Theodora Papamichail
ETH Zurich


In recent years, the topic of integrated infrastructure and urban development requires the bottom-up approach in addition to the formal planning policies. This is specifically true for complex institutional frameworks, which need the enforcement of the interested public. Due to the socio-economic crisis in Greece, infrastructure networks have already been dramatically influenced by the fragmented decision-making among the different planning levels and actors. The case study presented in the paper relates to the improvement of a railway system in Patras, Greece (in narrow terms), but, in broader terms, the case study elucidates the informal planning procedure (called Test Planning process) behind the railway improvement as such. The idea of using such a procedure in Patras emerged due to the different interests of various actors concerning the railway integration into the urban fabric in last two decades. However, it seems there is an absence of an effective cooperation between the initiators of this procedure and the local authorities. Research methodology is developed in several steps. Firstly, the broader problematic and the potential of infrastructure development will be presented. Secondly, the Test Planning process will be presented shortly. In the end, the importance of local government in such a collaborative procedure will be mentioned and the case of local actors in Patras in the different phases of the Test Planning process will be under a critical scope towards the existing situation and the benefits in future steps.

railway infrastructure, urban development, cooperation, informal planning procedures, Greece



SAJ Vol. 7, 2015, No. 3