Planning resilient cities: The case of Chania

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Despina Dimelli


Today’s societies face intense problems caused by rapid urbanization and land degradation, globalization and socio-economic poverty, global warming and climate change that affect the world and can be the cause of natural disasters. According to the United Nations ‘‘urban risk, city planning and the role of local governments in dealing with risk reduction have been recognized as key factors to build resilient communities and nations’’ (United Nations, 2010) Physical exposure to disasters can affect not only the informal settlements that carry physical vulnerabilities due to their location or construction practices. In many cases, ‘‘formal’’ urban areas are as well vulnerable due to the absence of adequate building standards and urban planning that would reduce disaster risk by physical exposure.
The current paper will focus on the coastal city of Chania and its vulnerability because of the lack of urban planning. The case study is selected because it concentrates the characteristics of a typical coastal Greek city, which faces rapid demographic growth and unplanned urban and touristic expansion. The examined city has been diachronically influenced by the liberalization of construction regulations, an unqualified private sector emerged, hastily developing housing mostly with government oversight and without building permits.


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Dimelli, D. (2021). Planning resilient cities: The case of Chania. UPLanD - Journal of Urban Planning, Landscape & Environmental Design, 5(2), 65-76.


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