Introductions

Metabolism of Cities
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Please introduce yourself to our community, a short description of who you are, your interests and anything quirky you'd like to divulge :)


Hi! My name is Kim Finlay, I have been working with Metabolism of Cities for the last three months. I have a background in environmental science and a focus on energy access in Africa. Most particularly I am interested in collecting data in news ways and finding better ways for data to inform energy and climate change interventions. I also have a wild house plant addiction!


Hi! My name is Bernelle, I mostly go by the nick of indiebio online.


I have a PhD in Bioprocess Engineering where I investigated value from sanitation. Following this I did research in water, working with teams on water sensitive urban design. I found it too abstract to be implementable, and while working there we were experiencing the severe drought in Cape Town. It frustrated me that we had no good guidance to give to people to survive the drought and to adapt to the future 'new normal'. Urban metabolism is a way to get a handle on this, I think. I felt disillusioned with research and wanted to visualise and communicate what we already know, to allow it to better inform our actions. I am a big fan of decentralised, or appropriately scaled interventions, and while large scale has its place, I believe we need greater focus on the other end of the scale. At the same time small, decentralised interventions need to fit the bigger picture and not duplicate or counter other efforts. I think visualisation and 'big data' can help coordinate this.


So to pursue this I made a career move and am trying to teach myself design, animation and data visualisation, specifically data driven documentation, and I think Python may be good for this. I'm really still figuring this out.


My interest is not in education, but I think education can be a good way to generate data in the high resolution (neighbourhood or even street level) that makes urban metabolism relevant to everyday people, or relatable, in general.


I gave a talk about my big idea in 2019, and the blogpost continued some thoughts from it:
https://debconf19.debconf.org/talks/111-the-metaverse-gaming-and-the-metabolism-of-cities/
http://indiebio.co.za/refining-the-game-idea-at-debconf19/


While I know a game is a massively ambitious venture, there are existing initiatives that could be adapted, and even if we don't reach a fully fledged game, the things learnt and concepts realised on the way will be the real win.


Hello, my name is Brian!


I'm an urban designer from the Netherlands. I'm working for the municipality in Den Haag (The Hague). Before it I worked at a urban design office.
I did my master thesis about the spatial impact of urban metabolism. This because I think this theory/idea can reshape and redesign or cities. I believe in using data and research to create a strong foundation for design.
Besides that my interests are in graphic design and mapping. Since I am an urban designer I see the value of how good drawings/maps can help to communicate complex matter. As they say a pictures says a thousand words, however we should help people how to interpret the image sometimes.


I would say my contributions here could be helping from an urban designers perspective. I get excited when I see about data and illustrations. Maybe I can also help with my understanding of GIS, in which I also would want to improve my knowledge.
About education I would like to think about how I can contribute. I noticed during my master thesis that there is a gap between Urban design and Industrial ecology. And how often there is a mismatch between large scale (material) analysis and small scale interventions.


So I am happy to do my part in help exploring and researching urban metabolism. And to help make it a fundamental part in our design of cities!


Hollo,
My name is Pascal Jules Ahouanvoegbe. I am currently enrolled as a Master’s student under the Environmental Management Program of Pan African University, Institute of Life and Earth Sciences which is hosted by the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. My research interests cover various aspect of Urban Resources Planning and Policies (Clean Energy, Water Resources, Biodiversity), Sustainable development of cities, Conservation, Circular Economy and Ecology. Always available to contribute to projets that lead to design sustainable cities.


Hello! My name is Cleo de Brabander. I have a background in industrial design and am involved in a variety of different projects in the realm of circular economy. My main focus in the past two years has been on setting up an international hub for Dutch company CIRCO in Rio de Janeiro (where I currently live and work). CIRCO activates and equipes manufacturers to start applying circular strategies in their business. As I am a product designer myself, my emphasis is on how to use design as a motor for our transition to a Circular Economy.


