WP2.1. THE POLITICAL SOCIOLOGY OF CAR SYSTEMS - Greece. 2

1. Origins and development of the city. 2

2. The rise and decline of public transit 5

3. Settlement and population: employment, health, education and leisure facilities 8

Demographic developments 8

Employment trends 10

Health infrastructure. 11

Sports and recreation facilities 11

4. Urban planning. 13

5. Road planning. 15

6. The current car system. 16

Environmental pollution (air and noise pollution) 19

Air pollution and health. 20

Road traffic accidents 21

Future developments 24


WP2.1. THE POLITICAL SOCIOLOGY OF CAR SYSTEMS -
Greece

1. Origins and development of the city

Athens lies at the heart of one of the world’s oldest continuously populated lands. Its futuristic buildings stand next to older, even ancient, edifices. It has a glorious past, a buoyant today and a promising future, as indicated by the continuous demographic expansion and the growth in economic activities.

Today, Athens is a modern metropolitan city with unique cultural and societal monuments, which reflect both its ancient and modern history. The process of economic development of the city is also unique and autonomous from the other cities of the country, which are highly dependent on the capital.

Athens is full of controversial features. It is a historical city, built around and above the surface of numerous ancient monuments. At the same time, it is also a “new city” which grew after its selection as Greece’s capital city in 1833. During that period the city was populated by less than 12 000 inhabitants, while in 1853 the population had reached 36 000 inhabitants. Throughout the 19th century, Athens was the only Greek city with a population which exceeded 50 000 and the only agglomeration sustaining high rates of growth.

This development continued in the following years and by 1900 the number of the city’s inhabitants had reached 300 000, while before the Second World War it approached one million inhabitants. The unexpected urbanisation of the city begun in the early 1920s, as a result of the mass influx of peasants, on the one hand, in search of a better livelihood, and of the Greek refugees, on the other, who were uprooted from Asia Minor[1] in 1922, and settled in Greece. The great majority of these refugees made their new home in the capital and its environs. In doing so they triggered off the spread of Athens southward, a spread that reached Piraeus and eventually merged the two cities. Previously, the growth of Athens had always been to the north, where the city’s suburbs climb unorderly up the mountain slopes.

The Second World War and the Greek civil war (1946-1949) that followed left the country in ruins. After 1950, during the stage of after-war reconstruction, and following the rapid industrialisation process, Athens attracted large sections of the rural populations. This rapid urbanisation process was the result of the job opportunities in G.A.A., on the one hand and the rural poverty on the other.

The evolution of the urban agglomeration in the city or the municipality of Athens is characterised by two distinct trends. The first one concerns the physiognomy of the city centre, which was built according to certain criteria of land use. The second is the unequal population distribution in the different municipalities of the GAA. Note that the Greater Athens Area constitutes a distinct geographical area with the largest population, the highest density and the highest economic activity in the country.

In 1996, the urban agglomeration of Athens consisted of 45 500 hectares of land (of which 3 803 are covered by the Athens municipality). Only 21% of this area is taken up by pavements; housing buildings cover about 35% of the area, whilst about 7% of the area is used by industry and wholesale trade, and a mere 5% for recreation and sport activities.  

The basin of Attika consists of 73 municipalities, with a total population of 3.7 million inhabitants, of which 918 300 reside within the city of Athens. The percentage of square kilometres of road in the total area is 21% while in the Athens municipality the respective percentage is 26.1%.

The urbanisation process, which begun in 1951, was very abrupt and intensive and concentrated in a handful of cities. According to the data in Table 1, 42.4% of the country’s population is concentrated in six cities; 30% of the population lives in the Greater Athens Area (GAA).

The unplanned and accidental development of Athens since the Second World War, combined with the heavy concentration of population, has created urban problems of gigantic proportions. Namely, during the period 1961-1981 the population growth in the Greater Athens Area (GAA) was 63.5%, well above the Greek average, but during the period 1981-1991 this intensive growth ceased and the population has since been stagnating, as new medium-sized urban agglomerations have been emerging (Table 1).

                                                                                        

Table 1. Concentration of Greek Population in Major Urban Centres, 1991

City

Population

1991

Population 1981

% of total population

1991

% of total population

1981

GAA

3 095 775

3 027 000

30.2

32.2

Thessaloniki

739 998

706 000

7.2

7.2

Patras

172 763

155 000

1.7

1.6

Heraklion

127 600

111 000

1.2

1.1

Larissa

113 426

102 000

1.1

1,0

Volos

106 142

107 000

1.0

1,1

Total

(all the above cities)

4 356 704

4 208 000

42.4

43.2

Total Greek population

10,264,156

9 740 000

100

100

Source: NSSG, The Population of Greece 1991, census results.

 

This population growth was unequally distributed over the whole GAA. It was faster in the suburbs and the peripheral municipalities and slower in Athens and other important municipalities in the region. Thus during the 1970s, while the population growth in the municipality of Athens was 41% in the rest of GAA it was 75%. This uneven development has been stagnating during the last few years, owing to the high population concentration (saturation) in the GAA, the end of the urbanisation process and the beginning of the counter urbanisation.  

The main factor responsible for these high discrepancies was internal migration. Changes in agricultural production on the one hand, and the concentration of industrial production and services in the GAA, were the primary causes for this influx of immigrants. This, in turn, generated a massive demand for shelter that was met by the building of block of flats and by the expansion of urban residential areas through both legal and illegal means. Thus, while in the old traditional residential areas the population growth was approximately 30%, in the new residential areas, mainly in the northern suburbs and some other scattered and until then underdeveloped areas, it was over 100%. Most of the migrants were from rural areas and their destination was the big urban centres such as Athens and Thessaloniki.

Since the middle 1970s, a series of changes have been observed regarding the process of urbanisation and of internal migration. Namely, the intensive movement from the rural to the urban areas, becomes more moderate, whilst alongside the GAA, other (medium sized) urban centres emerge, that attract the population from other geographical regions than Athens. This process had the effect that Athens (Attica) during the 1980s manifested real population changes (4.55%) that were below the mean national average (5.40%). Meanwhile, the percentage of older people, which was close to 10% in the beginning of the 1980s, rose to 13% in 1991 and thus the problem of the ageing population became more acute (Table 2).  

 

Table 2. Demographic changes in Attica and Greece total, 1971-1991.

Change

Attica

Greece total

Real

  %

 %

1971-81

20.42

11.08

1981-91

 4.55

 5.40

Natural

 

 

1981-91

  4.0

  2.9

Migration

 

 

1981-91

  0.6

  2.4

 

 

 

Percentage of people aged over 65

 

 

1981

 10.7

 12.7

1991

 13.0

 14.0

Source: NSSG, Statistical Yearbook, various years.

 

To sum up, throughout the period 1980-1990, important changes took place in the GAA as well as in Greece. These changes are reflected in the economic condition of the country and the new demographic structure, which is mainly characterised by an ageing population and a zero population growth, as will be described below.

 


2. The rise and decline of public transit

The development of the Greek transport system was unable to keep up with the rapid pace of intense and unregulated urban growth, in the GAA as well as in the other emerging big cities. Transport policies -both urban and intercity- have always been reactive rather than pro-active, erratic, and inhibited by limited public resources. Only recently, with the massive influx of the EU structural funds there is a serious effort to improve and rationalise the road and transport infrastructure. Despite the weaknesses and inadequacies, which characterise the Greek transport system, it has not, so far, created any major problems to the normal movement of goods in the G.A.A.

