Published on May 2, 2008
OPEN DAYS: EUROPEAN WEEK OF REGIONS AND CITIES Work Shop 10A04: Quality of life for Competitiveness InterMetrex project ‘’Benchmark of Effective Spatial Planning and Development Practice’’ATHENS CASE STUDY: STRATEGIC PROGRAM FOR POST – OLYMPIC ATHENS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (Action Plan for enhancing quality of life and competitiveness in Athens metropolitan Area): OPEN DAYS: EUROPEAN WEEK OF REGIONS AND CITIES Work Shop 10A04: Quality of life for Competitiveness InterMetrex project ‘’Benchmark of Effective Spatial Planning and Development Practice’’ ATHENS CASE STUDY: STRATEGIC PROGRAM FOR POST – OLYMPIC ATHENS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (Action Plan for enhancing quality of life and competitiveness in Athens metropolitan Area) Introduction The Organisation for Planning and Environmental Protection of Athens (Organisation of Athens) is an autonomous Public Authority under the auspices of the Minister of Environment, Planning and Public Works. The Organisation of Athens is responsible for the implementation of Athens Structure Plan and specifically for: Urban Planning Environmental Management, and Promotion of Major Interventions of Regional Significance within the Greater Athens Area (the 4 Prefectures of Attica Region) Overview Although in the past Athens was not considered to be an attractive location, in recent years the image projected by Athens as a place to live and do business in has improved substantially, thanks to the preparation of the city for the Olympic Games. There will still be considerable scope in the post – Olympic era through the formation and delivery of a Strategic program for the development of Athens Metropolitan Region In this Strategic program, strategic thinking links the inner urban core to the wider functional region The Strategic program also includes several sectoral and spatial Action Plans that deal mainly with the required actions, projects and measures to be taken Regional Background: Regional Background The capital city of Athens and its metropolitan region (AMA) constitutes the main "gateway'' to Greece. One third of the Greek population resides in the AMA, which produces around one third of Greece's GDP. Athens and its region, Attica, are going through a very dynamic transition period after 20 -30 years of inertia that eroded the quality of life and competitiveness of the Metropolitan area New Olympic infrastructures, complementing environmental and architectural assets, are radically transforming the region. Mobilizing for the Olympic Games has generated new attitudes and innovative approaches involving the public and the private sector in partnership. Preparatory works connected with the Olympic Games have effectively restructured the urban region More conducive environment for economic growth is now being created thanks to major infrastructure investments The investments which include the enhancement of the city centre through the Program of Unification of Archeological Sites, the refurbishment of hotels, a new metro, a tramway system, ring roads connecting outlying suburbs, the construction of competition venues and new road connections and the redeveloped coastal zone enhanced the Metropolitan area’s quality of life and the competitiveness of the city The above investments improved the image of Athens as an international venue for year round tourism, convention business, sporting competitions and other major events Thus, he 2004 Olympic Games provided an excellent opportunity to project a new image of Athens attractive in terms of both economic investment and quality of life. It is planned that the post - Olympic use of infrastructures, facilities and equipment will generate substantial economic and social benefits for the Athens Region. Spatial Planning and Strategic Planning For Athens Metropolitan Area (AMA): Spatial Planning and Strategic Planning For Athens Metropolitan Area (AMA) Athens Structure Plan is the Strategic Spatial Plan for the Athens Metropolitan Area and is overseen by a national government agency, the Organisation of Athens. The Structure Plan determines the guiding framework that sets the policy goals, orientations and specific measures for the sustainable development of Attica and suggests a number of priorities concerning urban and interurban spatial structure. The Structure Plan enforcement power lies mainly on setting the frame for detailed legally binding ‘lower tier’ spatial plans and building control instruments. Its effectiveness is supported by ‘recommendation-type’ policy measures that are not linked to any implementation programmes. The current system also reveals a ‘cluttered’ administrative context, so regulatory systems need to workable and clear for those responsible for implementation as well as for stakeholders. The main objectives of the Athens Structure Plan as regards the development of the Greater Athens Area within the national framework are the: a. Stabilisation of the population of the Greater Athens Area, ultimately aiming at its reduction b. Containment of the expanding economic activities in the capital and promotion of the capital as the national centre of administrative functions.