I recently joined the data contributors team for metabolism of islands. I was born and raised on a small island in the Caribbean; Curaçao. Curaçao is geographically very small but extremely complex in systems. Like many of my fellow islanders I am concerned about the vulnerability of my island (very reliant on import, no diverse economy, effects of climate crisis etc.) and am keen on harvesting data as I am convinced that it is the best starting point for improvement. I love the saying ‘you can’t measure what you can’t manage’ - better management is one of the things we really need on Curaçao.


Hi everyone! I just joined today after having a great conversation with Kim. I'm really excited to get involved here and collaborate with all of you.


My work lives at the intersection of business, storytelling, and science, and I'm passionate about finding ways for complex cities to function as harmoniously as nature.


I've been a leader of product development teams in a variety of sectors for over a decade. I received my MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia and my BA in economics and history from the University of Pennsylvania.


While building a business career, I've also built a portfolio as an award-winning author, journalist, and filmmaker.


In May 2020, I completed my graduate program in biomimicry at Arizona State University and I'm now applying to PhD programs in sustainable urban development. My current project in this space is collaborating with a group of scientists at the City University of New York and Northeastern University to develop a new biodegradable material from a renewable resource that will replace plastic.


I live in New York City with my rescue dog, Phineas. I'm excited to find new ways to help my beautiful city build back better by learning from the best sustainable practices happening around the world.


Hi everyone! I'm Carla from Porto, Portugal. I'm graduated in Environmental Sciences and Technology (2007) with MsC in Environmental Economics and Management (2018), both at University of Porto. I have technical knowledge and work experience in several issues of sustainability and environmental area and carbon management. During my professional career, I was part of technical staff in projects to develop Local Sustainable Strategies, Waste Management Strategies, Environmental Assessments, Industrial Eco-efficiency and Carbon Management, among others working with severel portuguese municipalities. I also have a Specialization course in Sustainable Development and Local Agenda 21 and technical training in carbon and water footprint. Nowadays, as EU Project Manager at 2GO OUT Consulting, I'm participating in the European project funded by H2020: CITYLOOPS – Closing the loop for urban material flows, supporting Porto City in its Urban Circularity Assessment, work made with Metabolism of Cities.


Hi! My name is Nina Turull Puig and I am a feminist political ecology and activist, with a Beng in Building Construction Science and a MSc in Renewal Energies. My working experience in the fields of sustainable architecture, life cycle assessment methodology and circular economy research has allowed me to witness first-hand the decoupling between social and environmental science. I am interested in alternative forms of conceiving urban metabolism which complement material and energy analyses with considerations such as access to housing, migration flows, far-right politics or well-being.


I currently work for a energy consultancy company based in Barcelona specialised in nearly Zero Energy Buildings, low carbon building design strategies and sustainable certification.


I am also a big fan of music, swimming, community allotments, networks that build solidarity against discrimination and collaborative platforms with critical thinking approach. Very happy to be part of this collaborative platform and contribute as much as I can! don't hesitate to contact me for further collaborations :)


Hello! My name is Mara. I'm an architect from the Philippines. I am looking forward to pursuing urban planning as a PhD. Mainly, I'm very interested in urban metabolism for the very reason that I want to explore the concept of urban areas as extensions of organisms, if not as organisms itself. I theorize that there must be some consilience in the energy and nutrient consumption patterns of urban areas when compared with the metabolic patterns of biological organisms. I am currently looking into the ecological cycles between biotic and abiotic spheres and I'm wondering whether it's necessary to differentiate the components of the urban area as such: living and non-living, or if the exploration should be as straightforward as urban areas being whole compositions of elements and compounds. Several weeks ago, I was reading "In the nature of cities" by Heynen, Kaika, and Swyngedouw and was particularly struck by statements of nature and cities as not necessarily being alien from each other but as one. I think we could explore much on the sustainability of our civilizations once we pin down these connections in their exact relations through patterns.

My first publication had been about the exploration of biological principles of metabolism and trying to find them in the urban area (published here), specifically in ASEAN markets. I would most definitely appreciate hearing your points of view on this as I seek to pursue the subject matter further.

