The contribution of the National Technical University of Athens to the integrated development of the Metsovo Municipality

Academic Year: 

Interventions for preventing and treating impacts of landslides in the municipality of Metsovo

In this  paper, measures for preventing  and treating  the effects  of  landslides  in the mountainous area of Μetsovo are proposed. Initially, two existing landslides are studied and the corresponding geotechnical solutions are proposed. Each project is described extensively, followed by cost analysis. Then, policies and  projects to  reduce landslide danger are analyzed. As far as geotechnical projects are concerned, an analysis on their effectiveness regarding landslides confrontation is conducted. One of these projects is the water drainage system, the construction of which is described extensively.

Despite the relatively high cost, required for handling landslide phenomena, their importance for the local society is particularly high. Protection from landslides through the appropriate interventions is a prerequisite for the development of the new, geographically broader municipality of Metsovo.

Causes and impacts of the landslides in the Municipality of Metsovo

Landslides comprise one of the most common phenomena related to ground movement. These phenomena are caused by a combination of factors (geological structure, precipitation height, manmade interventions etc). During 2010 the broader area of the municipality of Metsovo faced serious problems related to landslides, which occurred at the road network of the area and inside the settlements of Metsovo and Anilio. The constant and of high intensity rainfalls of November, combined with the geological background and the morphology of the area, led to the occurrence of landslides.

The impacts for the broader area were important. Several houses presented cracks and some of them were considered vulnerable to collapse. Landslides will continue to take place in the area of Metsovo, due to its geological and climatic conditions. Nevertheless, the accurate diagnosis of the landslides' causes, as well as the implementation of proper technical interventions can protect the lives and the activities of the inhabitants of the area.


Development in Metsovo. Dreams and expectations of the local population.

The sudden and continuous changes in conditions that constitute our current socioeconomic reality made the need to redefine our development options more obvious. In the present study we are in search of regional development actions for a particular mountainous region, the new Municipality of Metsovo, based on the fact that a fundamental component in searching of the best development actions is envisioning an alternative future. These actions are identified by the dreams, the aspirations, the fears and the needs of the municipality's residents. Grounded theory was used to guide the collection and analysis of data. The research tools that were used, are: participant observation, in depth interviews, focus groups and content analysis. The analysis of research data highlighted the different representations of future development according to the specific conditions of each region, as well as the differentiation between preferred and expected development goals.

Energy saving in Metsovo for encountering energy poverty

Metsovo is situated in a region rich in renewable energy. However, the high thermal loads in combination with its dependence on conventional fuels make it vulnerable to the problem of energy poverty.

Based on the settlement’s special requirements of thermal energy and after studying thethermal images of various houses, in order to specify the energy behavior of residences, eight different alternatives about energy saving have been formulated. For each one of the alternatives, the economic and environmental benefits, as well as the cost of the investments have been estimated. A feasibility study of the alternatives has also been conducted aiming at enlightening the strong and weak points of the proposed interventions.

The exploitation of the available forest biomass proved to be the most effective solution in terms of investment. Combined with interventions in the buildings shell in order to upgrade their energy behavior, it can contribute decisively to overcome the danger of energy poverty.


Evaluation and development plan of potato sector of Chrisovitsa area

The present study aims at investigating an important economic sector of Metsovo Municipality, namely the potato cultivation at the Politses plateau, in Chrisovitsa. Towards this direction, a field survey was conducted by means of structured interviews from a representative sample of potato producers. The results prove that the potato cultivation in the area of interest constitutes an important economic activity for the local community. Some particular characteristics of Chrisovitsa potato crop, such as the altitude of the plateau, the quality of irrigation water and the cultivation period, give the product a clear advantage in the market. Besides advantages, however, the economic activity encounters serious difficulties. Nevertheless, it seems that the future could be promising, provided that specific measures are undertaken.


Evaluation of web pages of Metsovo range

These last few years the internet has started playing a more dynamic role in the everyday life of people of all ages. One of it’s many versatile uses is in tourism. The internet is widely used as a means of promoting areas were tourism is a main source of income and developement. In Greece, web sites projecting landmarks, tourist accommodations and activities are common. Various municipalities take advantage of the internet to promote their region in order to attract tourists and keep their inhabitants informed of local current events. The town of Metsovo, and its greater area, is a well known and popular tourist destination in Greece. But how is Metsovo promoted through the internet? This study aims to shed light on the quality of local promotional web sites by pointing out any possible deficiencies, as well as revealing exactly how the area is projected through the world wide web. If these web sites create an initial impression of the area to potential tourists and also keep local inhabitants informed of their area then their quality is essential for local development.

Improving the energy efficiency of buildings in mountainous areas: The case of MIRC

Measures of energy saving at the building of MIRC, in Metsovo are examined in this paper. The main aim of the paper is to highlight the particularly positive impacts of energy saving interventions on buildings found in mountainous settlements.

