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Sustainability 2016, 8(4), 297;

The Effects of Urban Policies on the Development of Urban Areas

School of Engineering, University of Basilicata, Viale dell’Ateneo Lucano 10, 85100 Potenza, Italy
Department of Methods and Models for Economics, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Via Del Castro Laurenziano 9, 00161 Roma, Italy
Italian National Research Council, IMAA C.da Santa Loja, Tito Scalo, Potenza 85050, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Manfred Max Bergman
Received: 31 December 2015 / Revised: 10 March 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 24 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
PDF [6399 KB, uploaded 24 March 2016]


For more than a decade, the European Union recognizes soil as a common good and considers it as a finite resource of inestimable value. The European Union defines it as the “upper layer of earth’s crust, formed by mineral particles, organic matter, water, air and living organisms”. Despite such definitions, usually, planning choices do not take into account the need to reduce soil consumption to build up resilience. This paper presents the controversial case of Agri Valley (Basilicata, Southern Italy); on the one hand, this region is characterized by the presence of extremely valuable land, because of the exceptional degree of soil fertility; on the other hand, Valdagri is also known to have one of the largest oilfields of Europe. An application built around the SLEUTH model was developed in order to produce a simulation and an estimate of the extent to which urban areas may grow in the near future. Results confirm that urban policies implemented so far by local governments—which aimed almost exclusively to favor industrial development—irreversibly threaten the integrity of the natural values of the valley. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability; land use change models; soil consumption; urban policies; built-up areas sustainability; land use change models; soil consumption; urban policies; built-up areas

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Amato, F.; Maimone, B.A.; Martellozzo, F.; Nolè, G.; Murgante, B. The Effects of Urban Policies on the Development of Urban Areas. Sustainability 2016, 8, 297.

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