Geographical restrictions (mainland Greece is largely occupied by mountains), combined with historical events (the country was liberated from the Ottoman domination gradually) and political short-sightedness were the main reasons behind the belated and patchy development of the road and rail networks. With respect to rail transport, a serious problem is the poor state of the railway infrastructure: the railway network is old (dating back to the 19th century), short and insufficient in covering the country, with a poor layout, lack of homogeneity of the gauge of the lines[2] and with a large number of level crossings. These weaknesses are reflected in the continuously decreasing participation of railways in the transportation of goods and passengers. This situation has of course a serious impact on the G.A.A, as it encourages the use of private means of transport; all the more as, there is only one inner-city railway line linking Piraeus with Athens, without a stable route, so that passengers prefer to use the other transport means for their short distance journeys.

With regard to air transport, the problems seem to have acquired a chronic character and are mostly identified with the problems facing the national air carrier Olympic Airways: inadequate number of passenger aircrafts, labour conflicts between management and personnel (leading to frequent strikes and disruption of flights), delays, etc[3]. An additional problem is the location of the airport in a densely populated area and relative close to the centre of Athens (12 kms.).

The Greek road transport system is also permeated by weaknesses, arising mainly from the inadequacy of the road networks (of inner-city roads, as well as highways) and the inefficiency of the public means of transport. The main features of the road system in the G.A.A. are the narrow width of most streets, the low average speed of vehicles, the persistence of many traps (holes, bumps, etc.), and the lack of alternate routes and by-passes.

In the absence of a policy to prevent the concentration in the big urban centres (and especially in the GAA), and to promote the wider use of the public means of transport, the car soon became the main mean of transport and eventually also the main air pollutant in the GAA. The ageing stock of cars, the poor road condition and the lack of a proper underground network deteriorated this trend. Not surprisingly, the death toll caused by traffic is very high: deaths from traffic accidents are the fifth most important cause of death amongst the Greek population.

Despite the high cost of buying a new or even a second hand car, the number of new vehicles in circulation has been growing spectacularly over the last two decades in Greece. Note that in 1969 there were only 220 893 vehicles in circulation, while by 1995 their number had reached 3 588 852. The use of private cars has expanded rapidly in almost all provinces and geographical areas, but the problems are more acute in the GAA, where over one third of the Greek population and the majority of services and public goods are concentrated, not to mention the location, for a long period, of many manufacturing industries inside the boundaries of the G.A.A.

Regarding the problem of passenger cars, in particular, it is worth pointing out that whilst in 1968 in Greece there was 1 private car per 8 people, and in 1987 1/7.5    -the lowest ratio among the EU countries - during the last 10 years this rate fell to 1/0.8[4]. At the same time, in 1975 there were 737 229 motor vehicles in circulation, of which 87 176 were motorcycles (11.8%). During the same year in Greece there were only 438 553 passenger cars, which represented 59.5% of all motor vehicles (or 67.5% of all motor vehicles, excluding motorcycles). There were also 13 352 buses (1.8% of all motor vehicles and 2% of the total motor cars). This low percentage manifests the decreasing importance and the low use of public transport in the GAA.

As the importance of private passenger cars rose to unexpected heights, and public spending to renew the old buses and buy some new was very low, the public means of transport could not stand up to the citizens’ expectations and fulfil their role. Not only private cars, but taxis as well, gradually substituted -to a large degree- the public means of transport in daily movements. [5] According to the most recent available data, despite some timid attempts to encourage the use of public transport (redesign of bus routes and introduction of exclusive bus lanes), every year the average bus speed decreases by about 3%. Note that during rush hours the average bus speed is less than 6 km/h, which means long waiting at bus calls and overcrowding.

Thus, the significant growth in the means of transport occurred to the advantage of private means of transport, since the public means of transport recorded an increase in absolute numbers, but not in relative numbers.

Namely, in 1995, the total number of motor vehicles in Greece had reached 3 588 852, of which 3 113 184 were passenger cars, representing 61.4% of all motor vehicles and 70.8% of all motor cars in circulation. The same upward trend in the absolute numbers was also recorded for buses, trucks and motorcycles, but to a lower degree. In 1995 buses represented 0.69% of all motor vehicles and 0.80% of all motor cars, trucks 24.63% and motorcycles 13.25%.

As shown in Table 3, in 1975, 369 625 vehicles i.e. 50% of all vehicles in Greece circulated in the GAA. Passenger cars circulating in the GAA constituted 62% of the total passenger cars in the country.

More specifically, in 1975, passenger cars in the GAA constituted 73.4% of all motor vehicles (including motorcycles) and about 82% of all motor cars (i.e. excluding motorcycles). By 1995 this situation had changed only marginally and passenger cars constituted 73.6% of all motor vehicles and 85.5% of all motor cars, while buses represented 0.83%. In the GAA, in particular, there were 6 346 busses in circulation in 1975, while their stock increased to 11 154 (almost double) in 1995. This upward trend was also observed for all the other vehicles but in the case of passenger cars the increase was sharper. Namely, in 1975, there were 271 271 passenger cars in circulation while in 1995, i.e. after twenty years, their number increased almost four times, to reach 1 156 261 vehicles!

These figures become even sharper, if we take into account the fact that the rise in all motor vehicles during the reference period is mostly due to a significant rise in the number of passenger cars (all other types of motor vehicles witnessing a moderate growth). This trend is noticed across the country, but is more intense in the GAA. This can be easily explained by the fact that more than one third of the total population and a large part of the economic activity are concentrated in GAA area.

 


Table 3. Motor vehicles in operation, by category 1975-1995.

Year

All motor vehicles

Total without motorcycles

Buses

Passenger

Freight

Motorcycles

Greece Total

1975

737 229

650 053

13 352

438 553

198 148

87 176

1985

2 050 440

1 882 558

18 237

1 263 366

600 955

167 882

1995

3 588 852

3 113 184

24 600

2 204 761

883 823

475 668

Greater Athens Area

1975

369 625

330 401

6 346

271 271

52 784

39 224

1985

872 144

792 417

8 158

663 274

120 985

79 727

1995

1 569 982

1 352 000

11 154

1 156 261

184 585

217 982

Source: NSSG, Statistical Yearbook, various years.

 

According to the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, until 1990, 12 billion km were travelled every year in the GAA and about 608 000 tons of gasoline and 406 000 tons of petroleum were consumed (representing about 47% of the total fuel consumed in GAA). The car exhaust gas that is emitted, i.e. the carbon monoxide, is well above the limit established by the E.C by about 144% (PERPA 1989). If this tendency continues, within the next 10 years the stock of motor vehicles is excepted to increase by 73% and the exhaust gas emissions by 45%.

Regarding urban transport in the GAA, urgent measures are needed to improve the quality of mass public transport, to reduce peak- hour traffic congestion, and to create conditions that favour the wider use of transport means that consume a minimum of energy, especially oil fuel (e.g. trolley buses, electric trains, tramways, etc.) and that are environmentally-friendly. In addition to the above, the provision of off-the- road parking space for private motor -vehicles is also a priority for the better organisation of urban transport, and for the maximisation of the benefits from the operation of the new underground lines after the end of 2 000.


3. Settlement and population: employment, health, education and leisure facilities

Since World War II, several important changes took place in the Greek economy. Economic development is marked by the rapid growth of the service sectors and the excessive urbanisation in the Greater Athens Area and the wider Thessaloniki geographical region.

In Greece, between 1950 and 1990 the volume of GDP grew at a rate, which was among the highest in all OECD countries. Namely, during the 1970s, the GNP grew at an average annual rate of 5%. It is interesting to note that in 1980, the GDP in Greece amounted to 4 200 current US dollars, while the respective figure for the wealthy countries was 10 000-15 000 US dollars. This growth was characterised by the low level of wages and salaries, as compared to other European countries. Moreover, between 1950 and 1980 the share of manufacturing in national income increased from 21.3% to 31.3%, while the respective share of agriculture declined from 31.1% to 17.4%.

A direct consequence of the rapid increase in GNP was the spectacular improvement in the standards of living, as during that period the life expectancy at birth rose, the rate of infant mortality decreased, the energy consumption increased, the consumption pattern of the households changed and more durable goods such as cars and households were purchased.

Demographic developments

A number of historical, social, economic and political events have impinged upon the evolution of the demographic situation in Greece, since the middle of the eighteenth century. Throughout this period, and in particular between 1951 and 1981, the share of the urban population in the total population rose from 37% to 58% while the share of the rural population declined from 49% to 30.3%. The most striking feature of this trend was the high concentration of the population in the two big urban cities, Athens and Thessaloniki.

It is widely recognised that all demographic indicators such as population and migration, are affected by a large variety of social and economic factors. The two mechanisms of population growth are the natural change (birth/ death rates) and the migratory change (immigration, emigration rates).

Migration movement in Greece in the 1950s and in the 1960s was the result of the prevailing high unemployment and underemployment levels. About one million people migrated to Western Europe during the 1960s. This trend coincided with the internal migration movement. However, from the beginning of the 1970s the situation started to change dramatically, as labour shortages appeared in certain market clusters, leading to the employment of foreign migrant workers (mostly illegal). Thus two parallel trends were observed during the period 1961-1981: on the one hand, massive internal and external migration (1961-71), and on the other hand residential expansion (1971-81).

These developments led to:

1.      The creation of local markets in the periphery.

2.      The development of a suburban way of life and an increasing demand for and use of private cars. This trend was very intense and unavoidable in the two largest cities, Athens and Thessaloniki, because the existing public means of transport were old and the underground line was either limited (in Athens) or non-existent (in Thessaloniki).

3.      The relocation of educational services, primarily, but of health services as well, outside the city centre and the redistribution of traffic volume from the centre to the periphery. This trend was reinforced by the fact that problems like pollution, energy control, energy supplies, consumer protection, crime control and health care had rather suddenly taken on a much greater importance than before.

During the 1980s the decline of the various functions of the historic and commercial centre continued and many commercial enterprises and organisations of all sorts moved outside the city centre, primarily on the two main avenues that connect the centre with the northern suburbs and secondarily towards the southern suburbs. By contrast, the majority of administrative organisations and the main financial institutions remained in the city centre (banks and Stock Exchange).

The main factors for this outflow of economic activities were: the lack of parking spaces, the increasing air pollution, the saturation of residential areas, the various forms of traffic problems and restrictions and the rapid evolution of telecom­munications.

Meanwhile, the population of registered foreign citizens living in Greece has gradually increased from about 95 000 in 1970 to 195 000 in 1980 and to 220 000 in 1990, while there is an unknown number of illegal immigrants. Nearly half of the registered foreigners are from the member countries of the Council of Europe and the rest come from other countries: Eastern Europe, Middle East, North Africa, Philippines etc.

The outskirts of the historic centre and the western municipalities received the bulk of foreign immigrants from the Balkan countries (primarily Albanians) and from other Eastern European countries. Nevertheless, during the past few years there is a timid reversal of the above-mentioned trends which leads to the revival of the historic centre as a residential area, as well as a recreation and employment area. It should be mentioned that the intense involvement of the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works has greatly contributed to this reversal and has improved the quality of life in the city centre.

The present demographic situation in Greece, is also affected by the outcome of the past trends in the main components of demographic change: fertility and mortality. Since the early 1970s, the evolution of mortality is mainly characterised by the fall of the mortality rate among the aged population. The most serious consequence of this change is its effect on the ageing of the population. This process is still under way in Greece, as the proportion of the aged population is constantly rising since the 1970s and accounted for 14% of the total population in 1991. Another problem that had arisen in the early 1980s, was the steady decline of the total fertility rate below the replacement level (2.11 children per woman in reproductive age). Namely, fertility has been continuously falling in Greece between 1981-1996 and after reaching its lowest level in 1996 (1.32 children /woman in reproductive age), it is expected to change within the next period.

The demographic evolution of the Greek population in the post war period is initially characterised by an intense growth trend, followed by an opposite stagnation trend. More specifically, during the post war period the population of Greece has been steadily increasing and from 7 345 000 inhabitants according to the 1940 census, it reached 7 633 000 in 1950 and continued to grow constantly until the 1990s. According to the latest population census, in 1991 the population in Greece was 10 264 156 inhabitants (Table 5) of whom 5 029 710 (49%) are male and 5 234 446 (51%) are female. The population density in the same year was 77.8 inhabitants/ sq. km. (202 inhabitants/ sq. ml.).

 

Table 5. Population changes in GAA and Greece total, 1961-1991.

Year

GAA

% change between:

Greece Total

% change between:

1951

1 379 000

1951-61

7 633 000

1951-61

 

 

34.4%

 

9.9%

1961

1 852 709

 

8 388 553

 

 

 

1961-71

 

1961-71

1971

2 540 241

37.1%  

8 768 641

4.5%  

 

 

1971-81

 

1971-81

1981

3 027 331

19.2%  

9 740 417

11.1%

 

 

1981-91

 

1981-91

1991

3 095 775

2.2%  

10 264 156

5.4%  

Source: National Statistical Service of Greece (NSSG), Statistical Yearbook, various years.

 

Employment trends

Employment growth in the G.A.A. and in Greece has been for several years now (since 1981) at a steadily upward trend, though its rate of increase has been slow: between 1992 to 1996 the average annual rate of increase has been approximately 1%. Yet, this increase has not been sufficient to absorb the increase of the labour force over the same period: during the period 1993-1996 the labour force increased sharply, mainly owing to the large number of women entering the labour market who, nevertheless, exhibit still relatively low labour force participation rates (in 1996, the participation rate for men was 63% whereas for women it was 37%).

As to the shifts across and within sectors of economic activity, the evolution of the structure of employment over the last 15 years reveals that traditional sectors (i.e. agriculture and traditional manufacturing activities) have suffered from heavy job losses in contrast to the tertiary sector which has exhibited significant employment gains, a trend which is expected to continue.

It is important to note that the G.A.A. labour market is highly segmented. The segments involving, in particular, civil administration, state-controlled enterprises, banks and large private corporations function almost as independent markets and are not usually influenced by changes in labour market conditions. Thus the effects of such changes are restricted only to the remaining segments of the labour market, although in the largest part flexibility is rather limited.

Greek unemployment has risen sharply since the end of 1970’s, reaching new record heights in recent years: 9.7% in 1993, 9.6% in 1994, 10% in 1995, 10.3% in 1996 and 10.25% in 1997. The data reveals that although the unemployment rate tends to be edging down very slowly it has been stabilised at a relatively high level. According to some Government forecasts for 1998, employment is expected to increase by 1.1% and the rate of unemployment to fall by 0.3%.

However, youth and female unemployment rates are still particularly high in G.A.A and the country total. The unemployment rate for young persons below the age of 25 years keeps steadily rising over recent years and exceeds 30% in 1997 (much higher than the E.U. average of approximately 20%).