After estimating the energy efficiency of the building of MIRC, according to the Buildings Energy Efficiency Regulation, a set of energy saving interventions is formed. The technical characteristics of these interventions, as well as their costs are estimated. Moreover, an assessment of the economic performance of them is conducted and their environmental impacts are estimated.

It is proved that the economic and environmental performance of energy saving measures in mountainous areas is greater than in areas at lower altitudes, due to the increased energy demand of mountainous settlements. The use of traditional  structural materials, combined with sufficient insulation compose the basis for high energy performance  of buildings at mountainous settlements. Thus, the requirement for high energy efficiency can be compatible with retaining the vernacular architectural character of mountainous areas.


Landslide hazard zonation for landslides’ prevention

The wider area of Metsovo is characterized by geoscientists as a high landslide risk region. In this paper, the process of creating a map of landslide hazard zones of the wider region of Metsovo which shows three areas of risk for landslides, small, medium and high, using GIS methods and techniques, is described. The risk map is generated by linearly combined factors considered to contribute to landslide occurrence. These factors are: slope angle, lithology, vegetation cover, distance from the roads, distance from the river network, orientation of the slopes, topographical elevation. The map that was created can contribute to identify existing structures at risk from landslide activity and  may assist to allocate appropriate land uses to unstable terrain.


Landslides phenomena in Metsovo Suggestions for improving the current situation

Metsovo, Anilio and the surrounding area gather all the main natural generative causes that justify the area’s characterization as a landslide zone of high risk. The main responsible causes for the manifestation of landslides are: The impacts of surface and groundwaters, the gradient increase as well as the height of natural declivities and finally the load increase that different areas sustain. These causes appear frequently and the landslides are often and diachronically manifested as well, occasionally with important damages and destructions. Certain actions and works are proposed for the decrease of landslide risk: a) Direct, without substantial financial cost b) Direct, with minor cost c) Medium-long term works of high cost.


Metsovo beyond the central square: Interesting routes in the town of Metsovo

In this paper it  is attempted to highlight alternative tourist routes in the town of Metsovo, depending on the personal interests of visitors, through the use of Geographic Information Systems. The main objective is the diffusion of tourist mobility in the town of Metsovo, in order to decongest the central square and appoint the whole town.

The tourist routes were located, after interviews with the inhabitants of Metsovo, literature review and organized tours within the town. Then, the routes were recorded, using a portable GPS device.

The final results are thematic maps that depict alternative touristic routes that start outside of the settlement and lead to the center of the town. The routes have been categorized depending  on  the time needed for their crossing, as well as the available attractions that the visitor will be able to see, following the proposed routes.


Monitoring Residential Development in Mountainous Areas. Case Study of Metsovo

The residential development in mountain areas is explored in this paper. The town of Metsovo is used as a case study. The main purpose of this paper is to use remote sensing imagery and GIS for detecting land use changes that have occurred in the study area since 1950. The images were geometrically corrected by the use of ERMapper software and georeferenced in ArcGIS environment, along with other related map data. Changes in constructions and urban expansion were determined using overlay analysis and a series of maps showing these changes was generated. The results obtained from  the study area indicate that the use of this methodology can be further applied to similar cases in mountainous areas.


Problems and prospects of the wood sector in Metsovo Municipality

Τhe present study aims at analyzing the wood and furniture industry and investigating its perspectives in the new municipality of Metsovo. The research was carried out through structured interviews of a representative sample of professionals from 20 enterprises of wood sector in the study area. The results reveal the importance of wood industry for both the local society and economy. Furthermore, it becomes apparent from the outcomes of the research that the industry skates on thin ice facing several threats. Towards this direction, a number of potential measures are proposed in order to exploit the competitive advantages of the industry and adjust to modern market demands.


Retrieving the traditional character of mountainous settlements. The town of Metsovo, in Greece

Vernacular architecture constitutes a special element of any local place. One important threat of it is the unsuccessful mixture and placement of architectural elements and new buildings into the traditional settlement. The mountainous town of Metsovo represents a typical example of a degraded settlement, due to irrational growth. Many districts of it are characterized by an aesthetic and functional degradation. Year after year, urban type buildings seem to consume space over a formerly strong local architectural tradition. The main street of Metsovo that leads from the town’s entrance to the central square is characterized by a severe degradation of its architectural identity. Fourteen buildings along it have been studied. Their main facades’ renovation is presented in this paper along with its analytical cost accounting. Photos of the current buildings’ situation along with perspective drawings of the design proposals are presented. The main causes of the architectural degradation are pointed out. Design proposals being in accordance with the existing building uses are characterized by relatively low cost, thus successfully confronting the main argument against their realization. Through the design procedure’s analysis and documentation a methodology of handling similar design issues is being developed.

