Features and spatial analysis of illegal housing in GreecePart of : MIBES Transactions : international journal ; Vol.1, No.1, 2007, pages 86-107
Land use changes in Greece have been the outcome of combining forces with mostly economic, socio-cultural and institutional origin. During the last 50 years, growing demand for urban (residential and industrial) space has resulted in unplanned residential development and illegal dwelling construction to the expense of agricultural and forest land uses. This situation - idiosyncratic to Greece - tents to become an acute problem with serious economic, social and environmental implications. Impacts are great and pressuring ranging from aesthetic deteriorations of landscape qualities, biotic diversity threats, desertification and forest and open land "squeeze" to increased vulnerability to human settlements, local water contamination, as well as to cultural degradation issues. In this article, the above problem is approached in an integrated manner although some emphasis is placed upon its spatial dimension. In particular, by using real data a comparative analysis regarding Greek prefectures is curried out, the most problematic areas are identified and categorized and the major driving forces that fuel the phenomenon of illegal development are described. The article concludes by commenting on likely policy action to be taken in order to contain or eliminate the problem.
illegal housing, urban development, regional development, land use change
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