Vol. 13 No. 2 (2022): Special Issue
Research Article

Exploring the active and network centralities in Metropolitan Athens: The organic vs. the planned form

Yannis Paraskevopoulos
National Technical University of Athens, Greece
Stefanos Tsigdinos
National Technical University of Athens, Greece
Maria Pigaki
National Technical University of Athens, Greece

Published 2022-04-14


  • urban form,,
  • space syntax,
  • road network hierarchy,
  • institutional spatial planning framework,
  • Metropolitan Athens,
  • urban centres
  • ...More

How to Cite

Paraskevopoulos, Yannis, Stefanos Tsigdinos, and Maria Pigaki. 2022. “Exploring the Active and Network Centralities in Metropolitan Athens: The Organic Vs. The Planned Form”. European Journal of Geography 13 (2):142-60. https://doi.org/10.48088/ejg.y.par.


The social, historical and spatial processes that shape the centrality pattern of a city have always been at the core of urban studies that explore the interplay between network configuration, human activities and the planned/formal form of the city. However, there is far limited research dealing with historic metropolitan areas, and exploring these links under a quantitative geospatial approach. In this article, we aim to address this gap by the exploring the different centrality aspects of Metropolitan Athens and more specifically by (a) providing a reproducible methodology for identifying active and network centralities, as defined by land-use pattern and space syntax respectively, (b) exploring the geospatial signature of the planned and organic form of Metropolitan Athens as framed by its institutional spatial framework as well as its active and network centrality, respectively, (c) investigating the role of network centrality, in shaping the existing active centrality pattern. The research results highlighted that the organic patterns are similar with the planned ones, mainly in the central and western part of the study area, whereas in the rest parts considerable differences are encountered. Notably, a study, in a metropolitan area with such extent and diverse characteristics (e.g., urban morphology, land uses), is currently missing from relevant literature. Hence, this work could shed light on urban development issues, revealing meaningful insights on how similar metropolitan cities in the Mediterranean region are assembled. Last, it could function as a valuable input for future planning suggestions.


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