Catastrophe Theory and Territorial Dynamics in Valparaíso

  • Juan Luís Araya Silva Universidad de Santiago de Chile
Palabras clave: Catastrophe Theory, catastrophe in apex, singularity, synergy, system theory, landscape, land-use managemen


After being a prosperous commune in the XIX century, Valparaíso became a city of limited development, not only from the structural and functional point of view, but also in the economic aspect, due to the lack of planning and development plans, among other variables. Due to that, urban growth became untenable, after the flight of goods and services (adding to the demographic growth), which caused the gradual disappearance of the synergic networks which maintained the social and economic superstructure of the city. To analyze this phenomenon, it is compulsory to have quantitative elements of judgement to increase the epistemological acquis for the policy-making, something clearly missing in the development plans. This work poses a proposal for a quantitative phenomenological model based on the catastrophe theory, backed by a bibliographic and in premises analysis of the city, considering its historical and social aspects, being structured as an ‘apex’; an analysis determined to be based on: the flight of goods, urban growth, disappearance of social networks and of development plans.   A social collapse occurs when these variables lose their functional organics relating each other, and, therefore, the advance of one must be in concordance with the quantitative advance of the other.    The result is a model to analyze empirically the way of collapse of Valparaíso.   The model itself poses to be one more element to take into account in the decision-making of the future development plans for the city.


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