Objectives, content and anticipated results:
r After having familiarised themselves with the local characteristics and issues, the participants will conduct a diagnostic survey of the whole traffic problem and the multitude of uses and modes of transport in Aegina. Meetings with local people and work sessions with experts will back up their research.
r The work will culminate in a series of spatial planning and traffic organisation action proposals. The purpose of these proposals is to improve mobility in the town and the port all year round, particularly during peak periods of congestion.
r These proposals will be subsequently assessed by a local stakeholder committee which will select the best proposal(s) and draft a strategy to deliver them. All the work planned is part of the European ILE Project (Local Initiatives for the Environment in the Mediterranean) which is part-funded by the European Union.
r Geographical area and background to campus:
r Aegina is an island in the Gulf of Saronica which is part of the region of Attica. It is just 20km from the Port of Piraeus (35mins-2hrs according to type of ferry). Lying between the Peloponnese and Attica, its geographical location meant that it was an important centre of trade and navigation in Antiquity. Over the centuries, the island was ruled by various foreign powers such as the Macedonians, the Arabs, the Franks, Venetians, Ottomans, and so on. After the war of independence against the Ottoman Empire, it also became the first capital of the new Greek State from 1828-1829.
r The island has outstanding natural and cultural heritage (archaeological sites, Byzantine buildings, examples of Venetian architecture, etc.) which holds all-year-round appeal to foreign tourists and Greeks themselves.
r Although the island’s economy is mainly based on tourism (hotels and restaurants), agriculture is still important with almond, olive and particularly pistachio groves as well as vineyards. Aegina, is, in fact, reputed for its pistachios which are the island’s emblematic product and which have enjoyed a registered designation of origin since 1996. Although the economic crisis has led to a significant downturn in the island’s tourism sector, Aegina is still one of the main production areas for pistachios with an annual production of 10,000 tonnes.
r Aegina’s population is just over 13,000 inhabitants (2011) with over half the population living in the capital, Aegina. The town of Aegina is where the campus is being held and is also the island’s main port. It has kept its traditional atmosphere with its 19th century neo-classical buildings and its picturesque cobbled squares and narrow streets, but the town’s charm and quality of life is suffering from a major problem: urban traffic. There is congestion in the port and heavy traffic on the main streets and in the coastal part of the town as well as a lack of parking, noise and atmospheric pollution which affects both residents and tourists alike. It is harming the environment (quality of life) and the town’s image (tourism).
Tags: youth, environment, international, sustainability
Contact Person: Sofia Nikolaidou
Contact Email: email@example.com
Contact Phone Number: +30 210 9887630
Organization: Mediterranean Center of Environment - Greece