22 November 2011

‘‘Glocalising’’ urban landscapes: Athens and the 2004 olympics

‘‘Glocalising’’ urban landscapes:
Athens and the 2004 olympics

Elias Beriatos*, Aspa Gospodini

Department of Planning and Regional Development, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece
This paper deals with transformations of urban landscape in the era of globalization. First, it attempts
to describe and understand how particular aspects of urban morphology, such as built heritage and
innovative design of space, have become the competitive edge in terms of landscape. Second, it develops the argument that on the basis of their great potential for (a) promoting economic growth and (b)
enhancing place identity of cities, both built heritage and innovative design of space appear to be
expansively used as major components of contemporary strategic plans of cities for the transformation
and improvement of urban landscape. Combining and promoting built heritage and innovative design of
space as two central themes in urban landscape transformations generates, for the 21st century city, a
new landscape collage dominated by two extremes: (a) that of tradition with rather local spatial references and (b) that of innovation having more universal or global spatial references. Thus, under the
forces of globalization, the new emerging urban landscapes may be termed as ‘‘glocalised’’ ones. As a
case study, Athens and the landscape transformations for Olympic Games 2004 are analysed.
Q 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Urban landscape; Globalization; Built heritage; Innovative design of space; Greece