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Athens Greece
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Athens, Greece

January 20, 2006
This is a Landsat thematic mapper image of Athens, Greece, in 2004.

With its suburbs, Athens has a population of about 3.7 million people, representing more than a third of the total population of Greece. Athens has grown very rapidly in the years after the war until ca. 1980 and suffered from overcrowding, traffic congestion and air pollution; it is one of the most polluted cities in Europe. The geomorphology of the area - a plain surrounded by mountain ranges and facing the sea - frequently causes temperature inversion phenomena, which partly enhance the city's air pollution.

Athens hosted the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, commonly known as the 2004 Summer Olympics. When the International Olympic Committee expressed its concern over the progress of construction work of the new Olympic venues, a new Organizing Committee was formed and Athens was transformed into a city that uses state-of-the-art technology in transportation and urban development. Some of the most modern sporting venues in the world were built to host the 2004 Olympic Games.

The main Olympic Stadium, the designated facility for the opening and closing ceremonies, was completed only two months before the games opened, with the sliding over of a futuristic glass roof. Other facilities, such as the streetcar line linking the airport, the stadium and the city, were largely unfinished just two months before the games. The subsequent pace of preparation, however, made the rush to finish the Athens venues one of the tightest in Olympics history.

Technical Information:
  • Satellite: Landsat
  • Instrument: Thematic Mapper
  • Acquisition: 10-Jul-2005
  • Center coordinates: lat. 37.97, lon. 23.71


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