Nov 5, 2010

Athens' Organization and Politics

Before anything, we would like to thank you (our dear Greek colleagues!) to have invited us to this debate platform. After this last post about Athens' relation with archaeology, I would like to ask your opinion about Athens' organization.

1_What do you think the Kallikrates reform will change in the government? Will it really work?

2_What is the relation between citizens and government? Do you identify yourself into it? Are you well represented? Do you really care about it or are you not politicaly involved?

3_How is Urban Planning decided in Athens? We haven't find any zoning plan on the official website, do they really exist or are they just unavailable to the public?

4_How do you do to ask an construction permit? What are the Building rules to respect?

5_What do you think is the most correct division of the city: the informal "Neighborhoods" or the oficial "Districts" ? Are the Districts' government really close to the people?

6_What is working or NOT working in the governement in your opinion?

Here is the link to the district division plan of wikipedia

I am going to publish an example of our previous work, so you can have an idea about our methodology.

1 comment:

Sarstis said...

1_ The Kallikrates program is a structural reform concerning public administration, allocation of resources, and, most importantly, public finance. I consider it to be an ambitious effort, that will tackle bureaucracy and increase the effectiveness of the State. Since it hasn't been applied, I can't foresee its impact. It seems, however, to have the potential to work.

2_ The relation between citizens and government is limited. The greek political system is aging, and will soon face the urge to change. I don't identify myself into it and consider the quality of my representation very poor. I care about politics, and I always participate in the elections.

3_ The main directions for Urban Planning at a Regional Scale are set in the so-called "General Urban Plan" (Γενικό Πολεοδομικό Σχέδιο). This plan is created with the collaboration of ministries, state-funded research teams and other governmental subdivisions. The zoning plans are not uploaded to the internet in high definition. Fortunately, we have uploaded a .pdf version of the plans that we found at our faculty's urban lab. []

4_ A construction permit is issued by the urban planning agency responsible for the area within which the building site is located. The Building Rules are described in a complex and extensive document entitled "General Building Regulation" (Γενικός Οικοδομικός Κανονισμός). [Γενικός_Οικοδομικός_Κανονισμός]

5_ The informal "Neighborhoods" are a much more accurate way of dividing the city, based on differentiated urban qualities. The "Districts" are purely governmental divisions. The administrators are distant from the people, because the administrative model has limited effectiveness; it can't address the diverse problems of the districts.

6_ Since I consider the government completely dysfunctional, I am going to focus on what is NOT working. The representation system is weak, the collaboration between government and citizens non-existent, and the major greek political parties are depended on non-transparent private funding. For all the above reasons, abstention reached 45% in the recent regional elections.