NEWS

A new city plan for Athens

The current size of Athens is sufficient to house its residents. Based on this assumption, a proposed regulatory plan for the Greek capital is aimed at curbing the city?s further expansion.

The new blueprint calls for limiting construction outside the existing town plan while introducing measures for the protection of farmland as well as the Attica landscape in general.

The plan was devised by the Athens Regulatory Plan Advisory Team and was unveiled during a press conference earlier this week by its leadership, along with the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.

The proposed plan opposes the idea of legalizing illegal constructions, while advising that commercial centers and malls be built within the city limits, as opposed to outside, where a number already exist. It also calls for a re-examination of the new Panathinaikos soccer stadium?s planned construction in the area of Elaionas, near the city center, as well as suggesting an indirect blockade on the government?s proposed laws for the construction of holiday residences. More highlights include a scheme for boosting flagging industrial activity in the city, along with the redevelopment of so-called problematic areas through a general revision of the town plan.

Following its presentation, the regulatory plan is now heading to public debate until November 1, before going to Parliament to be voted on. The question is which of the proposals will pass into law.

Speaking at the press conference, Environment Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou noted that the blueprint was the work of the advisory board, not the ministry. His remark suggests that a number of changes could be introduced before the plan reaches Parliament.

The regulatory plan was devised during Papaconstantinou?s predecessor Tina Birbili?s tenure at the ministry.