The Athens Metropolitan Area consists of 73 densely populated municipalities, sprawling around the city in virtually all directions. According to their geographic location in relation to the city of Athens, the suburbs are divided into four zones; the northern suburbs (including Ekali, NeaErythrea, AgiosStefanos, Drosia, Kryoneri, Kifissia, Maroussi, Pefki, Lykovrisi, Heraklio, GlykaNera, Vrilissia, Melissia, Pendeli, Halandri, Psychiko and Filothei); the southern suburbs, (including PalaioFaliro, Elliniko, Glyfada, Alimos, Voula and the southernmost suburb of Vouliagmeni); the eastern suburbs, (including Acharnes, Zografou, Vyronas, Kaisariani, Cholargos, Papagou and AghiaParaskevi; and the western suburbs (including Peristeri, Ilion, Egaleo, Petroupoli and Nikaia). The northern and most of the southern suburbs are particularly affluent districts, inhabited primarily by middle-to-high and high income groups. The western suburbs are primarily resided in by middle income earners, with some areas resided in by middle-to-low income groups and still others by middle-to-high earners; while the eastern suburbs are primarily inhabited by middle and middle-to-high income groups. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athens>
The decade of the 1960's: Greece had already signed an agreement for entry into the then EEC and was granted full membership status. Building construction began to spiral: one of the traditional sectors fuelling post World War II development. A repetitive trend: the visible formation of a 6-8-storey urban ocean of apartments and office blocks extending for many square kilometers on every side of the Acropolis, covering large chunks of the Attica plain, interrupted only by some wide streets or the new boulevards that were crossing the city from north to south. Serious coup d’etat took place in 21 April 1967, the beginning of a military dictatorship that lasted seven years until 1974.
The junta did have grandiose plans for the city: Based on earlier studies that had been conducted by the Doxiades bureau which was appointed to devise a master plan in the early 1960's, the junta announced its desire to make Athens a major metropolitan center, immediately starting discussions about the construction of a new airport or the extension of the then existing one (Hellenikon) deep into the sea off the coast of Hellenikon/ Kalamaki region. Actually, one of the target locations for the new airport was Spata, where the new award-winning new Athens International Airport \"Eleftherios Venizelos\" is located. Other plans included superhighways driving through Athens (what finally developed as the Attika Road system). Plans also included a mega-stadium of 100,000 seats which was eventually built years later, after the collapse of the junta (1982) with less seating capacity (75-80k) to serve the European track and field championship games of 1982. This later developed into the well known Athens Olympic stadium (the dictators were obsessed with stadiums as they believed that a youth into sports would mean less youngsters in the streets where they were in danger of being approached and indoctrinated by the communists ).
Mcb Photograph 2007
Mapping the City of Athens in the 21st Century
Nikos Markou, 29-03-2007
Athens Urban Area
The Athens urban area consists of 55 municipalities, 48 of the Athens Prefecture and the 7 of the
City Urban Metro
population population population
1833 4,000 - - Two million
1870 44,500 - - repatriated Greeks
1896 123,000 - - from Anatolia
1921 (Pre- returned in the 1920s
Population 473,000 - - and who still live in
exchange) certain areas of
1921 (Post- Athens, such as Néa
Population 718,000 - -
Smyrni (‘New Smyrna
Smyrna being the
1971 867,023 - -
historical name for
1981 885,737 - - Izmir).
1991 772,072 - 3,444,358
2001 745,514 3,130,841 3,761,810
Estimates of metropolitan region go as high as 5 million people
Athens Region: Attica 2009
The Athens Metropolitan Area consists
of 73 densely populated municipalities,
sprawling around the city in virtually all
According to their geographic location in relation to the city of Athens, the suburbs are divided
into four zones; the northern suburbs (including Ekali, Nea Erythrea, Agios Stefanos, Drosia,
Krvoneri, Kifissia, Maroussi, Pefki, Lykovrisi, Heraklio, Glyka Nera, Vrilissia, Melissia, Pendeli,
Halandri, Psychko and Filothei);
the southern suburbs, (including Palaio Faliro, Elliniko, Glyfada, Alimos, Voula and the
southernmost suburb of Vouliagmeni):
the eastern suburbs, (including Acharnes, Zografou, Vyronas, Kaisariani, Cholargos, Papagou,
and Agia Paraskevi):
and the western suburbs (including Peristeri, Llion, Egaleo, Petroupoli and Nikaia).
The northern and most of the southern suburbs are particularly affluent districts, inhabited
primarily by middle-to-high and high income groups. The western suburbs are primarily
resided in by middle income earners, with some areas resided in by middle-to-low income
groups and still others by middle-to-high earners; while the eastern suburbs are primarily
inhabited by middle and middle-to-high income groups.
Mapping the new infrastructure
[highways, Metro and light-rail systems,
ATTIKI ODOS motorways
In September 2002, the high-speed railway began
construction, within the large median. In early 2003,
Attiki Odos was opened from Kifissou Avenue
Interchange (also known as National Road 1 / E75
Interchange) to Eleftherios Venizelos Airport; On 3 On April 2004, a small 2.5 km
September 2003, the Hymettus Ring opened. This part part opened, connecting the
of the motorway runs in the northern part of Hymettus Ring to the westbound
Hymettus and became the road to bypass Mesogeion direction of the main route. The
Avenue and link to Kifissou Avenue and its suburbs, high-speed railway was also
and the Airport along with the eastern suburbs of opened in 2004.
Object buildings added in 1990s
and 21st century
Mapping the insertion of new nodes/points of
density along the networks [both monumental
structures of consumption and culture as well
as new gentrified areas]
IMMIGRATION ISSUES: THE ancient Greek tradition of hospitality to strangers is dying
out. Twenty years ago Greeks welcomed more than 600,000 Albanians who walked over
the border to start a new life. These days Albanian families have credit cards, mortgages
and residency permits. Smaller numbers of Bulgarians, Romanians, Moldovans,
Ukrainians, Georgians and Russians also have a toehold in Greece. But a new wave of
immigrants from places like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and Somalia has met
indifference or even outright hostility.
Their numbers keep growing. Last year more than 146,000 illegal immigrants arrived,
mostly via Turkey, up from 100,000 in 2007. Most end up in Athens because the Turks no
longer respect a bilateral agreement to return illegal immigrants, say Greek officials. The
half-dozen reception facilities on the Greek islands are overwhelmed; desperate local
officials resort to handing out free tickets for the ferry to Piraeus.
The government’s policy is to discourage immigrants from staying. In 2005 it stopped
issuing temporary permits allowing immigrants to work, pay social-security contributions
and, eventually, become legal residents. Those found without papers are detained for
three months, then told to leave the country within four weeks. Last year 88,000 exit
orders were issued; but only 18,000 people left.
The Economist May14th 2009
Immigration into Greece is split into
two co-existing situations. Firstly, there
is that of immigrants of Greek origin,
coming from Albania, Georgia,
Armenia, Kazakhstan. Secondly, there is
that of non-Greeks, also coming from
Albania, as well as Bulgaria, Pakistan
There is positive discrimination towards
Greeks because the country continues
to favor blood ties, making integration
The Informal Economy: Albanians working and relationships between different
on building sites or farms, or the Bulgarians communities more difficult,’ says Anna
in the tourist industry, these illegal Triandafyllidou, a researcher on
immigrants keep the unofficial economy immigration at the Eliamep Institute.
turning, an economy which, according to the http://www.cafebabel.com/eng/article
ILO, makes up between 30 and 35% of /21366/illegal-immigrants-ignored-by-
Greece’s GDP. It's the highest level in the EU, athenians.html
and a real problem for Greece.
Immigration in Athens: On May 9th
2009 protesters tried to storm a
former court building in Athens that is
a squalid home for 600 immigrants.
One resident, Moncef, a mechanic
from Morocco, says: “The police stood
there and did nothing.” It took a group
of Greek anarchists to come to the
rescue. More than a dozen policemen
were injured and four protesters were
arrested—but the immigrants stayed.
The Economist May14th
Athens's 200,000 or so Muslims have been
meeting in disused basements and whatever space
the community can find.. Over 20 places
(basements, storehouses, garages, small shops) in
Athens are used by the Muslims as mosques. The
Bangladeshi living in Greece use 5 places: two at
Omonia square and from one at Agiou Meletiou
street, Agios Eleftherios, Kato Petralona. The
Pakistanis have 7 mosques: Nea Ionia, Kolonos,
Nicaea, Peristeri, Omonia, Piraeas, Kato Petralona.
The Egyptians have 3 places: Kaminia, Tzitzifies,
Metaxourgio, while the other Arabs have mosques
at Goudi, Acharnon street, Neos Kosmos and
The planned grand mosque at Paeania is going to
make official the Islamic presence at the heart of
Greece. It is hotly contested.
Mosque in Plaka is now Museum of Greek
January an immigration rally march to the Labour Ministry in early Jan 2009. Photo: AFP
Police officers in central Athens fired tear gas to dispel the rioters, who peeled off from a protest
which had been organised in solidarity with a Bulgarian migrant worker who was attacked with
acid last month.
Kostadinka Kuneva, 44, a Bulgarian cleaning lady and a union official, is in hospital in a serious
condition after the Dec 22 attack by two unidentified men who ambushed her outside her home
and threw acid in her face. Demonstrators carried banners reading quot;Kostandinka, you're not
alone,quot; and quot;Stop violence against immigrantsquot;.
ATHENS NEWS , 15/05/2009
Migrants are living in squalor at the former
appeals court building on Sokratous St in
downtown Athens The migrants - mainly
Pakistanis, Afghans and Iraqis - include
women and children. They reportedly began
sneaking into the deserted eight-storey
building on Sokratous St several months ago.
The municipality runs a soup kitchen near Omonia Square that feeds homeless and poor
Greek and immigrant residents twice a day. It also runs two homeless shelters for up to 180
Interior ministry officials are reportedly considering bussing the migrants to a disused state
facility in the western Athens suburb of Aspropyrgos.
A similar plan to round up undocumented migrants and homeless people in downtown
Athens had been discussed prior to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens but was quickly
shelved due to mounting protests from Aspropyrgos residents and rights groups.