Analysis of Egyptian Cities towards Sustainable Urban Metabolism
With the rapidly growing population and rapidly depleting resources, environmental alteration and urbanization are now being explored as a catalyst for achieving sustainable development. Egypt as one of the highly urbanized developing countries in the African region is trapped with inefficient use of resources especially in urban centers. In the face of these environmental concerns and high density population; cities are increasingly getting overwhelmed by social, economical, ecological, and urban challenges that need to be considered within the dilemma of sustainable urban development and urban growth in developing countries. Moreover, the increased urbanization of urban centers combined with intense energy demands of developing economies with resource consumption; has driven recognition that the study of urban metabolism is central to achieve sustainable development. Cities now consume resources and produce wastes in amounts that are incommensurate with the populations they contain. So, quantifying the environmental impacts of cities is essential if urbanization of the world‟s growing population is to occur sustainably. Also, an integrated understanding of the urban system of new cities and its sustainability synergies is a must in the unprecedented era of urbanization. The concept of urban metabolism and how it is related to urban sustainability isn‟t new in the field of sustainable urban development. However, based on the current research literature published under this umbrella, there is an application gap of urban metabolism analysis in the Middle East region. In this sense, this paper aims at introducing urban metabolism assessment based on material flow analysis (MFA) to provide a more solid understanding of how new Egyptian cities currently work. For the realization of the different strategies and options for sustainable cities in Egypt, a huge amount of material and non-material resources and management should be utilized. Therefore, the development scenarios have to be comprehensively and carefully studied with regards to the criteria for sustainable urban development. Accordingly, the paper will investigate the urban metabolism assessment through material flow accounting to two metropolitan cities in Egypt to estimate current material and energy intensities in relation to densities and how it can affect the future development of these cities towards sustainable urbanization. With this analysis the paper will provide a potential ground for decision making process for highly dense urban centers and introduce current urban consumption patterns for cities in developing regions.
Conference: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technologies, v2.