Intensive construction started in Xanthi in 1974. Although its traditional core has been preserved – a study for its preservation, rehabilitation and development was completed in the 1990s – intense building activity and high coefficients have changed the look of the city, said urban planner Maro Yiannopoulou. «Development has cut off the traditional industrial centers, the well-known tobacco warehouses – remarkable architectural samples of a glorious past – causing them to fall into disrepair and become run down,» she said. «In addition, the lack of an integrated policy for the preservation of some interesting buildings (such as old inns and a Jewish synagogue) has resulted in their demolition and replacement with multistory structures.» The continuous rise in the number of cars and high population density have created transport malfunctions, particularly during peak times, as well as parking problems. According to Yiannopoulou, the city’s operations can be improved by applying regulations and limitations on construction in the center, preserving the area with the tobacco warehouses, and introducing special measures for traffic and parking in the commercial center and residential areas. A network of pedestrian-only streets linking the tobacco warehouses with the central square and the old town is also recommended.

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