Urban Metabolism of Six Asian Cities
A streamlined urban metabolism approach based on material flow analyses was applied to six Asian cities—Bangalore, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, Seoul and Shanghai. This approach provides a better understanding of how the use of natural resources correlates with urban economic activities, and has the potential to make a major contribution to the design of sustainable urban systems and infrastructure. The urban metabolism framework maps the activities of cities from their consumption of materials, the different activities associated with those processes, and the wastes produced. Information generated provides a diagnostic tool for identifying high waste generating or inefficient activities and identifying potential points of policy intervention. The streamlined approach surmounts the lack of city level data, which is often cited as the most significant limitation preventing material flow analysis at the city level. Extension of the methodology to cover more cities can contribute toward creating benchmarks for city typologies.