Cities are responsible for nearly 80% of global energy consumption as cities act of the central for business and economic growth. More than half of the world’s population now live in cities and predictions show the urban population is approaching 5 billion people by the year 2030. The increasing demands for energetic and landmass resources draws concerns about sustainability of urban settlements. Sustainable developments have become a major challenge with the issues of resources depletion and emission-related pollution in urban areas.
The paradigm of ‘Urban Metabolism’ has been advocated as a valuable framework for understanding urbanisation and its consequences. It is used to explore the relation between cities morphology and their socio-economic characteristics based on analogy with the metabolism of an organism. Various models have been developed to study the input and output of materials (flows and stocks) between the city and its surrounding environment.
The purpose is to develop a robust conceptual framework that describes the metabolic characteristics of a city such as resources use, energy consumption and waste emissions that intersect with the spatial and economic dimensions of the city. It provides a foundation for urban planning and environmental policy making.