January 14 2013

From a Green Bow for Attica, Towards a Green Belt for Athens

View towards West Athens and Aigaleo mountainsThe new regulatory master plan for the metropolitan area of Athens/Attica 2021 is a ten-year plan of interventions and urban policies founded on the basis of three major pillars – Economy, Society and Environment, while complying with the European directives for cities with compactness. On the other hand, during the last three years, under the suffocating pressure due to the financial crisis, the Greek government has voted in a set of laws in an effort to control the budgetary problems and escape the damaging recession. Nevertheless, a better examination of these packets of laws reveal that, in an effort to rapidly attract investors, they contradict the main goals of the new regulatory master plan and they undermine its role for the future of Athens and the broader area of Attica.

One of the most important parameters of the regulatory urban plan is the adoption of a green bow on the west side of Attica. This green bow would extend from Korinthiakos and Saronikos Bay and through the continuous massifs of Gerania, Pateras, Kitherona, and Parnitha up to Evoikos Bay. Moreover, this green bow would prepare the ground for a secondary smaller green circular belt around Athens and towards the mountains of Penteli and Hymettus, according to the directives of many Institutional and non-institutional bodies.

A green bow for Attica

According to the defenders of this policy, a green bow around Attica and a subsequent secondary green belt around Athens would:

●     Provide an example for sustainable future urban projects and regional planning;

●     Regulate the illegal expansion of the city towards the mountains that only lately has been inhibited due to the crisis and the collapse of the building sector;

●     Control the residential densities at the bottom of the mountains;

●     Protect the natural reserve around Athens and its cultural and historical significance;

●     Preserve one of the main morphological characteristics of the Athenian landscape: The surrounding mountains – Hymetus, Penteli, Parnitha, and Aigaleo.

What are your experiences from the green belt of your city?

Credits: Data linked to sources, photo copyright of Alkisti Eleni Victoratou, map design based on this original map.

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, January 14th, 2013 at 9:06 am and is filed under Community/Economic Development, Government/Politics, 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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