Building urban planning for a sustainable future through urban metabolism

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
In the last years, we have been tackling such challenges as rapid population growth, increased materials and energy consumption, growing resource scarcity, climate change, loss of biodiversity, increasing social inequality and poverty (Bina et al., 2016). Cities are the centre of all these challenges, as world population is more and more urban: some 70% of the world's population in 2050 will live in cities (UNDESA, 2015). As a consequence, the combination of urbanization and sustainability results one of the crucial challenges of the coming years (Girardet, 2003; Agudelo-Vera et al., 2011; Musco, 2011). Understanding the relationship between the city planning, urban life style, and the availability of necessary environmental, social and economic resources, is only the first step to build a sustainable and resilient future. City and urban planning become respectively a place and a privileged tool for achieving these two goals (Bulkeley & Betsill, 2003; Pickett et al., 2013). In recent decades, Urban Sustainability (US) and Urban Resilience (UR) have been two concepts widely studied, both theoretically (WCED, 1987; Jabareen, 2008) and practically (Jabareen, 2006; Jabareen, 2013; James, 2015). However, despite the world scientific community shares a number of issues regarding the achievement and development of sustainable and resilient cities (for example: integrated approach and management, green cities, dense and compact cities, use of renewable energy sources, equity and participation, etc.), it has not yet defined a unique methodological framework. In this regard, in recent years, a series of studies have been developed on the Urban Metabolism (UM), which could represent the nexus able to develop an integrated approach to planning, capable of contributing to the achievement of both US and UR (Kennedy et al., 2011; Thomson & Newman, 2017), also in ecological terms. Nevertheless, these studies remain very generic in connecting UM with spatial planning, and in most cases dealing only with very specific themes like energy and transport (Pincetl et al., 2012).
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
All rights reserved