plan submitted to Parliament
17 Apr 2008
Bill to be voted on in May.
Greece's first national zoning plan, which aims to regulate land development
over the next 15 years, was submitted to Parliament yesterday.
Experts have criticized the draft bill, saying that it does not deal
with the problem of uncontrolled urban sprawl or illegal construction
activity and also fails to provide for the country's islands.
The bill says it «addresses the management of measures, after thorough
studies, such as the creation of bus lanes and setting up of toll roads
in areas or urban centers where traffic has come to a standstill.»
A number of municipal officials, political representatives and transport
experts have opposed plans to set up toll areas, arguing that it will
be an ineffective measure just aimed at earning the government revenues.
A parliamentary committee is expected to debate the draft bill over
the next two weeks, giving MPs an opportunity to modify the draft plan,
which will head for a final vote by lawmakers in May.
The initial proposal is the result of efforts by about 40 experts from
various fields, and was submitted to the Environment and Public Works
Ministry where it was subsequently divested of any «troublesome» amendments
or innovative approaches.
The designers of the plan had mentioned the need to wean the islands
off dependency on Athens and Thessaloniki and to organize the Aegean
archipelago as an autonomous unit with four centers - Iraklion on Crete,
Ermoupolis on Syros, Rhodes and Mytilene.
The zoning plan submitted to Parliament yesterday, however, has failed
to take this into account, say experts.
«Points of growth for the mainland have been clearly set out but for
the islands they are non-existent,» said one architect, Rania Kloutsiniotis,
who was one of the experts who initially drafted the plan.
«They could have created new sea and airport routes between the islands
that do not necessarily pass through Athens.»