Moreover, the most prominent characteristic in recent years has been the relatively large share of long-term unemployed (12 months and over) in total unemployment. The rise in long-term unemployment between 1991 and 1997 has been significant: from 46.6% in 1991 it reached 58.2% in 1996, with a slight downward trend in 1997 (57.1%).

Health infrastructure

The health sector in Greece is characterised by a number of long-standing deficiencies. Some of the most prominent problems are the following: the inadequate resources allocated to public health care and consequently the deterioration of services provided by the National Health System; the variations in the quality of the care provided for different groups of the population such as pensioners, unemployed etc; the extremely unequal regional distribution of health buildings (hospitals, nursing homes etc) within the country as well as within each region, etc.

The G.A.A. is a geographical area with a high concentration of hospitals and nursing homes. There are about 35 public hospitals with a mean number of 336 beds, but at least 10 of them have over 500 beds each. There are also over 110 private clinics (nursing homes), mostly small sizes (less than 50 beds). It should be stressed that almost all the big public hospitals are situated at the centre of Athens (and two in Pireaus). The localisation of these units in the city centre generates a lot of extra traffic, while making the access to hospitals problematic, especially when an emergency is caught in heavy congestion, which is often the case.

Owing to the plethora of social security funds existing in Greece (over 380), social security policy is characterised by a lack of universal principles and a fragmentary approach. There are considerable differences in the eligibility criteria and the extent of protection provided for large sections of the population; usually, this protection is considered unsatisfactory. Further, the transfer of resources through the social security system does not effectively contribute to the restriction of inequalities in living conditions. Overall, the organisation of the administrative system and the management of reserve funds are considered weak and inefficient.

Sports and recreation facilities

With regard to the outdoor recreation and sports facilities in the G.A.A, there exist two big sport halls- for basketball and football games- which are built in opposite locations[6], while other smaller football grounds are also located in the city centre. All big sport activities take place in these two big sport centres, which for the moment are served by the existing underground line, but this does not prevent traffic congestion when specific events are taking place (e.g. international basketball and football games).

A large number of administrative, educational and cultural sites are located in the city centre [7], such as the Athens University, the Technical University, the Athens Archaeological Museum, the courts of Justice, the Foreign Ministry as well as the ministries of Employment and Social Security, of Finance, of National Economy, of Education, of Culture, of Transport and many other institutions of smaller size. As for the recreational facilities, they also tend to be concentrated in the city centre: the Concert Hall, the vast majority of theatres and cinemas and a number of open-air recreation facilities are situated either within the city centre or at its immediate outskirts, thus attracting a lot of traffic in the evenings. [8]

Table 6, gives a picture of selected variables, including the number of school buildings and hospitals in the GAA.

 

Table 6. Statistical data in selected variables G.A.A 1981-1995.

 

Year

Variables

1981

1991

1995

1. Active population

1 064 942

1 186 216

1 109 233

2. Number of employed persons

1 005 795

1 086 091

1 044 944

3. Number of unemployed persons

59 147

(census results)

100 125

(census results)

64 289

(estimation from labour force survey)

 

Year

 

1987

1991

1995

4. Number of state primary schools

925

975

978

5. Number of state secondary schools

386

420

433

6. Number of state high schools

280

304

415

 

 

 

 

7. Rooms in nursing homes

25 471

24 273

25 000 (estimation)

8. Chemists’ shops

2 567

2 954

3 099 (estimation)

 

 

 

 

Source : «The Greek economy 1997». Annual edition.

 


4. Urban planning

The Athens agglomeration began to grow immediately after World War II, gradually assuming the characteristics of a metropolitan centre. After the Greek civil war (1946-1949), Athens was the area that received the main bulk of internal migrants, who fled the countryside for economic as well as political reasons. Faced with declining living standards and often-political oppression, rural people crowded into Athens, drawn by the perceived opportunities and attractions of city life. [9] Between 1950-1980 more than 1 million people moved into the G.A.A. : 308 000 in the 1950s, 376 000 in the 1960s and 197 000 in the 1970s. During the period 1951-1991 the proportion of the urban population in Greece rose from 37% to 60%, while in the G.A.A. the figure is significantly higher (close to 95%). This development, was the main underlying cause for the transformation of the city into a metropolitan area. During the 1980s, this growth was very rapid; as a result, today it is difficult to delineate clearly the city’s limits. The Greek capital has become the typical example of an overgrown, hypertrophic city, conforming fully to the phenomenon of “hydrocephaly".

Urban and physical planning are mend to be the appropriate tools for managing space in a rational way, with the restriction of the available resources. However, in the G.A.A. urban relations are not clearly defined, making it difficult to discern a universal pattern in the various zones; specific planning and spatial policies are affected by urban sprawl, and conditioned by the difficult to manage and often illegal topographic expansion of the town. As already has been mentioned, this expansion was mainly linked to large-scale urbanisation. During this phase the policy adopted was directed at managing the quantitative aspects of growth and little attention was paid to environmental issues. Later, the development process was centred at more qualitative aspects of growth such as demographic de-concentration in the G.A.A., the relocation of the main industrial sites, etc.

In order to confront the problems arising from urban development in Athens and the other large cities, the zones of urban planning were specified and defined through legislation (law 1337/1983). According to this law, all local governments were obliged to draw an urban plan, which was subsequently adopted and implemented, into two stages. The first stage consisted of introducing a general plan by the local governments, and the Ministry of Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works. The second stage consisted of making an urban study which was aimed at conceiving an efficient way of implementing the general plan.

New initiatives were pushed forward, such as the creation of «zones of special assistance and motives», the restoration of problematic areas and the zones of urban control. The structure, the organisation, and the evolution of the metropolitan areas of the G.A.A. and Salonica, were regulated and clearly specified later, through the approval of the Regulatory Urban Plan (RUP) based on the law 1515/1985 on «Regulatory Plan and Programme of Environment Protection in G.A.A» and the law 1561/1985.

According to the RUP, the interventions regarding the protection of the urban environment in Athens, concern three distinct areas:

·         Environmental protection.

·         Physical planning organisation

·         Urban organisation.

Attica was divided in five distinct urban sub-areas: the basin of Attica and the island of Salamina (with Athens as its capital); Western Attica (Menidi); Northern Attica (Kapandriti); Eastern Attica (Lavrio); and insular Attica (Aegina). One of the aims of the RUP was the creation of middle-size urban centres (e.g. Megara, Lavrio, Kapandriti) and other smaller centres, alongside Athens and Piraeus. Another objective was the control of land use, in order to have a better organisation of the urban centres and to specify zones of industrial production etc.

The follow-up of the implementation of the RUP was assigned to a new institution, established through the same law 1515/1985, «The Organisation of Athens», a private law legal entity.

Despite the legislative measures, however, in the densely populated regions, as well as in the more remote districts of the G.A.A. and the few agricultural settlements, town-planning organisation presents serious problems. In many settlements, and particularly in those, which are characterised as poor -in relative terms-, the existing technical infrastructure and the social equipment are steadily deteriorating. There are certain districts in the GAA, where the prevailing conditions restrict the possibilities of exercising in a satisfactory way the social, economic and cultural activities, and threaten the physical as well as mental health of the inhabitants.

Regarding the housing sector, for instance, despite the continuous high rate of construction of new houses, [10] problems still persist, mainly for the low income households which are more frequently located in the western unregulated districts or communes of G.A.A; these problems are mostly associated with the size of the dwellings, the available conveniences and equipment, the quality of construction and the cost. [11] In the past, serious problems also existed for traditional houses that had to be upkept and refurbished.

