Volos – The Reconstruction

The Second World War and the 1954–1957 earthquakes brought about major changes in the life of Volos and the city’s overall position in Greece. The reconstruction after the earthquakes was based on fast and easy solutions, without a strategic plan and with a total disregard for the city’s distinctive urban life. In 1947, the evolution of the Nea Ionia settlement into a municipality resulted in the existence of two cities within one urban complex, a fact that held back the city’s potential. The demographic characteristics of the population changed. The city’s major economic powers either went bankrupt or left, mainly to Athens; the possibility for the refugees to engage in the city’s activities was limited after the establishment of the Municipality of Nea Ionia, while the city’s modern economy attracted outside investment and unskilled labour from the interior of Thessaly.

The post-war period was mainly characterised by the emergence of the lower and middle classes. For some 30 years since the mid-1950s, the development of Volos followed the Greek model, which was seen as a ‘success story.’ Per capita income doubled, as did private consumption. Household electricity use increased twofold; the telephone, radio, and television facilitated communication with the rest of the world, introducing new lifestyles and trends. Characteristically, in the 1970s in Greece, there were 234 telephones (vs. 236 in Spain), 355 radios (248 in Spain) and 125 televisions (193 in Spain) per 1,000 inhabitants.

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