Athens 2011

2011 , Athens

11–13 May 2011, hosted by the Organisation for the Planning and Environmental Protection of Athens and held at the Novotel hotel.

The theme was – Ways Forward in the Crisis.

The financial crisis hit all of Europe because of the globalised nature of the financial services sector. Many countries were in the process of trying to develop their economies through borrowing and investment and this approach came to a dramatic halt. Economic growth and urban development were curtailed.

At the same time public sector revenue, particularly that based on property and development taxes, was also severely reduced. A period of austerity was in prospect across Europe.

In these circumstances all European metropolitan areas took the opportunity to reappraise their way forward. They considered the fundamentals of their competitive positions and the basis on which their future economies might be developed.

Planning always has a positive role to play in such difficult circumstances.

METREX drew on the experience of colleagues to devise an innovative and interactive approach to the workshops through which the key issues were explored.

They were based on nine small conversational groups of 5–10 colleagues, accompanied by some 20 colleagues as observers, in three parallel sessions. The Athens Meeting gave the opportunity to make short, up to five minutes, contributions within a conversational group and to participate as an active observer in two other group sessions.

The Conference included presentations by colleagues on the Masterplan for Athens and aspects of implementation and environmental and heritage safeguarding.