To sum up, the urban system in G.A.A. consists of a limited number of small centres (often a single municipality or commune), interlinked with the wider circuits of the capital's markets. This is a result of the communication network, organised after the Second World War. This network, centred around the capital, generally accentuated the vertical links between the smaller centres and the centre of Athens, where the overwhelming majority of services and economic activities were concentrated.


5. Road planning

The main function of urban transport is to provide a link between residence, employment and amenities and of course to connect consumers and producers in urban commerce. As it has been stated, transport demand and costs vary accordingly with city size. From this point of view, the appropriate design of urban transport systems and of urban land use gain greater importance as cities grow.

The road network in Athens was constructed during the 1950s, without any prior serious study and planning. Since then, only a few central roads were broadened (Akadimias, Stadiou, Panepistimiou, Amalias, Olgas ans Sygrou), a small part of the river Ilissos, which cuts across Athens, was covered and became a highway, some public squares were used as traffic conjunctions (Omonia, Kaningos, Egyptou) and only a few new roads were constructed (Kavalas ave., Kifissou ave. and Souniou ave.). When these roads were finished there were only 60 000 passenger cars in circulation.

Although the number of passenger cars in Athens has been growing spectacularly and now approaches 1 000 000, only a few new road projects (bridges or fly-overs, widening of roads, new roads, etc.) were planned and actually executed until recently. Fast circulation streets and traffic rings are still almost non-existent. Moreover, as already mentioned, the circulation system has always been radial, with its origin and its end in the centre of Athens. This system is very inefficient because all private and public transit has to go through the centre of Athens in order to travel from one area to the other, with no alternative route, due to the absence or scarcity of peripheral roads. In addition, to make the situation even worse, 31% of all truck movements originate in the centre of or in a place very close to Athens.

According to the available traffic and road statistics, since 1963 there is no more available space for any additional passenger vehicles to circulate in the GAA. This was one of the results from the first study carried out in 1964, which became known as «Smith’s study». This study was carried out again during the period 1972-74 and reached similar conclusions.

An additional problem during that period (1960s through to the 1980s) was the lack of co-ordination in the traffic lights. There were of course many traffic lights but they were placed and operated without a proper study and analysis of traffic volume.

The inadequacy and malfunction of the traffic network, the composition of traffic, the inadequacy of parking space, the quality of public transport, the administrative concentration and bureaucracy are the main reasons for the uncontrollable evolution and the present bad image of the traffic situation. Nowadays, the circulation of motor vehicles in the city of Athens and in the GAA is extremely problematic in more than one aspect. The number of vehicles registered in the G.A.A. in 1995, was 1 569 982, of which 1 352 000 motor cars and 11 154 buses (2 932 urban buses, 363 intercity buses, 5 654 for private use and 2 205 for public use). However, the number of the vehicles that actually cross the GAA is in fact much higher, if one counts the thousands of vehicles that arrive from other cities.

The increase in vehicle leads to high levels of land occupation because of the high demand of inland road axes, particularly important in large urban agglomerations for connecting the centre with its peripheral areas, for a more extensive road network and for adequate parking space.

Athens conforms fully to the statement that road construction generates more traffic and hence more congestion. The average speed during rush hours is 7 km/hour! The average urban speed is 22 km/hour (18 km in the inner city ring). However, even when congestion is terrible, people tend to accept it as a way of life and still take their cars, as there is often no other viable alternative.

According to the results of a study carried out by Attiko Metro S.A. (1996), the private car is the most widely used means of transport: about 38.4% of vehicle movements are made by private cars whereas another 30.8% are made by public means of transport (busses) and 10.3% by taxi. According to the same study, about 2 million passengers travel with the public means of transport every day (37% of all daily transports); another 10% of daily transports is done by taxi, which is a cheap alternative to a private car and is often interchangeable with buses. Overall, the private means of transport (cars, taxis, motor- bikes, company buses) account for 58% of daily movements.

Despite persisting high tariff barriers, car ownership has not ceased to increase over the past 25 years: the number of private cars in Athens has risen from 275 000 in 1973 to 1 190 000 in 1996. The actual ownership ratio is 248 cars per 1000 inhabitants. About 51% of all households own one car and a further 10% own two or more cars. It is worth noting that between 1983 (year in which the restrictions to circulate every day in the inner city ring were first implemented) and 1996, the proportion of households owning at least two cars -especially in the well-off suburbs- has more than doubled (in order to get round the restrictions).

Private vehicles take up an increasingly large proportion of the available space in Athens. It is not uncommon to see streets with only a narrow strip of road left free for the circulation of vehicles owing to the habit of «double parking». Although the disruption caused to traffic by illegal parking habits is tremendous, there does not seem to be any serious initiative to deter this mall-practice. The situation both in the inner city as in the suburbs seems to be beyond any control.

Overall, it is very hard to envisage a restriction of the car use in Athens, as it is deeply embedded in the culture of all social groups, but also as alternative transport is very inadequate and the emphasis has been to invest in roads rather than public transport (the only exception being the extension of the underground which is under way).

6. The current car system

(10 pages without tables or appendixes)

Modern life requires a lot of journeys and commuting; in the absence of satisfactory public transport system, these are carried out mostly by private means, notably by private cars. In the case of the G.A.A. mobility flows are very much car-dependent: children are driven to school and back, for safety reasons but also because many schools are not at a walking distance for their pupils; private school students often have to travel across the city in order to reach their suburban schools; out-of-school tuition (very common in Greece) as well as sport activities also necessitate private transportation. On the active population side, employees often have to travel to work by car, due to the inadequacy of the public means of transport; [12] the large proportion of self-employed people and the existence of a multitude of small shops also imply a lot of travelling. Finally, the bureaucratic and highly centralised structure of the administration compels a lot of people to visit the public services in person for their business, rather than using the post, the phone or the new technologies. As a result, the circulation of motor vehicles in the city of Athens and in the GAA is most of the time extremely difficult and unpleasant, becoming more problematic over time.

According to the latest available study [13] (Attiko Metro S.A. 1996), only about 36.8% of all passenger movements is carried out by public means of transport, while the remaining 63.2% is made by private means of transport. About 42.4% of all daily movements are journeys to work and another 13.3% is for private purposes. Private cars -as mentioned before- account for 38.4% of all vehicle movements, whereas the public means of transport (busses) account for 30.8% and taxis for 10.3% (see Table 7). This situation is significantly different from the one observed for a number of years in the past, when the public means of transport were the main mean of transportation for the majority of people in the G.A.A (in 1962 almost 80% of all passengers used busses, while in 1972 the percentage had fallen to 61.8%). Today, less than a third continue to use busses, while only 11.1% are frequent users possessing a monthly pass that offers access to the public means of transport in the city (except the railway and the subway). Even so, some 2 million passengers travel with the public means of transport every day.

 

Table 7. Mean of transportation and Purpose of transportation 1962-1996.

 

Year

Mean of transportation

1962

1972

1996

1. Private car drivers (and motorcycles)

10.2

24.1

38.4

2. Passengers of public means of transport

79.6

61.8

30.8

3. Taxi passengers

3.6

5.7

10.3

4. Other passengers

6.5

8.4

20.5

Total

100

100

100

 

 

 

 

Purpose of journey

 

 

 

From home:

 

 

 

Work

36.3

42.2

42.4

Shops

6.1

5.3

7.5

Education

1.4

5.0

13.6

Recreation

19.6

14.7

3.6

Other

21.8

24.3

32.9

 

 

 

 

Not from home:

14.8

8.5

 

Total

100

100

100

Source. Smith Wibur and Associates 1963 and 1972. Attico Metro S.A. 1996.

