Large modern cities typically have difficulty providing adequate public transportation. In Athens, uncontrolled land use has created poles of attraction with serious consequences for the mass transit system. This is not apparent downtown, where there is little room for development and public transport is adequate, but it does affect the suburbs. Over the past 10 years, while the mass transit infrastructure was boosted (by way of the Attiki Odos and the metro, for example), business activity has often exceeded the extent allowed for by city planning regulations. Businesses such as stores, sports centers and office blocks put excessive pressure on the mass transit system. This overburdens public transport in these areas and diminishes the quality of service they offer their clients. The solution is the timely, systematic designation of town-planning data and principles, along with plans for the appropriate public transport. P. Papadakos is a civil engineer and public transport specialist.