NEWS

Keep it simple, so things can get done

The effect of clumsy planning on our urban centers – not only those of Athens and Thessaloniki – is obviously due to causes and circumstances that are more or less common knowledge. But this issue must be investigated to establish how we came to this impasse. Meanwhile, the magnitude and nature of the problems, such as criminal indifference to town-planning laws, require immediate and realistic decisions. Rather than participating in lengthy discussions and conferences and being impressed by «sustainable development» and «innovative interventions,» town planners must study the qualitative improvement of the built environment, possibly as part of an independent central body. The proposal for mass demolitions of apartment blocks, for example, is complicated and costly. By contrast, small-scale studies that can be implemented immediately are needed, as is a special town-planning fund that can help finance reconstruction. Of prime importance is the preservation of architectural heritage, control of urban sprawl and the return of coefficients to reasonable levels.k