Development of Metabolism of Islands

During the month of October 2018, one of Metabolism of Cities’ co-founders, Paul Hoekman, visited the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. The goal of this trip was to work together with Simron Singh at the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, on the development of a new sibling website called Metabolism of Islands.

Simron Singh, co-founder of the Waterloo Industrial Ecology Group, has done extensive work on island metabolism and his research group is actively involved in research projects in a number of mostly Caribbean islands.

Metabolism of Cities has always been an open source platform, sharing both the source code of the website and the content under a creative commons license. This also meant that the system is available for other industrial ecology groups to be adapted to their own needs.

During the Waterloo visit, the foundations were laid for the new website platform, currently under active development, to become a multi-scale system. With the integration of this new data platform, called MultipliCity, a detailed level of material flows, stocks, and infrastructure data can be recorded within the website. However, while this is done for urban systems at the Metabolism of Cities website, the underlying data structure can also be re-used and applied to other systems, like islands.

Technical modifications were made during the month of October to run the two websites alongside each other, while using the same underlying database. This allows for sharing of a number of resources, including information on publications and authors, as well as datasets that may overlap (for instance, Hong Kong is both an island and a city).

During the coming months, work on the new sibling site, Metabolism of Islands, will continue in collaboration with Simron Singh and his research group at Waterloo. Data and information from a number of islands will be loaded into the system. The website is scheduled to go live in March 2019.

Metabolism of Cities would like to thank Simron Singh for this collaboration and for spearheading the development of this sibling website!