Land Allotment Patterns and Urban Features in Post-Second World War Athens: Existing Situation and Betterment Scenarios

Land Allotment Patterns and Urban Features in Post-Second World War Athens: Existing Situation and Betterment Scenarios

Emmanuel V. Marmaras (Technical University of Chania, Crete, Greece) and Athena Wallace (Architect Planner, Athens, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/ijsesd.2014100104
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The paper deals with the formation of the urban space, analyzing the land ownership patterns in relation first to the socio-economic conditions of the owners, second to the applied building regulations, third to the urban features and the road network, and fourth to the housing conditions.A complex co-relation of the above parameters is the outcome of this research work, which illuminates the real conditions created by the specific post-Second World War conditions in the basin of Athens. For the support of this research, special measurements have been undertaken concerning the geometric characteristics of the urban space in a suitable number of sample areas in the above basin, comprising planned areas, as well unplanned squatter areas. This kind of approach aims toward the formation of realistic scenarios in analogous cases, according to the theory of incremental planning suggested by Charles E. Lindblom.
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The Historical Background Of Urbanization In Post-War Athens

The Second World War had in store for Greece large human losses and material destruction1. The first post-Second World War period is characterized by the Civil War and the parallel attempts to reconstruct the country after the damages inflicted during the war. At the social level, these two issues among other effects resulted in large scale population movements and the attraction of considerable numbers to the larger cities. In this context, Athens increased its population by 23%. In financial terms, the first post-Second World War years signaled the full collapse of the country’s economy.

As far as the housing issue, the post-Second World War period witnessed the actions of C. Doxiades as minister of Coordination from 1948 till 1949 and at the Sub-Ministry of Reconstruction, where he continued his quest till 1951. However, the explosive conditions lead to the flourishing of illegal building during the decade 1946-55 (Table 1).

Table 1.
Total building activity and illegal housing in Greece
YearTotal Building ActivityIllegal HousingPercentage of Illegal Housing


Source: SADAS, 1962:.7 & 10.

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