 

Regarding car ownership, it is interesting to note that about 39% of the total population do not own a passenger car, while about 9% own two passenger cars; there are about 248 private cars/1000 inhabitants. According to the data from various studies, the ratio of private cars/inhabitant from 1973 to 1996 has evolved as follows (Table 8): [14]

 

Table 8. Cars /1000 inhabitants in G.A.A. 1973-1996

Year

cars /1000 inhabitants

1973

 97

1983

172

1996

248

Source: Attiko Metro S.A.

 

Note that until the year 1989-90, the mean age of passenger cars in circulation was constantly rising. While the proportion of relative new cars in circulation (aged 0-3 years) was quite significant (38% of the total stock in circulation), the stock of the old cars in circulation was also high (35% of the total cars in circulation were aged over 7 years, and about 25% over 10 years).

During the 1990s, thanks to the measure of withdrawal of old cars [15], the situation of the cars in circulation changed drastically in Greece and the number of new motor vehicles sharply rose. During 1991-92, their number rose from 145 393 in 1990, to 195 614 in 1991; this upward trend continued in 1992 at an even higher rate. After that year the sales of new cars stagnated and eventually fell to 140 656 in 1995. Note that the opposite trend is observed in the sales of used cars. From 31 994 cars in 1990, their number fell to 21 905 in the next year (1991) to rise again to 31 165 cars in 1995.

Due to the absence of an indigenous car manufacturing industry, or even a car assembly unit (all vehicles are imported), private cars are considerably more expensive in Greece, compared to most EU countries (with the exception of Denmark). This fact explains why Greece used to have one of the highest shares of imported second hand cars. Lately, however, due to financial and legal constraints, the imports of second hand cars have decreased dramatically, whilst the new cars that are imported are of better quality than before. Nevertheless, the upward trend of all motor vehicles in circulation (new and used) has been continuing.

This is not surprising as, apart from its utilitarian value, car ownership is also part of a particular individual or family consumption pattern and a very powerful status symbol. To own a car -if possible the top model one can afford- means to reflect ones’ economic and social (presumed) position, even if buying a car often implies long-term borrowing, suppression of other family or personal needs, dependence on the family networks, sometimes even illicit transactions. The psychological and social satisfaction drawn from the possession of the «proper» car wipes away all these considerations, as well as the daunting traffic conditions in which this particular car will have to circulate. Because, it is beyond any doubt that the gains from using a car - i.e. free access, saving time, comfort- rather than alternate means of transport (if and when they are available) all too often are cancelled out by the fact that most of the time cars are at a stand-still on heavily congested roads.

Environmental pollution (air and noise pollution)

Motor vehicles, besides congestion, are also one of the main sources of air pollution, especially after the government has succeeded to relocate industrial activity outside Athens, and to impose filters and the monitoring of central heating.. The presence of air pollution in Athens is a permanent phenomenon since the 1970s. It increases during the summer months and in the sunlit days, when the wind is very weak, and it decreases (sometimes even wiped away) when there is wind from a northern direction.

As a result of the deteriorating quality of air in the G.A.A. state intervention became inevitable. After 1974, a network of seven stations was established in Athens, responsible for the measurement of air pollution. Later in 1983, this network was modernised and equipped with high-tech measurement instruments. Since 1986, similar networks were installed in other urban centres of the country.

By 1996, there were 10 such stations functioning in Athens, fully automated and open 24 hours a day (see Table 9). These stations have a wide and relative rational geographical dispersion within the boundaries of the prefecture of Attiki. The time required for the analysis is about one minute, i.e. every minute new prices are fed to the computers of the stations and every one hour the mean value of the air pollution is estimated.

 

Table 9. Location of the air pollution stations in Athens.

Stations* (streets-areas)

Kind of location

1. Patision

commercial-residential

2. Athinas

commercial

3. Pireas

commercial-residential

4. Iera odos

manufacturing

5. Nea Smirni

residential

6. Peristeri

commercial - residential

7. Liosia

residential - rural

8. Maroussi

suburban

9. Aristotelous

commercial- residential

10. Likovrisi

suburban

* The same rank is used in other tables. There was one more station located at Rentis, in the boundaries between Athens and Pireus, which has been out of function since 1995.

Source: Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works 1997.

 

The pollution is mainly measured through the values or the quantity in the air of the following pollutants: CO, NO, NO2, O3, SO2 and Smog.

In the early 1990s, the level of the air pollutants decreased drastically. This was the result of the renewal of the old cars with cars of new technology and the wider use of unleaded fuel.

The development through time of the various values observed in the 10 stations in the network of Athens is given in Tables 10-21 (APPENDIX 1). The main observations that emerge from these Tables are presented below:

The air pollution in Athens decreased in the year 1996, contrary to the trend observed in previous years. This fall was the result of the measures that were specially designed and adopted for the mobile sources of air pollution i.e. renewal of old motor vehicles with motor vehicles of new environmentally friendly technology and the decrease of the substance in SO in the fuels.

Namely, in 1996 the air pollution in Athens, was varying from low to medium levels, almost all the months of the year. One unsolved problem was the high presentation of Ozone in the atmosphere, mainly present in the north districts of the G.A.A. This pollutant indicated high prices owing to the long sunlight days during the summer. By contrast, pollutants like SO2, NO2, CO and smog were concentrated at the centre of Athens.

In the case of smog, there were often high values, over the national adopted limits for the quality of the air, in the station which is functioning at Patision street.

During the last years, lower indices were recorded in the levels of smog, Pb, SO2, NO2 and NO. There are also seasonal variations: during the winter months higher values are noted in SO2, smog, and CO while during the summer months higher values are observed in O3 and NO2. During the weekends and holidays, the values of all pollutants are significantly lower than those during the week[16].

Air pollution and health

Transport has major implications for health. Poor air quality affects all people, particularly vulnerable groups such as those with asthma and respiratory problems. The specification of the type and level of environmental damage and more specifically of air pollution, on the health status and the welfare of the individuals is a complex task, where no scientific consensus has been convincingly established. Moreover, data and information on environmental damage is not always reliable, although the correlation between pollution and health status is reasonably well documented, at least regarding short -term illness or diseases. In the case of long -term illness and diseases, it is stated that these are mainly produced by chronic exposure both to low and high levels of pollution. Naturally, the chronic exposure to low level pollution, which is part of daily life experience, is highly correlated to other factors such as increasing urbanisation levels, high population densities, stressful living patterns, unhealthy personal life styles and unhealthy food consumption.

Groups mostly affected by air pollution include the elderly, children, those with respiratory problems or cardiovascular disease. It is interesting to note that whenever there is an aggravation of smog, tenths of people have to be taken to hospital. Surpassingly, due to the morphology of Athens, smog is socially equally distributed all over the metropolitan area and is present even in upper class suburbs and residential areas.

By contrast, noise pollution seems to affect mostly residents living on or near busy roads, densely populated areas, and the city centre which is crowded almost at all times. A number of local authority councils in the well-off suburbs have taken initiatives to discourage through traffic by a complicated system of one way streets, thus diverting the extra traffic to their less privileged neighbours! It should be pointed out, that urban car traffic affects most of the population while it is accepted as one of the predominant sources of disturbance, stress, annoyance and sleep disarrangement.

