NEWS

Northern Attica

The continual pollution of the Asopos watercourse and the lack of infrastructure in older seaside settlements are the main problems afflicting northern Attica, which has a lower rate of urbanization than does the Mesogeia area to the east, a trend expected to continue over the next few years. It is considered important to retain farming and livestock breeding activities in some areas, not only to conserve the natural environment but to supply Athens with farm products. The population here in 2001 was 94,240. According to the survey, this could rise as high as 188,000 by 2015. «We believe that northern Attica will continue to see a restricted growth of its old housing settlements such as Marathon, Grammatiko and Kapandriti. On the other hand, there will be a considerable increase in the construction of first homes in the southeast as far as Aghios Stefanos, and seaside homes along the Gulf of Evia,» says Gerardi. «The area does not need more housing development, but its urbanized centers such as Marathon and Kapandriti need reconstruction with more green areas in order to become more viable for their inhabitants.» Gerardi added that the four industrial parks (Aghios Stefanos, Kryoneri, Anixi and Avlona) needed better organization. From the administrative point of view, the research program suggests including the regions of Inofyta and Schimatari within the region of Attica, as they are more closely linked with Athens than with Thebes. Regarding the further development of the area, the survey emphasizes the importance of cleaning up the Asopos into which flows waste from factories in both Viotia and Attica. «The Schinias area needs clearing of illegally constructed buildings and its archaeological site highlighted. It needs one or two separate recreation areas. Both this and southeastern Attica could have waste management systems, even within the current borders with Viotia, which in any case are to be changed,» said Gerardi. The research also recommended that the region should continue to be a primary producing area with an emphasis on particular crops to supply Athens.