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This article presents a critical review of the experience gained from planning projects of the Athens Urban seafront area promoted by the Organization of Athens, independently or within various European programs. Structural weaknesses in the existing planning system in Greece (administrative malfunctions, social practices, and scientific approaches) result in difficulties in applying an integrated coastal zone management policy. The new approaches suggested by European policies have both strengths and weaknesses and point to solutions. Lessons learned through innovative approaches used in the project for the Rehabilitation of the Drapetsona-Keratsini Port-Industrial Zone, lead to reflections of general interest about the role of public spatial planning.