Industrial space in contemporary Athens : the development and transformation of a southern European metropolis
This thesis aims at contributing to our understanding of how spatial-industrial processes take place in a southern European capitalist metropolis, Athens, and how those processes are shaped not only by economic forces and tendencies, but by social, political and cultural forces as well -forces which are unique in the Greek case making, therefore, necessary a departure from the conventional theoretical corpus of urban industrial geography which has been almost exclusively centred around the primacy of economy and production. In that context, a critical examination of conventional theories was advanced (chap. 1) and an alternative explanatory framework for interpreting the very "logic" of structuration and change of the Athenian urban-production space was tentatively constructed (chap. 2). Since industrial processes in urban space form constituent parts of the social reality as a whole, it was necessary to address some major facets of the contemporary Greek social formation and of its relations with spatial structure. Thus, aspects of the modern Greek society, its relations with urban production space, the role of the political sphere and the nature of urban planning was explored. Analysis was then concretised as the thesis' scope moved gradually in more detailed analytical levels to encompass the key-aspects constituting the multifaceted nature of the contemporary Athenian industrial spatiality. Therefore, an analysis of the post-war drive of Greek industry from development to crisis and "negative restructuring" was undertaken and the spatial implications of those changes were addressed (chap. 3) in order to help us understand the wider context of spatial - industrial change in Attica -the region of Greater Athens. Sub-regional and intra-urban industrial change was then addressed (chap. 4). Analysis starts from a historical perspective of the structuration of the Athenian production space and then it addresses the major trends of the industrial geography of contemporary Athens. A further inquiry into this industrial geography was then undertaken in a detailed survey of a growing suburban industrial locality (chap. 5). In the remaining chapters some crucial socio-political and cultural forces affecting the Athenian industrial spatiality were examined. Thus, an analysis of recent policies and measures for the reorganization of the Athenian industrial space was undertaken, and compared against European experiences (chap. 6). The analysis was followed up by an examination of the major social and political factors contributing to the creation and diffusion of an anti-industrial culture in the contemporary Athenian society (chap. 7). This point was further concretised in a detailed analysis of the socio-political tensions and controversies arisen between the central government and various social actors over an official project aiming at a planned reorganization and renewal of a major part of the Athenian industrial space during the early 1990s (chap. 8). It was argued in concluding (chap. 9) that the major problems of the Athenian industrial space are not mostly linked up with structural deficiencies in the sphere of economy and production, alone, but, moreover, with the inability of Greek society and the state machine to "produce" even a minimum amount of consensus on how the production space of the Greek capital should be organized and in what directions it should develop in the future.