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Industrial Ecology- Understanding the synergies of climate change responses and business opportunities and the implications for urban designers

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Oliver Heidrich


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Globally, nationally, regionally and at the city level, there are a various efforts to reduce anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to climatic changes. The IPCC negotiations and the Kyoto signatories' annual reports are tracers on the international and national levels. But how the international targets and national commitments are translated in the respective countries and their urban areas is less known. Cities, as one unit of space with a coherent government, are increasingly recognized as being willing actors and dynamic drivers of the climate change adaptation and mitigation. This is can be both a political and commercial concerns, but theories such as industrial ecology and urban metabolism need to enter the debate. Although many terms and terminologies are used, industrial ecology and urban metabolism can help us in understanding the synergies of business and the implications for urban design. This presentation aims to discuss terminologies, limitations and business opportunities of urban development responding to global pressures such as climate change. It will explain the theories and concepts of industrial ecology in urban areas and the metabolism of cities. It provides some background to the drivers and commitments by the UK government and describes trade-offs to global pressures and gives an example of natural resource limitations for a mitigation technology. The presentation describes some international, national and local case studies of industrial ecology using adaptation (flood attenuation) and mitigation (incineration, recycling and communication). It concludes that Industrial ecology and urban metabolism are concepts and theories that should be considered by urban planners and designers. Although sustainable designs, materials, systems are part of the industrial ecology, these concepts and ideas need to be requested by clients; but they need to be enacted by planners, designers and engineers. This presentation provides some examples where industrial ecology may help to understand the synergies of climate change responses and business opportunities and illustrates the implications for urban design and many more case studies and examples do exist.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Heidrich O

Editor(s): Robert Huxford

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: National Conference on Urban Design 2013- The Pursuit of Growth

Year of Conference: 2013

Publisher: Urban Design Group (UDG)