Planning comes first!

For natural wealth, for a truly sustainable way out of the crisis and for equitable growth, planning is of the essence. Proper planning will allow us - as a society and a state - to answer key questions for our life and future, such as:

  • what are Greece’s advantages and how can we exploit them without destroying them?
  • which economic activities do we want to develop and in which areas of Greece?
  • can a toxic industrial facility neighbor agricultural areas and settlements?
  • can national parks be wiped out to build large tourist facilities?
  • how will disagreements and conflicts arising from the development of different economic activities and land uses be resolved?
  • how often will we make new plans, who will participate in planning, how will plans be put into action and how will we know what we achieve?

Spatial planning answers, or rather should answer, all of these simple and everyday questions. The answers—provided they are cohesive and offer clear and simple solutions, intelligible to all—are the core of a truly sustainable economy and the foundations for an active society, quality of life, healthy and environmentally safe investments and legal certainty for all.

The lack of spatial planning breeds spatial disorder, conflicts between different land uses and economic activities and the irreversible degradation of the natural wealth, hinders the development of important infrastructure that would improve the quality of life and support environmental management, deflates interest in healthy investments and undermines legal certainty and accountability in favor of corruption.

With its vast natural and cultural wealth, Greece was rather late to formulate a spatial plan. The national spatial plan was voted by the Parliament in 2008 and not before various spatial planning provisions regarding specific sectors of the economy and regions of the country had been approved. This overall package, however, brought on everything but the necessary spatial order: it is fraught with loopholes and special regulations; it is unintelligible to most and it has been repeatedly amended. Today more than ever, with the excuse of the crisis and through special acts that regard the acceleration of investment as the paramount objective, legislation concerning spatial planning has, in practice, been nullified. As a result, legal uncertainty grows stronger, ultimately undermining the recovery of economic activity.

Spatial planning cannot be considered a luxury, an academic exercise or a whim of a scientific elite.

Failing to plan is planning to fail. The price of the economic failure is being paid today. The price of the ecological failure is one we may never be able to estimate and will be paid by many generations to come.

Our work

We have been dealing with the issue of spatial planning unceasingly since 2000:

  • constantly monitoring the long and cumbersome course towards the implementation of the legislation regarding spatial planning;
  • sitting on the National Council for Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development contributing with transparent, scientifically documented and publicly available interventions;
  • thoroughly examining and commenting every proposed spatial plan;
  • intervening in the legislative procedures of the Parliament;
  • creating widespread social alliances based on common interests and goals.