Sustainable development actions in the area of Valia Kalda

The purpose of this paper is to propose and investigate the financial viability of sustainable developmental activities in the area of Valia Calda, around the National Park of Pindos. Initially the characteristics of the concept of mountain tourism are analyzed, followed by a description of the study area. Then, three development schemes are presented accompanied by a feasibility study. Finally the impacts of the proposed actions on the area are assessed.

The main guiding principle, on which the whole issue was set, is the rebirth of mountainous Greece by formulating sustainable developmental activities in order to create new opportunities to people that seek outlets to communicate with mountains and nature, and establish more effective links with the mountainous areas by enabling business where they can earn their living, addressing a trend that seem seems to grow stronger nowadays with the present political and economical crisis.

Local authorities can attract more visitors in the area of Valia Kalda by focusing on alternative, environmentally friendly actions, allocating funds of a limited amount.

The forgotten routes and paths in the region of Metsovo

The thriving natural environment of Metsovo favors the development and promotion of alternative forms of tourism, such as trekking tourism. In this paper, conversation with local people, especially the older ones, willing to share with the author their knowledge and experiences, drew a very good picture of the basic routes and paths that the habitats of Metsovo used for a long time in the past. The 20th century’s significant changes, in terms of communication and transfer, contributed to the abandonment or the total destruction of many old routes.

Aiming at shedding light to these forgotten routes, the route between Metsovo and Anilio was chosen to be recorded. The depiction of the route was done with the use of a hand GPS. Appropriate software was used for the route to be embossed on a map. The use of applications such as palmtops for a safer tour and getting better information could boost trekking tourism.


The traffic problem of Metsovo

Τhe mountainous traditional settlements were created in past eras, when needs were different. The advent of the car has brought about significant changes, as the local, provincial roads are unable to adapt to the nowadays increased circulation, especially when traffic dramatically escalates during the so-called "peak seasons". The settlement of Metsovo represents a typical example, as it faces serious traffic problems.

The paper aims at recording the existing traffic situation in Metsovo, as well as seeking potential solutions regarding traffic flow and parking regulation. The study is based on collection of primary data, such as traffic volume measurements, as well as parking measurements. According to the analysis followed, the situation in the region proves to be critical, the road network is particularly overloaded and the parking space demand exceeds the supply by far. Therefore, it is considered that drastic measures should be taken in order to tackle the problem. Apart from the direct measures proposed, in order to achieve a sustainable coexistence of man and car in the area, a new lifestyle is required, including a more reasonable use of the car.


The youth of Metsovo

The current study deals with the life of young people in the mountainous regions of Greece, especially in the area of Metsovo. The future of this area depends heavily on the doings of the young people of the area. Goals included in this study are the investigation of the relationship of the young generation with the local physical and social environment. Also, it aims in revealing the aspiration of the young generations of this area, as well as disclosing the forces that affect the scattering of young people. The study was performed by employing codified questionnaires addressed to students of the local Lyceum (high school). Statistical evaluation of the data was performed by using the SPSS software. The results show that the young generation feels a deep affection for the local traditions. However, it seems that a critical core of goals of the young people, in combination with the mass modernized way of life put young people before the dilemma: to leave their home in order to gain education, accomplice a professional carrier, and experience a broader entertainment, or to remain at home continuing the traditional way of life. It seems, therefore necessary that local society recognize the problems and desires of the young generations. In this way the above mentioned dilemma could be resolved in favor of both the young people as well as the local society.

Unequal spatial development in the Municipality of Metsovo

This year a new law, named “Callicrates”, rearranged the boundaries of all the Greek Municipalities. Despite of the theoretically stated intentions, “Callicrates” is an important potential threat to the future development and prosperity of mountain regions. Already at the margin of development, mountain areas will get even more marginalized under the implementation of the new law. In this paper, the spatial parameters of the newly founded Municiplity of Metsovo are studied. The current social and economic situation of the region is analyzed. The spatial inequalities, as well as the main sections related to them, are pointed out and specific actions are suggested to the direction of a balanced development for the area. The different developmental level of each settlement, their special growth problems, as well as their unique potentials comprise, at the same time, the cause of inequality and the base for a prosperous development policy.

Τhe influence of investment laws οn the economy of the Municipality of Metsovo’s

The present study focuses on the evaluation of Investment Laws 2601/98 and 3299/2004 in the Municipality of Metsovo, in total and by economic sector, in relation to the economic model of the area. More particularly, the basic characteristics of the eligible investments are analyzed and their effects on economic growth are investigated, using appropriate sectoral multipliers estimated from the input-output table of the Greek economy. The emphasis is given on two principal parameters, namely income and employment growth, which constitute a key objective of the economic development framework.