Can urban metabolism models advance green infrastructure planning? Insights from ecosystem services research
Perrotti, Daniela ; Stremke, Sven - \ 2018
Environment and Planning B - Planning and Design (2018). - ISSN 2399-8083 - 17 p.
climate regulation - Energy metabolism - material flow analysis - nature-based solutions - renewable energy provision
Urban metabolism studies have gained momentum in recent years as a means to assess the environmental performance of cities and to point to more resource-efficient strategies for urban development. Recent literature reviews report a growing number of applications of the industrial ecology model for material flow analysis in the design of the built environment. However, applications of material flow analysis in green infrastructure development are scarce. In this article, we argue that: (i) the use of material flow analysis in green infrastructure practice can inform decision-making towards more resource-efficient urban planning; (ii) the ecosystem service concept is critical to operationalize material flow analysis for green infrastructure planning and design, and, through this, can enhance the impact of urban metabolism research on policy making and planning practice. The article draws from a systematic review of literature on urban ecosystem services and benefits provided by green infrastructure in urban regions. The review focuses on ecosystem services that can contribute to a more energy-efficient and less carbon-intensive urban metabolism. Using the Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services as a baseline, we then discuss opportunities for integrating energy provision and climate regulation ecosystem services in material flow analysis. Our discussion demonstrates that the accounting of ecosystem services in material flow analysis enables expressing impacts of green infrastructure on the urban energy mix (renewable energy provision), the magnitude of energy use (mitigation of building energy demand) and the dynamics of biogeochemical processes in cities (carbon sequestration). We finally propose an expanded model for material flow analysis that illustrates a way forward to integrate the ecosystem service concept in urban metabolism models and to enable their application in green infrastructure planning and design.
Enhanced Performance of the Eurostat Method for Comprehensive Assessment of Urban Metabolism : A Material Flow Analysis of Amsterdam
Voskamp, Ilse M. ; Stremke, Sven ; Spiller, Marc ; Perrotti, Daniela ; Hoek, Jan Peter van der; Rijnaarts, Huub H.M. - \ 2017
Journal of Industrial Ecology 21 (2017)4. - ISSN 1088-1980 - p. 887 - 902.
Amsterdam - Circular economy - Industrial ecology - Resource management - Sustainable city - Urban planning
Sustainable urban resource management depends essentially on a sound understanding of a city's resource flows. One established method for analyzing the urban metabolism (UM) is the Eurostat material flow analysis (MFA). However, for a comprehensive assessment of the UM, this method has its limitations. It does not account for all relevant resource flows, such as locally sourced resources, and it does not differentiate between flows that are associated with the city's resource consumption and resources that only pass through the city. This research sought to gain insights into the UM of Amsterdam by performing an MFA employing the Eurostat method. Modifications to that method were made to enhance its performance for comprehensive UM analyses. A case study of Amsterdam for the year 2012 was conducted and the results of the Eurostat and the modified Eurostat method were compared. The results show that Amsterdam's metabolism is dominated by water flows and by port-related throughput of fossil fuels. The modified Eurostat method provides a deeper understanding of the UM than the urban Eurostat MFA attributed to three major benefits of the proposed modifications. First, the MFA presents a more complete image of the flows in the UM. Second, the modified resource classification presents findings in more detail. Third, explicating throughput flows yields a much-improved insight into the nature of a city's imports, exports, and stock. Overall, these advancements provide a deeper understanding of the UM and make the MFA method more useful for sustainable urban resource management.