Despite recent improvements in the quality of air, Athens is still one of the most heavily polluted European cities. The smog problem has been at the centre of government efforts to reduce air pollution and following a series of measures in recent years (like the obligation of cars to carry a catalytic converter and to use unleaded fuels) the situation has to some degree come under control.

The relative contribution of environmental hazards to disease is small, but damage to the environment may be irreversible and exposure can lead to health effects over many years. The environment may particularly affect the health of some vulnerable groups of the population such as children, pregnant women, people with some kind of illnesses, older people with respiratory problems, etc. more than others. These effects are difficult to be identified directly as in many cases the exposure is a long run process and death may not necessarily be the outcome of the exposure.

Road traffic accidents

Available statistics, in general, give a fairly precise picture of the quantity of car-related deaths and on the causes of road accidents. However, links to class, age or ethnic group are missing. Intuitively, one can say that those who pay the heaviest death toll are male, young or elderly, and children. Young motorists are often involved in road crashes; school- age children, especially those in working class areas with denser traffic and less supervision from their parents, are also at risk, even just outside their school; young gypsies and refugee children working or wandering on the streets, are also more likely to be involved in a car crash. Finally, the elderly people are a very vulnerable group and they constitute the majority of pedestrian fatalities.

The annual death toll in Greece is extremely heavy and with a tendency to rise: 2141 people were killed (the size of an average Greek village) and another 32 849 were injured in 24 681 accidents during 1997. Overall, between 1985-1997, 27 356 people have died and 404 310 have been injured in a road accident. In this respect, Greece is unfortunate to have the leading position among the European countries.

As shown in Table 22, most traffic accidents occur in the GAA, where more than a third (35.7%) of all accidents occurred in 1995, while the trend in the road accidents is upward during the reference period (see Table 22). Note that the accidents include also pedestrians, often victims of the bad situation of the traffic network, the lack or poor condition of pavements, etc.

Although the total number of injured persons in the GAA is very high, only a small number of these persons died (2.8% in 1995) or was seriously injured (5.45% in 1995). In most cases the persons were slightly injured (Table 23-24).

People in the age group 25-44 are a very vulnerable group and they constitute the majority of non -pedestrian fatalities. Young motorists are often involved in road crashes and constitute also a group at high risk of road accident and this is reflected at the high number of accidents and the persons injured at age 15-24, in 1995 (Table 24).

Increasing recourse to the private car and lorries, at the expense of public transport, and the poor quality of the road infrastructure, alongside with behavioural attitudes, have made road safety a major issue in Greece.

 

Table 22. Number of road traffic accidents Greece and GAA: 1982-1995

Year

Traffic accidents in the GAA

Total traffic accidents in GREECE

 

Total

 

 

 

Total

(absolute numbers)

As % of total accidents in Greece

Fatal

Non- fatal

Total

Fatal

Non- fatal

1982

8,789

39,2

231

8,558

22,401

1,349

21,052

1983

7,718

37,9

238

7,480

20,389

1,383

19,006

1984

8,191

38,1

229

7,962

21,501

1,478

20,023

1985

8,322

38,6

250

8,072

21,537

1,473

20,064

1986

7,404

38,0

208

7,196

19,462

1,297

18,165

1987

6.990

36,9

208

6,782

18,966

1,302

17,664

1988

7,874

37,9

225

7,649

20,753

1,330

19,423

1989

7,376

36,3

221

7,155

20,299

1,462

18,837

1990

7,077

36,1

254

6,823

19,609

1,533

18,076

1991

8,255

39,8

288

7,967

20,764

1,557

19,207

1992

8,671

39,4

309

8,362

22,006

1,610

20,396

1993

8,756

39,5

330

8,426

22,165

1,634

20,531

1994

8,196

36,9

252

7,944

22,222

1,671

20,551

1995

8,137

35,7

277

7,860

22,798

1,798

21,000

Source : NSSG, Statistical Yearbook 1996.

 

 

Table 23. Persons injured in road traffic accidents, GAA : 1982-1995

 

Total of injured persons

Dead

Seriously injured

Slightly injured

1982

11,566

250

2,088

9,228

1983

10,149

257

2,176

7,716

1984

10,552

254

2,081

8,217

1985

10,962

270

1,505

9,187

1986

9,690

221

803

8,666

1987

9,036

223

689

8,124

1988

10,353

234

763

9,356

1989

9,694

237

654

8,803

1990

9,266

267

681

8,318

1991

10,744

314

674

9,756

1992

11,263

334

715

10,214

1993

11,220

350

538

10,332

1994

10,675

266

542

9,867

1995

10,485

296

571

9,618

Source: NSSG, Statistical Yearbook 1996.

 


 

Table 24. Persons injured in road traffic accident by category of injured, GAA 1994-95

Category of injured persons

Total of injured persons

Dead

Seriously injured

Slightly injured

1994

 

 

 

 

Total

10,675

266

542

9,867

Drivers

6,487

126

284

6,077

Persons transported

2,192

29

97

2,066

Pedestrians

1,996

111

161

1,724

1995

 

 

 

 

Total

10,485

296

571

9,618

Drivers

6,494

134

319

6,041

Persons transported

2,123

51

92

1,980

Pedestrians

1,868

111

160

1,597

Source : NSSG, Statistical Yearbook, 1996

 

 

 

Table 25. Persons injured in road traffic accidents by age groups, GAA, 1994-95

Age groups

Total

Dead

Seriously injured

Slightly injured

 

1994

 

 

 

 

Total

10 675

266

542

9 867

0-5 years

92

1

2

89

6-14 years

298

3

15

280

15-24 years

3 152

72

168

2 912

25-44 years

4 318

76

196

4 046

45-64 years

1 796

35

70

1 690

65 years and over

1 003

78

91

834

Undeclared

17

1

-

16

 

1995

 

 

 

 

Total

10 485

296

571

9 618

0-5 years

80

1

-

79

6-14 years

275

5

15

255

15-24 years

3 064

77

182

2 795

25-44 years

4 285

87

215

3 983

45-64 years

1 761

37

77

1 647

65 years and over

996

83

79

834

Undeclared

34

6

3

25

Source: NSSG, Statistical Yearbook, 1996.

 

 


Future developments

It should be pointed out that the GAA is an area in transition, since three major projects are under way, expected to be completed within the next few years. All three projects will have, to varying degrees, a positive effect on traffic conditions.

1.     The Athens Underground project, is expected to be completed towards the end of 1999. The project consists of the construction of two new underground lines, 18km long with 21 stations, which are expected to serve 450 000 passengers on a daily basis. So far, 72% of the total Project has been completed. It is estimated that the daily trips, especially those to work, will decrease (by approximately 350 000 daily), the air pollution will fall, while the parking problems are expected to be alleviated.

2.     The construction of the New Athens International AirportElefterios Venizelos”, is expected to be completed by the year 2001. The location of the site (Spata) is at a distance from the city of Athens as well as from the other densely populated suburban areas. This project is expected to alleviate the car congestion problem, as the majority of passengers at present are passing through Athens, either by car or taxi, in order to get to the current airport.

3.     Athens is the city, which was selected for the 2004 Olympic Games. Thus a number of major projects and environment interventions are planned, in order to serve the organisation of the games.

These projects are expected to have a decisive influence on the development of the urban transport system. Thus, it is our intention to interview some key informers, but the questions should also be directed towards the future picture of the GAA, after the completion of the above-mentioned key projects. The interviews should also include key informers from these projects, which are under way.