Thank you!


Hello, I'm Esteban. Working for UNEP on Urban Metabolism and Circular Economy. Architect by training, PhD on Microsimulation and passionate urban modeler.

I was wondering if there is any discussion on data downscaling on the forum. I would love to contribute to that.

Please excuse me if I'm posing on the wrong discussion list.


Hello Mara, and welcome!
Thanks for sharing your interest in Urban Metabolism! Your thoughts are very relevant and quite some work has been focusing on the questions you bring forward. Two points that you identify in your comments that might help you better navigate through this complex topic :)

Within Urban Metabolism there are many different definitions or subdisciplines and there are two that might be the most relevant for you. Urban Ecology (really focusing on the "natural" ecosystems within cities and perhaps how can the city relate to natural ecosystems) and Political Ecology (which focuses on the political stakes of the appropriation of the environment by cities but also just access to resources). It is difficult to disentangle them but perhaps you should identify what parts of it you enjoy most or are most curious to work on (not meaning that you can not bridge both).

Two projects that work on that bridge which might be interesting for you are the ERC Rethinking Urban Nature and the Urban Ecologies project. We spoke with the principal investigator of Rethinking Urban Nature, Matthew Gandy in our podcast, see here.

Thanks a lot for sharing you article, we will certainly have a look! Don't hesitate to roam for some additional forum topics that you find interesting. Also if you wish to contribute further, please have a look at our ongoing tasks and lastly you can always contribute to one of the existing urban metabolism dashboards.
cheers


Hey Esteban,
And welcome to the Forum! Nice to see you here :) Have a look here if such a topic exists already and if not please create one. We will be discussing this topic internally this afternoon, so please do share your thoughts if you have some ideas already.
cheers


Hi everyone,
My name is Maria-Lorena, and I'm very excited about this Forum.
I have a background in international business and sustainable strategy. I am interested in collecting data about the Galapagos Islands to build a model that supports responsible tourism development, food security, and climate change interventions. Blue Economy and Society 5.0 are also part of my research interests.
Cheers.


Hello Maria-Lorena and welcome to the Forum.
Great to hear about your background and interests. We're excited to see your contribution on the Galapagos Islands as we don't have any data yet (if you're interested into learning how to collect, add and process data to our platform, have a look at our online courses here.
Cheers,
A.


Hello Maria-Lorena and welcome to the Forum.
Great to hear about your background and interests. We're excited to see your contribution on the Galapagos Islands as we don't have any data yet (if you're interested into learning how to collect, add and process data to our platform, have a look at our online courses here.
Cheers,
A.


Hi! My name is Danyela Vallejo. I'm Environmental manager. I am currently preparing my thesis that deals with the design of a zonal special plan for a department in the city of Caracas based on urban metabolism. I am a student of the Master's Degree in Comprehensive Environmental Planning at the Center for Environmental Studies of the Central University of Venezuela. I am also in the process of self-training of Geographic Information Systems. I like to take pictures and observe nature in my free time. I am very happy to be here to learn.


Hi Danyela,
Thanks for joining our community! Wow your master thesis seems very interesting. Curious to know how you will apply UM for spatial planning. As you might have seen we already have a dashboard for Caracas (quite empty at this stage) so do not hesitate to use it for your work. Your pictures are also very welcome, so that we get to see and learn the urban metabolism of Caracas!!!
We look forward to see your contributions and learn from you as well.
cheers,
a.


Hi everyone!
I’m Taina, an architect and urban planner from Brazil, and currently a beginner researcher at the Zero Waste Brazil Institute (ILZB), formulating and improving a (zero) waste management model for Brazilian cities, and more specifically I’m now writing the book “Cidades Lixo Zero” (Zero Waste Cities) to publicize this model within the country. I'm also studying a lot to get ready to start a PhD research - hopefully soon.

My main academic and professional interests are in urban metabolism, complex systems, environmental sustainability, data science, circular economy, and technology.

I’m excited about the Metabolism of Cities objective to improve the collection of urban metabolism data, as well as I'm excited to learn from you, to share information, and perhaps helping process and analyzing all this information.

