Narrative and Quantitative Analysis of Human Pressure, Land-use and Climate Aridity in a Transforming Industrial Basin in Greece

Document Type: Original Research Paper

Authors

1 Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura, Centre for the Study of Soil- Plant Interactions (CRA-RPS), Via della Navicella 2-4, I-00184 Rome, Italy

2 Institute of Urban Environment and Human Resources, Department of Economic and Regional Development, Panteion University, 136 Syngrou Avenue, GR-17671, Athens, Greece

Abstract

The present study illustrates the long-term changes in selected socioeconomic variables (population,
industrial activities, settlement dispersion, and land-use) together with climate aridity trends in Thriasio, the larger industrial area of Greece located twenty kilometers far from Athens. This region, originally devoted to agriculture, experienced fast industrial and economic development during the early 1990s coupled with growing population. According to statistical data covering the period between 1848 and 2011, human pressure increased rapidly in the area determining drastic changes in land-use. The analysis of climate regimes based on meteorological data collected between 1958 and 2010 also indicate a tendency towards aridity possibly contributing to air pollution, soil degradation and desertification. Without a sustainable land management strategy changes in bio-physical and socioeconomic variables are altering irreversibly the fragile ecological equilibrium leading to ecosystem degradation in a highlypopulated area since millennia.

Keywords