Towards sustainable cities: A multicriteria assessment framework for studying urban metabolism
In the last century, the urbanization caused the increase of demand on ecosystem services while altering the ecosystem’s structure and functions. The current trend shows that about 70% of the global population is expected to live in cities by 2050, endangering further both socio-economic and life-support systems. Therefore, the sustainable management of cities and urban areas affects the long-term sustainability of the human economy. In this context, the reductionistic view that cities are mere infrastructures no longer applies. The new systemic perspective views cities as complex socio-ecological systems composed of humans, infrastructures and nature. The growing urban population occupies more land area, thereby generating more emissions. The effect of urban emissions reduces the capacity of natural ecosystems to generate their services and negatively impact human health and well-being. The traditional “black box” urban metabolism models that based on the input of resources and output of wastes and products (GDP produced and population supported) shifted to the network models to uncover the internal structure and processes. In light of this perspective, the resource-efficient urban metabolic system should maintain its structure and functions (health) as a trade-off between the ascendency (an index that quantifies both the level of system activity and the degree of its organization) and overhead (buffer ability against the disturbance from outside the urban boundary). In this study, the traditional urban metabolism method will be integrated with ecological network analysis to develop a multicriteria assessment framework. The ascendency and overhead will be calculated to assess the functioning, organization, and development of the urban carbon metabolic network. Finally, the possible management scenario toward sustainable cities will be developed.
Nov 10, 2018
Jan 31, 2022