Colonizing New Lands Rural Settlement of Refugees in Northern Greece (1922–40)

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Vilma Hastaoglou-Martinidis, Prof. Emeritus


The Lausanne Peace Treaty (1923) imposed a population exchange between Greece and Turkey, causing a massive refugee crisis in demographically unstable regions such as Northern Greece, which had been liberated from Ottoman rule only in 1912. The majority of the over 1.2 million Orthodox leaving Turkey resettled in Northern Greece, with support from the League of Nations. Greece established over 1,700 rural colonies, reallocated land, and undertook major reclamation works: an approach to nation-rebuilding based on agriculture and backed by the simultaneous founding of Aristotle University and the Thessaloniki International Fair (1926). This contribution focuses on the spatial implications of this process, which entailed the adaptation of housing stock, standardized planning, and prefabrication.

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Cristina Pallini, Polimi

Cristina Pallini, Architect (Politecnico di Milano, 1990), PhD in Architectural Composition (IUAV Venice, 2001). Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture Built Environment and Construction Engineering, Politecnico di Milano. Teaching Architectural Design Studio at AUIC, Politecnico di Milano. Her research on the relationship between architectural design, settlement dynamics and urban change has been funded by Italian and foreign institutions, including AKPIA @ MIT (2004), the Onassis Foundation (2006), Newcastle University (SALP, 2016). PI in PUMAH Planning, Urban Management and Heritage (FP7 Marie Curie IRSES, 2012-2016) and MODSCAPES (Modernist reinventions of the rural landscape), HERA call “Uses of the past”, 2016-2019). 

Vilma Hastaoglou-Martinidis, Prof. Emeritus, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Vilma Hastaoglou-Martinidis, Architect, Professor Emerita of the School of Architecture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. She holds a degree in Architecture and a Doctorate in Urban Planning from the School of Architecture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and a Diploma in Urban Sociology from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris. She has lectured in European and US universities, and carried out research projects funded by European and domestic institutions. Her research interests include planning history, urban modernization and heritage preservation. She is the author of many books on urban history and planning in Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean.