- Urbanization, Urban Development and Built Heritage. The case of Greece    click here to open paper content357 kb
by    Beriatos, Elias | beriatos@otenet.gr   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The paper investigates possible ways for the protection and enhancement of the cultural built heritage in Greek cities and urban areas, in relation to unplanned and anarchic urbanization and land development.
The 21st century undoubtedly holds significant perils and challenges in store, stemming from sweeping rapid changes in the economic and social sphere which impact directly on built environment. Accelerated urbanization is ushering in dramatic changes in the cities. As a result our planet has recently become ‘urban’ in its entirety. Urban areas are now in the majority, meaning that over 50% of the world’s (80% of Europe’s) population lives in large urban centres. At the same time the countryside has itself begun to urbanize at a dizzying pace to the extent that we can now speak (in Europe as well as in Greece’s case too) of a ‘rural-urban continuum’ which is expanding to all directions.

Nowadays, while cities are becoming reshaped and transformed by the new post-industrial urban economies mainly based on culture, leisure and knowledge, built heritage constitute a crucial element for the sustainable spatial development of towns and cities because it plays a very important role for the improvement of the quality of life. This is why, in an era of increasing ‘place identity’ crisis, cultural heritage, with a local reference, appear to be major concern aiming at improving urban environments. Besides it is an increasingly becoming major urban tourism resource. However, the rapid urbanization and the large scale projects of the last decades caused many problems concerning preservation of built heritage.

The aim of this paper is to investigate the problems that built heritage of Greece is facing today, in relation to urban development as well as of the desired solutions for its protection from uncontrolled urbanization. Finally the necessary conclusions are made for the role of contemporary planning which must incorporate the management of cultural goods and be an effective tool for the integration of the sectoral policies concerning the protection and enhancement of built heritage.
urbanization, built heritage, Greece
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