Practice and theory in Greek urban design

  • Despina Dimelli Technical University of Chania, Crete, Hellas
  • Konstantinos Ioannidis University of Thessaly, Volos, Hellas
Keywords: Greek traditional urban design, waterfront, legislation


The phenomenon that has intensively been recorded in contemporary Greek urban reality is the observed deviation between built urban environment and the process of teaching urban planning in universities. The particularities of local architecture, products of the effort of adapting the peculiar urban landscape combined with the existing climatic conditions, are often ignored in order to create impressive elements (most times copies of international corresponding) aiming at superficial impressions than to function and duration. “Impression of the moment “often restricts urban formations to smoothly integrate within existing urban terrain and prohibits project to adequately adjust the existing environmental conditions. As soon as young students from architectural schools begin their profession as licensed architects, they realise the amount of legislative restrictions they have to face in order to adjust their practices to contemporary Greek urban status. Consequently, they are “trapped” between inspiration and reality. Our paper aims to reveal the way traditional urban design, as developed through years of adaptive function, operates in local urban tissues (Greek islands, town centres etc.) and how new projects have failed to adjust its qualities, neglecting to take into active consideration the existing reality. In light of the research, a few important conclusions have been reached as to propose ways of connecting theory with practice in Greek urban reality.

Author Biographies

Despina Dimelli, Technical University of Chania, Crete, Hellas
Konstantinos Ioannidis, University of Thessaly, Volos, Hellas
How to Cite
Dimelli, D., & Ioannidis, K. (2013). Practice and theory in Greek urban design. ARCC Conference Repository.