NEWS

Western Attica

The survey recommends the removal of some of the activities that are burdening the Thriasio Plain. These could include doing away with the port area of Elefsina and cleaning up the Aspropyrgos coastline. Western Attica is divided into the Thriasio Plain (the municipalities of Elefsina, Mandra, Magoula, Aspropyrgos, Fyli, Erythra, Villa, Inoi), and Megarida (the community of Nea Peramos and the municipality of Megara), which is likely to be expanded with the inclusion in Attica of the municipalities of Loutraki, Perahora and Aghioi Theodoroi. In 2001, the population of western Attica was 1,114,400, which is 20,000 higher than in 1991 (including about 10,000 ethnic Greek immigrants from the former Soviet Union who settled in Aspropyrgos). A similar increase is expected by 2015. «The Thriasio Plain has one of the worst environments in Attica, as most of the heaviest industries are concentrated there,» said Gerardi. «One goal should be to gradually remove these activities and make bold decisions regarding the environment, such as improving the Aspropyrgos coastline, making it accessible to the public, and moving the port of Elefsina so that the area can be linked to the archaeological site,» she said. It is considered essential to reorganize the industrial park on the Thriasio Plain with proper zoning, good roads, green areas, protection of its natural resources (forests, watercourses, remaining agricultural land). Housing areas also need more green areas. Western Attica could be the site of new business parks (in the tertiary economic sector) in Megara or in northern Aspropyrgos. Infrastructure that could improve conditions are constructing an alternative route from Schimatari to Elefsina to divert traffic from Malakasa. In contrast to the Thriasio Plain, the Megara region is considered to be «in a good state, its settlements not heavily urbanized,» according to Gerardi. «The lower areas should be linked to the higher ground and it should be retained as a green space for Attica and a recreation area for the surrounding region,» she said, adding that primary production units should be kept, and farmers encouraged to upgrade production with crops needed in Athens.