- Uncontrolled Urbanization, Tourism Development and Landscape Transformation in Greece    click here to open paper content1189 kb
by    Beriatos, Elias | beriatos@otenet.gr   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Spatial developments in Greece caused a rural- urban continuum and a ‘cluttered’ countryside. The paper investigates the transformation of landscapes by unplanned urban growth, and the possibilities of a new strategy for a livable urban development.
The recent rapid socio-economic growth in Greece (income increase, rural exodus, uncontrolled urbanization, second homes and tourism development) and the modernization in all fields of activities (mainly in agriculture, transport networks and infrastructures) have brought radical changes in Greek landscapes. Traditional urban and rural areas have been deeply transformed by thousands of legal or illegal building constructions. Public works and transport infrastructures as well other kinds /types of constructions (e.g. large advertising billboards) have a great impact on physical environment creating an endless rural- urban continuum and a countryside ‘cluttered’. with unnecessary ‘objects’ and ‘furniture’. These changes pose new challenges that must be responded in an appropriate way.

The aim of this paper is to contribute to a critical approach of the problems that Greek landscapes are facing today by unplanned urban growth as well as of the possible solutions for their preservation and wise management since they constitute an integral part of the natural and cultural heritage of Greece. In fact, due to its long history the country has a rich diversity of cultural landscapes, which is the result of the various traditional patterns of land use and land management.

Through an example of the coastal zone in western Greece the paper is attempting to establish a typology of landscapes according to old and new urbanization patterns, mainly due to tourism and dispersed second homes development. Furthermore it is investigating the existing tools, regulations and mechanisms and the lessons learned by urban policies implemented at local and national levels and finally the possibility for the formulation of a national strategy of livable urban development facing successfully (?) the problems related to sprawl.

urbanization, landscape transformation, tourism
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