New urban plan for fire-ravaged Mati goes on public consultation

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The new urban plan for Mati, site of the deadly fires of 2018, was released for public consultation with a special event including Environment & Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis and other officials at the town’s sailing club on Thursday.

Hatzidakis and Deputy Minister Dimitris Economou, responsible for urban planning and the environment, said that the greatest number of works in the area will be able to begin as soon as the plan is approved in parliament.

Another plan, on the urban grid, will affect the rest of areas, but will not be ready before 2021.

Economou spoke of opportunities lost in identifying creeks, forest areas and preparing geological surveys, but added the ministry is pushing for accelerating their processing. The plans for Mati are on a pilot test and will lead to a model that will be applicable elsewhere in Greece, he noted.

Officials also spoke of plans to bolster the area in view of climate change, that will begin this summer.

The coastal town’s death toll and extensive damage was blamed on several factors, including town planning that lacked escape avenues and the prevalence of pine trees which along with high winds helped the fire leap across roads.

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