Cities and soil consumption: how to feed the planet?

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In 2008 the number of urban inhabitants surpassed the rural ones. Along with the population increases, so does the demand for urban land: increasing the latter, however, it means to decrease the agricultural land.

Can the process of urban growth and the decline of countryside achieve a balance?

A city consumes, produces slag, and grows: a metabolic process similar to that of a living organism. But we do not know if the urban metabolism is as sustainable as that of a biological organism. In particular, how can we measure the relationship between population and urbanized land?

Is there enough soil to feed a planet of cities? It’s the title of a work concerning the use of land, urban growth and our eating habits, conducted by Roberto D’Autilia and Ilaria D’Ambrosi, both of the Department of Architecture of the University Roma3, just to answer these questions.

The two researchers analyzed a scaling law for the use of agricultural land by the city. The answer… you can find it in this video.

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