Scenario Analysis. Toward a Change in the Soil Consumption Paradigm

  • Giuseppe Mazzeo CNR - ISSM, Institute for the Studies on the Mediterranean Societies
Keywords: Soil consumption, Sprawl, Scenario Analysis


The processes of urbanization affecting the modern world have seen the explosion of the city and the transformation of compact and well defined structures in agglomerations with a seamlessly expansion. This has sparked a number of social and economic consequences that have impacted on the city, on the urbanized areas, and on the surroundings. The usage of the term “sprawl” to define the process of expansion of the human agglomerations dates back to eighty years ago, about, and from that period countless researches were done on the argument, also if it is open the question about the future trends of the city; if it is clear that the expansive model is still winning, it is equally necessary to identify new models that can better interpret the needs for a new attention to the territory and its environment. For this purpose the paper explores the feasible use of the scenario analysis as tool for defining the potential evolutionary paths of the city. Particular attention is placed on the construction of de-urbanization’s scenarios, namely the set of reorganization’s hypotheses of urban structures focused on the compaction of their physical size and on the maximizing of the number of residents and users. The paper seeks to deepen the possible trajectories of de-urbanization and of urban and territorial reorganization stretched to reverse the diffusion and expansive processes at the metropolitan level. The paper initially defines the characters of the processes of urbanization, also with reference to some research’s models. The second part investigates the use of scenarios for the construction of evolutionary trends. The third, finally, examines the trends comparing the processes of urban growth and of de-urbanization.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Giuseppe Mazzeo, CNR - ISSM, Institute for the Studies on the Mediterranean Societies

Engineer, researcher at the National Research Council, CNR-ISSM, Institute of Studies on the Mediterranean Systems, in Naples. Professor of Urban Planning Technique at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, he carries out research activity at the Department of Planning and Territory Science in the fields of the territorial planning, strategic environmental assessment and urban regeneration actions.


Antrop M, 2004, “Landscape change and the urbanization process in Europe”, Landscape and Urban Planning, 67 9-26.

Batty M, Barros J, Sinesio-Alves, J, 2005, “The Dynamics of Cities”, in Le relazioni tra conoscenza ed innovazione nello sviluppo dei territori Eds. A Bruzzo, S Occelli (FrancoAngeli, Milano), pp. 371-385.

Damodaran A, s.d., Probabilistic Approaches: Scenario Analysis, Decision Trees and Simulations, Teaching paper available on the Internet at: (accessed Nov. 15, 2011).

European Commission, 2011, COM(2011) 571 Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe.

Huss W R, 1988, “A move toward scenario analysis”, International Journal of Forecasting, 4(3) 377-388.

Le Corbusier, 1967 (1933), The Radiant City: Elements of a Doctrine of Urbanism to Be Used as the Basis of Our Machine-Age Civilization (Orion Books, New York).

Mazzeo G, 2011, “Trasformazioni urbane nelle capitali post-unitarie: Torino, Firenze, Roma”, TeMA – Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 4(1) 15-28.

Moccia F D, 2010, “Densificazione delle aree sottoutilizzate”, Paper for the XIII Conferenza Società Italiana degli Urbanisti Città e crisi globale: clima, sviluppo e convivenza, Roma, February 25-27, available on the Internet at: (accessed Jan. 3, 2012).

Mumford L, 1945, “The metropolitan milieu”, in City development L. Mumford (Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York).

Murray J, King D, 2012, “Oil’s tipping point has passed” Nature, 481 433-435.

Nechyba T J, Walsh R P, 2004, “Urban Sprawl” The Journal of Economic Perspective, 18(4) 177-200.

Piorr A, Ravets J, Tosics I, 2011, Peri-urbanization in Europe. Towards European Policies to Sustain Urban-Rural Futures. Syntesis Report (PLUREL Consortium, Berlin).

Postma T J B M, Liebl F, 2005, “How to improve scenario analysis as a strategic management tool?” Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 72 161-173.

Rittel H, Webber M, 1973, “Dilemmas in a general theory of planning” Policy Science 4 155–69.

Sitte C, 1889, De Städtebau nach Seinen Künstlerishen Grundsätzen (Verlag, Wien).

Van der Berg L, Drewett R, Klaassens L H, Rossi A , Vijverberg, C H T, 1982, Urban Europe. A Study of Growth and Decline - Vol. 1 (Pergamon Press, Oxford).

Viollet-le-Duc E, 1867-1872, Entretiens sur l’architecture (Morel, Paris).

Wilkinson A, Eidinow E, 2008, “Evolving practices in environmental scenarios: a new scenario typology Environmental Research Letters 3 1-11.

How to Cite
Mazzeo, G. (2012). Scenario Analysis. Toward a Change in the Soil Consumption Paradigm. Tema - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 5(1), 21-32.