A plan to save the capital from sprawl

Construction is proceeding at a frenzied pace in the Mesogeia plains of Attica, while the beaches are being converted from summer resorts into places of primary residence. Pollution and dilapidation plague the Thriasio plain, while Northern Attica and Megarida are gradually losing their farmlands. In the middle of it all is the Attica basin, with its millions of inhabitants. The most densely populated part of Greece is seeing its downtown neighborhoods being deserted for the suburbs and the shortage of green spaces is taking its toll on Athenians’ health and quality of life. The need to plan for the future of Athens is evident. Now a 12-person team, led by Professor Kleito Gerardi of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) has completed a research program called the «Strategic Town Development Framework for Athens-Attica» on behalf of the Ministry of the Environment, Planning and Public Works (YPEHODE). The aim is to create a basis for the zoning plan for Attica, together with the Athens Town Plan (now undergoing revision). The plan proposes curbing the construction sprawl in northeastern Attica, the organized refurbishment of downtown Athens and Piraeus, a reduction of industrial activity on the Thriasio Plain, the protection of agriculture and stock farming in Attica prefecture and the creation of large parks and green spaces. It also recommends extending the administration of Attica to the neighboring prefectures of Viotia and Corinth, and the administrative return of the islands (excepting Salamina and Aegina) to the neighboring prefectures of Argolida and Laconia.