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Urban Policies in Athens

In the urban strategies, plans and laws concerning Athens, the space and geography of the city are of particular importance appearing:
(a) as geographies of degradation, crisis and delinquency
(b) as latent potential that remains untapped (especially as far as vacant and public buildings are concerned)
(c) as a resource, social but above all economic - an investment resource that can make Athens a contemporary Metropolis.

The proposal for 'the return of the residents', discrediting and stigmatising the populations living in the city centre, and clearly stating the desire to change the city's population. In this direction, and in the context of the 2010 crisis and the effects of the measures implemented, the emphasis is on tourism and on attracting entrepreneurs and investors (especially in real estate). At the same time, specific neighbourhoods of the city remain for a long time in the news and on the crosshairs of policies revolving around 'upgrading' (the areas of Metaxourgeio - Kerameikos - Commercial Triangle are examples of this tendency).

Key words include 'city identity', 'resilience', 'entrepreneurship' and 'innovation' - with the latter two emphasising new forms of entrepreneurship and creative businesses. Beyond landmark projects focusing on the city's image, the city's identity is expressed primarily through the historic-commercial triangle, having as a primary objective the repackaging of urban space as a 'tourist product'. In that light the tourism product does not only focus on ancient history but on the promotion of creativity and the expansion of tourism products 'gesturing' towards different clientele of 'urban tourism' (for example 'spice street', this is Athens programs). The 'competitiveness' desired seems to revolve mainly around the tourist 'product' of Athens and then the 'revitalisation of the real estate market' and the 'upgrading' of public and common spaces are permanent references. Now, with the effects of the extensive touristification of the city's neighbourhoods and the consequent reduction of the available housing stock, demands for access to and protection of housing are being raised again and under new conditions.

It is important to stress here the growing importance of partnerships, sponsorships and collaborations with businesses, institutions, chambers of commerce and interest groups. This reproduces the business city format in new terms and incorporates local and international interest groups as expressed by both local and international foundations and consultants. In this context, there is a particularly enhanced role for foundations and investment companies in the formulation of policies for the city space and in the promotion of specific projects. These issues are more prominent in the public debate on the redevelopment of the Omonia Square and the Great Promenade, but also with a series of publications concerning intentions for redevelopment in vague terms, such as the case of the Strifi Hill. However, as the crisis and subsequent measures have depleted the city's resources (and in particular those related to welfare and support structures), partnerships and collaborations with the aforementioned institutions are presented as a salvation.

Urban Policies Overview
Urban Policies on Housing

List of urban policies in Athens

A detailed list of the main urban policies for Athens during the 2008-2022 period:

2008 Financial and economic crisis
2008 December 2008, new initiatives and spaces
2009 Action Plan for Athens
2010 Conclusion "Reconstruction of cities - Historic Centre of Athens", SPECIAL MONITORED COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION OF THE HOUSE OF ASSOCIATION (Kartalis)
2010 Athens - Attica 2014 (YPEKA)
2010 First Memorandum and Implementing Law
2011 Ombudsman's assessment of the Historic Mall 2010, Annual Report
2011 ACTION PLAN for the Athens City Centre, Vice President of the Government / Evaluation
2011 Tax incentives for Gerani and Metaxourgio (Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources), N4030/2011, Government Gazette 1162/B/2012
2011 Constitution and the Square Movement
2012 Rethink Athens (
2012 Economic and Social Committee, Text of the ESC's positions on the crisis in the centre of Athens
2012 Abolition of OEK
2012 Xenios Zeus (Attica - Evros)
2012 Marfin, theories of two extremes and evacuations of occupations of B. Amalias, Skaramanga
2012 Re-launching Athens
2014 Athens Attica Regulatory Plan
2014 Abolition of EAFA
2015 EPA (2013 proposal)
2015 Project Athens (2007-2013)
2015 CoE decision rethink Environmental
2015 Referendum
2016 Athens Resilient City / Resilience Strategy 2017
2016 Project Athens 2020 / 2017 Inclusion in the PEP Attica
2017 New Athens

2018 Athens Redevelopment SA
2018 (OCE CIP ATTICA) ATHENS 2020: sustainable development for tourism, culture & innovation
2019 Redevelopment of Pl. (inauguration)
2020 Grand Walk
2022 Launch of metro line redevelopment/extension projects in squares and parks of the city centre (Strefis Hill, Park Drakopoulou, Platonos Academy, Exarchia Square, Kolonaki Square, Kypseli Square, Protomaya Square)
2022 Onassis Foundation donation to Pedion to Areos for upgrading the infrastructure
2023 Announcement for the New National Archaeological Museum

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