NEWS

Only prisons sited according to a plan

It has been 30 years since Greece’s first zoning, or land use, law was passed but there is still no actual zoning plan, resulting in chaotic construction, the deterioration or destruction of the environment, lack of planning and often a loss of investments. Yet the situation could have been quite different had just one of the four proposed zoning frameworks put forward over the past few years been adopted, or had zoning been approached as a real tool for planning, instead of as an obstacle to development. The results are evident everywhere, particularly in Attica, where there is no specific industrial zone, so rampant housing development has surrounded even major industries. Meanwhile, most coastal areas, particularly on the islands, have been overtaken by tourism development to a degree that has not only damaged the environment but has actually put tourists off. Moreover, dozens of major investments have been lost or filed away as investors do not know whether they are allowed to set up a business in a particular area nor which conditions apply. The greatest irony of all is that the only structures that are built according to a specific zoning plan in Greece are the country’s prisons.