Cities Are Artificial


Cities are fake, an illusion, abnormal, phony, and artificial. Although they are centers of lots of population and activity, they can only exist at the expense of resources from elsewhere. Cities cannot make it on their own.

From a survival preparedness standpoint, cities are a big red flag, a place not to be when there has been a major disaster. Think about the dependencies. Food, water, electricity, and supplies are all trucked in from somewhere else. Although this is similarly the case for the suburbs and lesser so for rural areas, the fact that so much (of everything) has to be brought in to support such a large concentration of human beings is the Achilles heel.

I read this recently, “No city can feed its own people.” None of them. Cities are not self-sufficient. Not even close. Although most of us realize this, when you think seriously and logically about all of the dependencies that cities have today upon modern supplies and distribution, alarm bells begin going off in your head.

Cities depend upon farmers from the countryside and food sources that range from all over the world depending on season. Not only that, but the cities depend 100 percent on the distribution chains (trucking, trains, shipping) to deliver everything. If that was enough dependency for you, the cities only have about one week worth of food at any one time!

Not only do supplies need to come in, but trash and sewer needs to be brought out. These systems also have dependencies like trucking, electricity, and social order.

This is all invisible to the city dweller and is entirely taken for granted that the systems will not be disrupted.

Following a major collapse, the biggest and most immediate danger will be rioting and social chaos brought about by a lack of food, water, supplies, and money. If banking and electrical systems are out, cash money will be in short supply and will disable those who are scrambling to buy the last food and water off the shelves. The water demands for a city are enormous. When the water stops, it will be even more desperate than when the food runs out.

Imagine the modern buildings and apartment dwellings within the cities. Nearly all of them require an operating HVAC system (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning). Without it, temperatures will SOAR beyond bearable conditions in the summer and will PLUMMET in the winter. This will make it nearly impossible to live in them without electricity.

In a major disaster, this would all come  about in days. Less than a week. Those who had failed to get out while they had a chance, will be doomed to very dangerous and difficult times indeed with their very survival at stake. There is even the risk that a city may become quarantined with all major routes in and out blocked (pandemic?).

Be aware that cities are death traps following major disaster. Your survival will depend upon having a plan BEFORE disaster strikes. Know multiple routes out of the city including routes that are NOT major routes. If collapse actually occurs, get out IMMEDIATELY. Better yet, stay out altogether. Or move.


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  1. Countless hordes of panicked city residents will invade the self sustaining areas in the days after realisation that survival is threatened.

    Transport infrastructure will need to be tampered with to slow down the hordes. In the end, I.M.H.O., the sheer numbers of the desperate will overrun those who had a little foresight to prepare.

    1. If you think about it, suburbs are about as densly populated as most villages have been throughout human civilization. Rome is thought to have had 1MM residents at it’s peak, but that is a huge anomoly. An industrialized society is itself an anomoly in human civilization.

  2. I have thought of cities as potential gold mines. I realize this article is more short-term thinking about how bad cities will be. But consider the long-term. I have included detailed city maps of the metro areas around me. I have flagged what I condsider important resources. I figure after a couple of years when the dust settles a small group can slip into a city to get supplies or other goods.

    1. @Leonard;
      ‘after a couple of years’. Do you really think those city dwellers are going to bypass ANY supplies or other goods for two years? Everything will be long gone by then.

  3. A couple years later, the cities will be empty infrastructure. Everything of value will already be looted or destroyed by the few who managed to survive the collapse in place.

  4. I lived in Chicago for 10 years. Many parts of that city are ALREADY bleak, empty, and without resouces! ANYTHING that is not chained or nailed down is stolen by some desperate lowlife who will sell, trade or use it for his own needs. I can imagine how totally “wasteland” Chicago would be after 2 years of no supplies or outside replentishment. And yes, the ghetto rats that ALREADY steal and kill for what they want and need will become even more brazen and desperate as conditions worsen! As long as “human beings” are struggling to survive in a closed, resource-deprived environment the cities will be EXTREMLY dangerous places!
    Put too many rats in a cage and soon they will start eating each other.

  5. Immediately anyone with a gun will be the control factor. This group will have it’s own top down structure depending on the power of the arms he possesses(The Road,Eli). But your right, the city is an unnatural micro-clime of civilization. The ideal was surpassed ages ago. The village was the most efficient and utilitarian that met the need for social familiarity. The best suited environment for a social hominid was found in it. Especially justice depends on a village platform in order for it to be effective. An offender was arrested and the village knew his crime. But they also “experienced” his positive contributions. They knew and were friends with his mother, his relatives. They knew everyone he knew. They saw him raised, and saw his ancestry like a book of life. Now artificial means try to emulate the village. We appoint judges who simply read about him and no longer “know” him. Tabloids notify the rest of the city of what’s happening, devoid of human sentiment and familiarity. As the city grows it’s ethics proportionally becomes watered down. The city will become a powder keg in the last days. Chaos will be the order. I pity families with kids trying to travel away from it during crises. I think the primary disaster will be inundation as the caps melt and low lying areas become swamped. Great movements of people will disregard boundaries, as brain washed defenders try to defend them.

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