The study of urban metabolism and its applications to urban planning and design.

  • Kennedy C
  • Pincetl S
  • Bunje P
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Following formative work in the 1970s, disappearance in the 1980s, and reemergence in the 1990s, a chronological review shows that the past decade has witnessed increasing interest in the study of urban metabolism. The review finds that there are two related, non-conflicting, schools of urban metabolism: one following Odum describes metabolism in terms of energy equivalents; while the second more broadly expresses a city's flows of water, materials and nutrients in terms of mass fluxes. Four example applications of urban metabolism studies are discussed: urban sustainability indicators; inputs to urban greenhouse gas emissions calculation; mathematical models of urban metabolism for policy analysis; and as a basis for sustainable urban design. Future directions include fuller integration of social, health and economic indicators into the urban metabolism framework, while tackling the great sustainability challenge of reconstructing cities.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Air Pollution
  • Air Pollution: analysis
  • Air Pollution: statistics & numerical data
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Carbon Dioxide: analysis
  • Carbon Footprint
  • Carbon Footprint: statistics & numerical data
  • Cities
  • City Planning
  • City Planning: methods
  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • Conservation of Natural Resources: methods
  • Environment Design
  • Models
  • Theoretical
  • Urban Renewal

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  • C Kennedy

  • S Pincetl

  • P Bunje

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