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by Archaeology Newsroom

The natural environment of Athens

The overpopulation of Athens has resulted in the disorderly web of the present city plan, the destruction of green vegetation and the downgrading of the urban and suburban environment. In 1833-1834 when the city of Athens was originally intended as the capital of Greece, it was spread out in an area of approximately 750 acres. However, the population increase both of 1922 with Asia Minor refugees after the Greek defeat and 1940 due to urbanization after the second World War, caused major demographic and fiscal problems. After 1960 the forests were abandoned by the rural population, and devastating fires, appropriation of the land and illegal housing began.At present, green areas of green around Athens are few and far between. Mount Hymettus and Aegaleo, the Lycabettus hill, the archaeological sites, the National Garden, are nevertheless home to over forty species of birds and wild plants. The existence of “wild” life in the capital is a positive and optimistic message for the upgrading of the city and the life in it.