OPINION

No permits without studies

The operation of a number of new shopping centers, superstores and malls has created a string of serious traffic problems all across the Attica region. The situation on the roads is so often chaotic around these commercial hubs that drivers can find themselves trapped in traffic for hours. In other parts of the world it goes without saying that such malls cannot even begin to be constructed without a preliminary study having been conducted on the impact they will have on the surrounding areas. This has obviously not been the case in Greece, where the problem is acute even with the most recent additions. There are two steps that need to be taken at once in order to resolve this problem. First of all, a building permit should never be issued without the findings of a proper impact study having first been closely examined and discussed. Secondly, all the relevant ministries, municipalities, the traffic police and the owners of these establishment need to work in concert to find practical solutions to the problems that inevitably arise from the operation of large retail centers.