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Protection of the architectural and natural heritage: The Hydra case
Eleni Maistrou, architect,
associate professor, National Technical University of Athens

Not only in theoretical texts, but also through the recent legislative framework of European and other countries, the realization that every region’s architectural and natural heritage must be considered as common property is clearly expressed, as well as that the wise administration of the natural and the built environment, which constitute the special cultural identity and the system of values of each region, is a necessary condition for its sustainable development.

Unfortunately, within the Greek territory, cases in which the pressure for overexploitation of the natural and the built area of historic cities results into the loss of their main value are not rare.

The historic settlement of Hydra, which the Ministry of Culture has several times listed as an area under protection, owes its cultural value to the historic and architectural value of its buildings, combined with the exceptional natural landscape. Yet, during the last years, it is being destroyed due to its unconditional development.

In order to deal with the Hydra settlement problems, a special treatment and discipline of the economic interests is required for the needs of the often-discussed sustainable development. Although suggestions in the framework of special urban planning studies have been expressed, they were never legislated, the result being that Hydra still lacks the necessary specialized urban planning protection framework, which would set the terms of the natural and man-made environment protection, as dictated by the contemporary principles of development and the imperative needs to preserve cultural and natural resources.

 elmais@central.ntua.gr

21/02/2007
Echoe

The decision taken by the Minister of Culture in December 2006, to approve the construction, under certain conditions, of nine two-storey houses at “Avlaki” in Hydra, a rocky, forest area, will cause the distortion and the degradation of the Hydra settlement. It should be recalled that the whole of Hydra has been listed as an archaeological site.



MOnuMENTA

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View of Hydra in the '60s
(Gennadios Library Photographic Archives)
View of Hydra in the '60s
(Gennadios Library Photographic Archive)
Rocky formations, characteristic features of the settlement
Rocky formations, characteristic features of the settlement
Expansion of the settlement to the hills
Natural and built landscape
Kala Pigadia
The road to Kiafa
Natural features within the settlement