I’m following the Circular Metabolism Podcast (and enjoying it), as well as I have watched several other videos from the MofCities channel on Youtube (such as the very interesting interview with Matthew Gandy, of Rethinking Urban Nature). I’m also starting your course “How to become a data processor” and soon I’ll take a look at the tasks, hoping to be able to contribute here.
thank you :)


Hello Taina,
Welcome to the forum and the community. Thanks for joining. Zero Waste Cities sound very exciting. We're very curious to know what your suggestions and findings are.

Thanks also for listening to our Podcast and watching our videos AND starting the course. You really are delving into Urban Metabolism!

As you say please have a look at the tasks and don't hesitate to interact over the forum!

Looking forward to interacting with you,
a.


Hello everybody,

I'm currently in charge of the training program of a grassroots organization devoted to the transition in the building and urbanism practices in Marseille, France (it's called EnvirobatBDM). My job is mainly about designing and organizing trainings for engineers, architectes and civil servants. I manage as well some working groups of practitioners about topics related with circular economy (reuse of materials...).

I have a double background of political science (Ma.) and sustainable development engineering (Ma.).
Then I got a Ph.D. from UT Troyes : my work was on logics of collective action in industrial ecology projects - more precisely in the emerging biobased building sector.

Right now, I'm interested by two questions :
- How to make metabolism a tool for professionnals of urban and building sectors ? What are the consequences for their conventional way of working ?
- What are the political implications of the development of urban and regional metabolism for policies ? How to foster comprehensive public policies then ?

I'm very happy to take part to this conference the community ! What you all do here is great !
Can't wait to hear your talks and be part of the sessions.
Sorry in advance if I can't attend all the sessions (I couldn't get all the days off - I still have to work most of the days...).

Jérémie Joubert


Hi everybody,

I just recently started getting into Urban Metabolism and found this great community! Very happy to join! I am an assistant professor for Computational Sustainable Design at Chalmers University of Technology. In my PhD I looked at parametric Life Cycle Assessment of buildings in early design phases. Now, I am more working on the neighbourhood scale and also looking at social aspects, next to environmental ones. Hope to learn a lot form all of you!

Alex


Greetings!
Currently I am graduate student at Northeastern University studying global studies/international relations and focusing on international economics and consulting. Throughout my Master’s program I have completed coursework regarding globalization, global politics, the global economy, emerging economies such as the N-11, global literacy, culture, and communication; international peace and conflict, regional studies on Sub-Saharan Africa, multicultural leadership and management, and global social movements specifically focusing on the Black Lives Matter Movement. I have completed research, case studies, and assessments in resilience, wildlife welfare, sustainable development, international conflicts, leadership personnel, and economic forecasting in the disaster planning stage.

Before entering this graduate program, I studied biology and entrepreneurship. After completing my undergraduate studies, I was accepted into the Prepare Colorado/Wyoming AmeriCorps VISTA program, where I developed a support team for the American Red Cross for the Colorado-Wyoming region Disaster Cycle Services Unit. Advancing from VISTA member to VISTA Leader/Coordinator, I oversaw several employees and produced a continuation protocol guide for the work to continue after leaving; ensuring its legacy. In the process of rebuilding the regional program and reestablishing our partnership with the Corporation of National and Community Service, we increased our volunteer base and the effectiveness of all preparedness programs within the organization through the creation of partnerships with local, regional, and national stakeholders. I also advised eight different disaster program managers to hire, train, and retain VISTAs at their respective chapters to help build their local preparedness programs throughout the two-state region. Furthermore, I produced reports for national and congressional levels to document our progress and retain our funding. Overall, I have experience in building program capacity through diverse partnerships, management, retention, and engagement of volunteers/staff. I have built and been involved in preparedness programs, disaster response, recovery processes, mobilizing community partners and stakeholders during disaster responses.

-Laura Kozuszek

Last edited: 2021-11-14 06:53:16.265717+00:00

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