APPENDIX 1

 


Table 10. The value of the various pollutants in Athens, 1984-1996

 

Stations

Year

Patision

Athinas

Pireas

Iera odos

N. Smirni

Peristeri

Liosia

Marousi

Aristo-telous

Liko-vrisi

 

Mean year value NO2 (hour values, mg/m3)

1984

105

 

 

37

23

 

24

 

 

 

1985

113

 

98

34

20

 

14

 

 

 

1986

107

 

92

47

29

 

25

 

 

 

1987

105

 

80

57

33

 

24

 

 

 

1988

117

89

88

61

40

 

34

 

 

 

1989

121

87

75

66

41

 

 

 

 

 

1990

120

84

76

55

29

 

36

42

 

 

1991

110

78

67

74

38

71

36

35

 

 

1992

118

66

75

50

51

64

23

31

 

 

1993

106

73

69

44

37

58

23

36

 

 

1994

102

70

74

39

51

46

30

34

93

33

1995

95

91

65

50

48

55

34

36

98

36

1996

95

80

60

43

49

50

24

30

81

33

Source: Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works 1997.


 

Table 11. The value of the various pollutants in Athens, 1984-1996

 

Stations

Year

Patision

Athinas

Pireas

Iera odos

N. Smirni

Peristeri

Liosia

Marousi

Rentis

Liko-vrisi

 

Mean year value O3 (hour values, mg/m3)

1984

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1985

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1986

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1987

29

 

 

49

34

 

64

 

 

 

1988

27

 

50

60

42

 

76

 

 

 

1989

31

 

55

52

46

 

94

 

 

 

1990

37

57

49

61

43

40

80

56

 

 

1991

35

37

44

59

58

49

72

69

 

 

1992

27

31

43

28

59

 

66

60

 

 

1993

27

25

45

 

61

51

68

54

 

 

1994

32

36

41

53

55

51

62

61

55

61

1995

25

45

50

51

52

58

62

64

62

57

1996

28

45

47

49

48

53

58

69

 

59

Source: Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works 1997.


 

Table 12. The value of the various pollutants in Athens, 1984-1996

 

Stations

Year

Patision

Athinas

Pireas

Iera odos

N. Smirni

Peristeri

Liosia

Marousi

Rentis

Liko-vrisi

 

Mean year value NO (hour values, mg/m3)

1984

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1985

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1986

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1987

162

 

70

52

25

 

7

 

 

 

1988

182

73

67

52

30

 

11

 

 

 

1989

205

88

65

64

41

 

 

 

 

 

1990

206

80

69

88

29

58

10

46

 

 

1991

188

117

56

57

29

43

10

41

 

 

1992

180

85

83

50

38

33

10

47

 

 

1993

185

92

68

38

25

45

15

57

 

 

1994

161

82

69

57

31

64

32

40

44

26

1995

149

89

53

46

27

64

28

26

37

22

1996

139

88

59

44

34

61

14

20

 

18

Source: Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works 1997.


 

Table 13. The value of the various pollutants in Athens, 1984-1996

 

Stations

Year

Patision

Athinas

Pireas

Iera odos

N. Smirni

Peristeri

Liosia

Marousi

Rentis

Aristo-telous

 

Mean year value SO2 (hour values, mg/m3)

1984

55

 

5

18

18

 

26

 

 

 

1985

48

 

 

26

20

 

12

 

 

 

1986

47

 

75

17

14

 

25

 

 

 

1987

57

 

58

21

18

 

15

 

 

 

1988

82

39

61

21

19

 

17

 

 

 

1989

87

42

59

25

22

 

53

 

 

 

1990

80

47

50

16

21

27

30

17

 

 

1991

67

55

73

22

38

35

27

14

 

 

1992

87

59

71

 

49

28

36

17

 

 

1993

61

53

52

33

33

23

17

17

 

 

1994

58

45

45

34

43

30

22

14

31

56

1995

44

23

38

22

36

23

22

16

17

33

1996

40

29

40

21

41

19

17

17

 

27

Source: Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works 1997.


 

Table 14. The value of the various pollutants in Athens, 1984-1996

 

Stations

Year

Patision

Athinas

Pireas

Iera odos

N. Smirni

Peristeri

Liosia

Marousi

Liko-nrisi

Aristo-telous

 

Mean year value CO (hour values, mg/m3)

1984

8.9

 

 

1.3

2.0

 

1.3

 

 

 

1985

7.7

 

4.2

1.4

1.9

 

1.2

 

 

 

1986

6.0

 

4.4

1.1

1.8

 

1.1

 

 

 

1987

6.7

 

4.3

1.3

1.6

 

1.2

 

 

 

1988

7.4

4.1

4.7

1.8

1.7

 

 

 

 

 

1989

8.4

4.9

5.2

1.8

1.9

 

 

 

 

 

1990

7.4

4.2

4.1

1.5

1.8

2.8

 

1.7

 

 

1991

6.8

4.9

4.0

1.4

1.9

3.9

 

1.7

 

 

1992

5.5

6.7

3.2

1.2

2.0

2.6

 

3.4

 

 

1993

5.2

3.6

4.3

2.1

1.9

1.7

 

2.4

 

 

1994

5.4

3.5

3.5

1.9

2.0

2.7

 

1.6

1.1

3.8

1995

5.1

3.2

2.5

1.7

2.1

2.0

 

1.6

1.3

3.6

1996

4.8

3.7

2.3

1.6

1.8

1.7

 

1.5

1.1

2.6

Source: Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works 1997.


 

Table 15. The value of the various pollutants in Athens, 1984-1996

 

Stations

Year

Patision

Athinas

Pireas

Iera odos

N. Smirni

Aristo-telous

Marousi

Peristeri

Rentis

 

 

Mean year value Smog (24hour values, mg/m3)

1984

192

 

89

 

 

123

 

 

45

 

1985

172

 

84

 

 

130

 

 

43

 

1986

140

 

60

 

 

91

 

 

34

 

1987

165

 

71

 

 

118

 

 

37

 

1988

147

64

63

37

35

94

 

 

37

 

1989

123

45

37

32

26

69

 

 

29

 

1990

104

44

42

27

22

64

21

34

29

 

1991

83

54

36

23

19

60

20

22

19

 

1992

86

59

33

30

23

63

20

33

28

 

1993

108

49

46

 

26

72

 

31

 

 

1994

120

50

48

 

30

71

 

43

37

 

1995

99

38

47

 

22

42

 

32

23

 

1996

95

43

36

 

20

43

 

26

 

 

Source: Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works 1997.


 


Table 16. The value of the various pollutants in Athens, 1984-1996

 

Stations

Year

Rentis

Aristotelous

 

 

Mean year changes in the values of Pb (24hour values mg/m3)

1987

0.7

0.42

 

1988

0.67

0.49

 

1989

0.5

0.39

 

1990

0.57

0.34

 

1991

0.45

0.23

 

1992

0.45

 

 

1993

0.4

0.27

 

1994

 

 

 

1995

0.43

 

 

1996

0.33

0.23

 

Source: Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works 1997.


 

Table 17. Mean monthly values of air pollution in Athens, 1996

 

Patision

Athinas

Pireas

Iera odos

N. Smirni

Peristeri

Liosia

Marousi

Aristo-telous

Month

Mean monthly values SO2 (mg/m3)

Jan

54

23

45

24

47

31

17

20

39

Feb

61

25

45

25

57

29

12

14

36

March

51

30

41

21

55

18

15

18

22

Apr

39

26

36

18

20

16

7

16

27

May

41

33

47

28

37

25

26