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by Archaeology Newsroom

The contemporary Greek city. Tendencies of transformation in regional urban areas

Greek settlements’ tendency to transform, as well as transformation in the structure and role of urban centres and their relation with rural settlements are analyzed in this article. By the mid-1970s, the system and the urban structure of settlements, as they formed in Greece after 1950 , showed strong tendencies of regional diffusion both in urban centres and in rural settlements. After the single-city domination of the metropolitan capital city of Athens, a system of two metropolitan centres (Athens-Thessaloniki) and of seven to eight regional urban poles of attraction have formed today; the rest of the towns exert an influence on a rural radius, which has already been reinforced with certain local agricultural centres. A series of economic parameters, especially that of tourism, are responsible for the regional diffusion of urbanization in wide areas around towns and along coastal areas. The monocentric urban tissue changes due to the extent of housing and trade,it is also affected by relocation of industries.In addition, new housing areas of a suburban type are in demand in new or other peripheral rural settlements. The coastal areas of vacation homes are becoming rapidly urbanized, thus creating complicated problems in the mobility of production and in infrastructures. In addition new economic and social phenomena affect the mobility, the way and quality of life of the inhabitants.

Urban formations are few and far between, they absorb rural vitality, but also reflect the countryside thus creating a new framework for the design and planning of cities.