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|Including Urban Metabolism Principles in Decision-Making: A Methodology for Planning Waste and Resource Management Circular economy and urban metabolism concepts have recently received great attention both in the political and academic arenas, starting a roll-over process of the “take, make, and dispose” dominant economic model that is leading to an ongoing increase of resource consumption and waste generation. However, there is a relative lack of guidelines for introducing such concepts in a decision-making process able to support the design of appropriate policies and strategies and the definition of specific actions to cope with such challenges. This paper attempts to contribute to the recent efforts at incorporating these concepts in policy and decision-making processes by providing a methodology for the development of strategic plans for waste prevention and resource management. The proposed methodology, developed within the Urban_WINS project, combines different quantitative–analytical and qualitative methods and tools, together with a participatory process. The methodology was tested in eight EU cities and allowed to formulate several measures and actions aimed at addressing the challenges posed by the current consumption patterns. Moreover, the participatory approach led to the legitimization of the strategic plans, as well as to raise awareness among stakeholders. Although it might require specific tailor-made adjustments, this methodology is suitable to be replicated in other contexts.||Including Urban Metabolism Principles in Decision-Making: A Methodology for Planning ...||Davide Longato, Giulia Lucertini, Michele Dalla Fontana, Francesco Musco||Journal Article||2019||
|Circular economy. The Municipality of The Hague Circular construction pilot in The Hague. Results and conclusions.||Circular economy. The Municipality of The Hague||The Municipality of The Hague||Report||2017||
|Towards more comprehensive urban environmental assessments: exploring the complex relationship between urban and metabolic profiles Urban areas cover 2% of the Earth's land surface, host more than 50% of global population and are estimated to account for around 75% of CO2 emissions from global energy use. In order to mitigate existing and future direct and indirect environmental pressures resulting from urban resource use, it is necessary to investigate and better understand resource and pollution flows associated with urban systems. Current urban environmental assessment methodologies enable the quantification of resource use and pollution emissions flows entering, becoming stocked and exiting urban areas. While these methodologies enable to estimate the environmental effect of cities, they often consider urban areas as being static and homogeneous systems. This partial and simplistic representation shadows the complex spatio-temporal interrelationships between the local context and its associated local and global environmental pressures. This characterisation of urban systems is a significant limitation, not only for the urban environmental assessments, but also for the identification of their drivers as it may lead to inadequate urban environmental policies. To overcome this limitation and effectively reduce glocal urban environmental pressures, it is necessary to better understand the complex functioning of cities and identify their drivers. This research developed a comprehensive urban environmental assessment framework that helps to better explicit and understand the complex relationship between an urban system and its environmental profile in a systemic and systematic way. This framework was applied to the case study of Brussels Capital Region (BCR). Results from the application of this framework show that urban systems are neither static nor homogeneous. In fact, different relationships between the urban and metabolic profiles appear when considering different spatial scales and temporal intervals as well as different urban and metabolic metrics. The establishment of BCR's urban profile showed that components that shape the urban system evolve in an organic way over time. Moreover, the spatial expression of an urban system portrays its heterogeneous aspect and how different metrics of the same urban indicator can reveal distinct facets and challenges for an urban area or a neighbourhood. Finally, it was demonstrated that the relationship between urban indicators is different for each spatial scale and therefore knowledge from one spatial scale is not necessarily transferable from one scale to another. The establishment and analysis of BCR's metabolic profile also underlined the complex functioning of cities as each flow has a different temporal evolution and spatial expression. Due to the multifaceted and intertwined aspect of metabolic flows it becomes clear that no single parameter enables to explain or predict their behaviour. This leads to the conclusion that a great number of questions still need to be considered, understood and answered before effectively and coherently reducing environmental pressures from cities. The developed framework proposes a number of concrete steps that enable existing and new cities to better understand their metabolic functioning and ultimately transition towards less environmentally harmful futures.||Towards more comprehensive urban environmental assessments: exploring the complex relationship ...||Aristide Athanassiadis||Thesis||2016||
Economy-Wide Material Flow Analysis (EW MFA)
Imports and Exports
Material Stock Analysis
Single point in time
|Material Flow Analysis for a Circular Economy Development: A Material Stock Quantification Method of Urban Civil Infrastructures with a Case Study of PVC in an Amsterdam Neighbourhood Massive material flows that are mostly originating from the lithosphere are entering the cities, adding to and shaping the stock of the built environment. Due to concerns with material resource scarcity and the finiteness of virgin materials, resources will have to be measured and tracked. As a result of insufficient data on (average) civil infrastructure material usage and a lack of appropriate means for its determination, a four step methodology, termed Citymass, was created to fill this gap. By analysing the urban tissue, the quantity of different civil infrastructure typologies (buildings, water networks etc.) and their material composition and amounts can be assessed (with technical drawings, if necessary). Thereby, it enables the quantification and localisation of built environment stocks with a bottom-up model. The methodology was applied for a first validation or more so an illustration of its application to polyvinyl chloride (PVC) stock as a building material in Merkelbach, an Amsterdam neighbourhood of 0.013 km². It showed that the assessable stock consisted of underground water pipes and data cable protection pipes and totalled in 3,618 kg PVC, or 0.28 kg/m². In order to address the resource scarcity issue, it was further examined if the PVC outflows could be predicted, applied in the three circular economy loops and eventually connected with the inflows in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (AMA). It was concluded that PVC outflows can be predicted with a calculation method based on the (material) lifetime of the object or with an estimation from the share of PVC of C&D waste. Based on best practices and the principles of the circular economy (CE) it was found that even though the material can be reused and recycled within the AMA, PVC products in their current state do not have a place in the circular economy. By analysing the stock and predicting the outflows, the material flow analysis (MFA) is complemented and provided with a smart way of data generation. This method is facilitated over time as more case studies and validations aid in building up a database for average material usages per typologies. Moreover, it creates a bridge between MFA and CE where the latter provides a sense of purpose and direction to the analysis, which in turn generates transformational knowledge for a transition to a restorative future.||Material Flow Analysis for a Circular Economy Development: A Material ...||Carolin Bellstedt||Thesis||2015||
Single point in time
Substance Flow Analysis (SFA)