- Publications & Research
- Publication #127
Materials use across world regions
- Materials use across world regions
- Helga Weisz
- Heinz Schandl
- Journal Article
Journal of Industrial Ecology, Volume 12, Pages 629--636
- In our understanding, important areas for future
scientific investigation are:
Improving the understanding of resource
use governance for integrated economic-
environmental policies at different scales.
Improving our understanding of the func-
tional linkages and trade-offs between ma-
terial, energy, water, and land use.
Linking these dimensions of the societal
metabolism to economic models in order
to be able to run socio-metabolic scenarios
for the future.
Strengthening and harmonizing metabolic
analysis and models beyond the national
scale. An urban metabolic perspective is
especially important here.
50% of the world population is urban
(United Nations 2008), while 70% of the
world’s energy is consumed in urban areas
(Global Energy Assessment 2008). Accord-
ing to UN projections, the urban popu-
lation will continue to rise, while the ru-
ral population will stagnate in the medium
term. This means the metabolic future of
our planet will be determined by the urban
Understanding the stocks and flows dynam-
ics of the material system, at different scales
and for different materials. Most important
here is to investigate and quantify the role
of infrastructures and urban form in deter-
Agreeing on a harmonized approach for
assessing dematerialization. Because inter-
national trade has been the most rapidly
growing component of resource use, de-
materialization measures need to incorpo-
rate indirect (embodied) flows
the primary resources and emissions arising
from a country’s consumption pattern.
Focusing on strategic materials and their
supply-demand chains as well as their re-
gional economic, social and environmental
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