Unsustainable Cities, a Tragedy of Urban Networks


  • Tomaz Ponce Dentinho
  • Fabíola Sabino Gil
  • Paulo Silveira


This article aims to understand urban un-sustainability. First we review some paradigmatic cases of unsustainable cities, namely Easter Island, Mayan cities and Santa Maria Island. Then, we briefly review operational urban simulation models and sustainability with particular focus on spatial interaction models with land use. We apply an operational urban model with the use of natural resources to perceive the past and future history of the development of one of the smallest cities of the world, Corvo. We show that, in unsustainable cities, technological inadequacy leads to irreversible degradation of the natural capital and institutional inadequacy enables free access to the urban space, creating a "tragedy of urban networks".


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