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The Debate Between the Dispersed City and the Compact City: Which Urban Models Will Shape the Future


The design of our cities is a critical topic, and the debate between the "Dispersed City" and the "Compact City" is at the heart of the discussion. Both urban models have distinctive characteristics:


Characteristics of the Dispersed City:

  • Non-economic consumption and inefficient use of land.

  • Loss of complexity in the city's functions with a predominance of mono-functional spaces.

  • Excessive use of private vehicles, leading to wastage of time, resources, and energy.

  • Increased energy consumption, resulting in issues like pollution and congestion.


Characteristics of the Compact City:

  • Promotes communication between citizens and commercial, social, and recreational activities.

  • Encourages mobility, exchange, and physical interaction between functions, increasing the city's complexity.

  • Is a more economical model, reducing the wastage of resources allocated for mobility.

  • Requires fewer mechanical vehicle journeys, promotes the use of public transport, and reduces energy consumption.

  • Contributes to lower levels of air and noise pollution and allows more time for social interactions.


The choice between these urban models has a significant impact on the quality of life, the environment, and the economy.

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