The Organization and the Social Procedures of a Trade Fair. The Example of Amyntaio, Florina, Greece (1956-2012)
AbstractBuilt-up areas are structural units developed through a specific process, which has frequently got a social character. At times, the construction of such areas is attributed to factors which are not purely social: such factors are geographical location, the geophysical morphology of the wider area, relevant administrative or political laws etc. Overall, major cities and towns are constructed under the influence of a number of factors, cultural, historical, administrative, geographical, social, etc. The considerations discussed above are ensued by a shared attitude towards space, according to the following principles: a) Spatial allotment of human activities, which reflects the organized accommodation in considerations of distance, b) Decisions concerning land planning, which are taken in order to minimize the effects of distance, c) The locations in space, which are accompanied by accessibility standards, despite the fact that access to specific places is easier, d) The tendency to accumulate economic activities in space so that economy scales can be favoured, e) Human activities, which naturally tend to be ranked. The present paper aims at discussing aspects of the trade fair in the town of Amyntaio. The first organized residential nucleus of Amyntaio was established in the mid 18th century when families from the mountainous nearby areas came to the fertile plain near the lakes. In the specific centre of trade, the Greek commercial spirit was greatly enhanced. Greek tradesmen contributed to developing the new character of the town and promoting progress and culture. The trade fair in Amyntaio is closely associated with the weekly street market organized throughout the year, of which it is the highlight event. The research was primarily based on the archives of the Municipality of Amyntaio and the material of the research is comprised of the proceedings of the Town Council and the land survey maps accompanying the decisions made. The methodological issues associated with the measures of viability and vitality involve the assessment of service quality, the basic indicators of which range from satisfying customers to the profits accumulated by the Municipality during the specific time. The investigation of indicators is focused on Amyntaio, a town - centre, on account of the fact that it is vital and has a larger population and a more vigorous trade than the neighbouring towns. In general terms, the trade fair in Amyntaio, according to the basic indicators, is an institution that has not declined, but, in contrast, has been enhanced and contributed to town vitality and viability. Nowadays, it is worth pointing out that the transfer of the fair from the traditional market centre of the town to residential areas and areas with public and transportation services has contributed to the town vitality and viability which are indicators that the institution at issue thrives.
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