Δρ. Iωάννης Σαγιάς, Αναπληρωτής Καθηγητής ΕΜΠ
Δρ. Εμμανουήλ Σκούρτσος, Δρ. Γεωλόγος, Ε.Δ.Ι.Π. ΕΚΠΑ
Δρ. Κωνσταντίνος Σούκης, Δρ. Γεωλόγος, Ε.Δ.Ι.Π. ΕΚΠΑ
“Τhe Necessity and Framework of Environmental Policies Exercised by Municipalities in Greece - A Critical Approach on Sustainable Development. Case Study - Municipality of Zografou: Proposal for Local Actions, Strategies & Policies for Urban Sustainability and Environmental Protection”
The first chapter, of Part A of this M.Sc. thesis presents the concept of Sustainable Development, which in recent years tends to substitute the need for actual protection of the environment. Sustainable Development has emerged as a key concept during the 21st century and is presented as a great challenge for all mankind. That is why it is ranked high on the priority list of the majority of governments, organizations, businesses and societies in general.
The concepts of Sustainable Urban Development, Urban Resilience and Urban Competitiveness are also explored, since the cities have been considered, from the early 1990’s, as appropriate to promote measures towards sustainable development.
The presentation of the above concepts is performed with a dialectical way, as it is clear in the literature that they have received, over several decades, a substantial “multileveled’ critique for their utilization, interpretation and application. In addition, this chapter deals with the current political and economic model of the “so called” developed world that advocates continuous growth and wealth accumulation versus the well-being of humanity and global prosperity. The importance of post-growth movements is also emphasized. From these, the most characteristic one, is the Degrowth movement (Decroissance), that adopts the “exit” from a society built on the principal of continuous development, and is based on the ideas of Environmental Ethics & Environmental Protection.
The second chapter of Part A, investigates the need for environmental policy at a local level, the areas of action, as well as the means and tools for municipal environmental management. Additionally, the study identifies the path towards sustainability at a local level along with the political, economic and technical framework of environmental planning. Consideration is also given to the inadequacy of current policies and International Agreements to solve the problems of natural and man-made [anthropogenic] environment. This occurs despite the emphasis given on these issues. Finally, the difficulty factors in incorporating the principles of sustainability at the municipal level, the political outline [& legislation] of environmental management and the consequences of the recent economic crisis on environmental policy for cities are presented.
The first chapter of Part B’ explores the prospective of environmental planning by local authorities in Greece and abroad. Its aim is to address both universal and local problems and the relationship between locality and globality in promoting the principles of Sustainability. It evaluates the expected impacts of climate change on development, the environment and societies, along with the factors that obstruct the implementation of policies for urban sustainability by our country’s local authorities. Some of these factors are the resident’s “loss of identity”, the priorities between economic development and environmental protection within the context of the economic crisis and the numerous public services involved in environmental issues. Local Agenda 21 (LA21) is presented as a means of sustainability management at the municipal level. Τhe contribution of Environmental Education (EE) in solving modern environmental issues is also presented.
In the second chapter of Part B’, the Zografou Municipality case study describes the way in which modern Greek municipalities have developed their cities urban planning and administrative structure. The study evaluates possible impacts of this development path on the natural and man-made environment, the deadlocks that societies and local authorities of big urban municipalities face today and the tools for environmental friendly solutions offered by the Greek and foreign experience. In addition, it explores the effects of economic growth on the huge and unregulated post-war housing development, problems due to the high density of buildings in Modern Greek cities and the trespassing of public property. Finally, the main areas in which the efforts of the Municipality of Zografou and other Greek urban municipalities should address are presented. Specifically, two areas that should be prioritized, by all municipalities, are presented in part C and considered as significant in order to achieve sustainability, or even better truly protect the environment.
In Part C, Environmental Education and Sustainable Urban Mobility are being studied in the planning of local environmental policies and the findings of this research are presented.
Sustainable Development, Environmental Protection, Urban Sustainability, Municipalities, Environmental Ethics