| The environment is under serious threat; such as environmental condition stop progress towards the sustainable development this fact is the major contemporary problem in global level. International organizations, national governments, the universal scientific community and the majority of the nowadays society, struggle to overcome the problem. In this frame, the protection and upgrading of urban environment where the majority of the global population is gathered, is an aspect of great importance. The possible climatic change in our planet, atmospheric pollution, over-urbanisation and the rapidly increasing traffic problems demand immediate solutions. The above issue is of extreme importance however for the city of Athens in the light of the forthcoming Olympic Games of 2004 and the intended elevation of the institution, in athletic and cultural level. |
The Urban environment in today’s city consists of all these factors formatting a frame for the contemporary citizen, which may be aesthetically upgraded, functioning well and above all atmospherically “ healthy “. What is of prior importance is the level of atmospheric clarity. Photochemical smog, the aggravation of the greenhouse phenomenon and the hole in the ozone layer, are problems demanding immediate and radical action. The ``green environment `` in the 21st century mega – cities, is “ asked “ to “filter” the inevitable polluting emissions while at the same time create an image of peace and relaxation. The rapid expansion of urban centres minimizes the greenery in a time when its expansion and upgrading has become an issue of top priority. The fast growing construction within the urban web, in combination with the transport and communication net needed, form the basic parts of the urban environment and thus significantly influence its quality level. The above factors in combination with the cultural resources of the city, as well as their incorporation in the functional web of the city, mainly form its physiognomy. In the light of these data, the interventions in international, national and local level of all the organizations involved, become greatly important, transforming the issue of the protection and upgrading of the environment, into an aspect of radical and courageous political decisions.
In the light of the 2004 Olympic games, Athens is asked to make the most of a unique opportunity. The green spaces and the general function of the city, as well as its physiognomic level and atmospheric conditions, could be upgraded in a high degree. In this way, the opportunity for the elevation of the cultural wealth will be given, signalling a new direction to the “Olympic Games” which will be more closely connected to the “Olympic Spirit”, more closely connected to culture, arts and tradition. This presentation aims to focus on the attempt in the field of Urban Environment and especially on consequences of intense urbanization, traffic congestion and the atmospheric pollution, as well as on the special conditions in the wider area of Athens in the light of the forthcoming Olympic game of 2004.