σχετικά με την αστική γεωργία. Θα εκτιμούσα επίσης αν επικοινωνούσατε μαζί μου για να συζητήσουμε σχετικά με το θέμα αυτό μιας και εκπονώ διατριβή με σχετικό θέμα.

    Με εκτίμηση
    Δέσποινα

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