Next Article in Journal
Migration, Social Demands and Environmental Change amongst the Frafra of Northern Ghana and the Biali in Northern Benin
Previous Article in Journal
The Influence of Perceived Corporate Sustainability Practices on Employees and Organizational Performance
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessOpinion
Sustainability 2014, 6(1), 365-374; doi:10.3390/su6010365

The Unsustainable City

Future Cities Laboratory, Singapore-ETH Centre, 1 CREATE Way, #06-01 CREATE Tower, Singapore 138602, Singapore
Information Architecture, Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland 
Received: 28 October 2013 / Revised: 2 January 2014 / Accepted: 2 January 2014 / Published: 13 January 2014
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1016 KB, 24 February 2015; original version 24 February 2015]   |  


“Make cities more sustainable” is an omnipresent slogan in architecture and urban planning. This article is a discussion on theoretical and practical boundaries of using the expression “sustainability” with respect to the scientific community, therefore avoiding sustainability becoming a euphemism for “doing good”. By definition, it can be concluded, cities developed as counterparts to the hinterland and, therefore, they axiomatically should be and are as a matter of fact unsustainable. Furthermore, sustainability is a binary, not a gradual concept. Something is either sustainable or not. Aiming to increase the sustainability is consequently a sham battle. It would be necessary to change our perception to acknowledge that cities should be unsustainable in order to become efficient, seen from a global perspective including the hinterland.
Keywords: cities; land-use; perception; sustainable development; unsustainability; urban planning cities; land-use; perception; sustainable development; unsustainability; urban planning
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Berger, M. The Unsustainable City. Sustainability 2014, 6, 365-374.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top