Urban metabolism in policy and practice

A global discussion

Urban metabolism is an academic field with significant potential to influence urban development and policy. Urban metabolism methodologies have long been used to better understand resource requirements and impacts in cities, for instance through material flow or ecological footprint analyses. With the surging interest in circular economy, urban metabolism (and other industrial ecology principles) may be able to play a pivotal role in providing a rigorous scientific foundation to sustainability transformations. However, a fundamental yet unanswered question is how urban metabolism principles can be translated to on-the-ground interventions, policy recommendations, or other tools that directly influence and improve urban sustainability.

In a collaboration between Metabolism of Cities and local partners, three different one-day seminar events will be organised in 2019. During this event conversations, presentations, and discussions will take place with a focus on the host city and how urban metabolism practices could be better applied in this city. During this day we will look at the challenges, the ambitions, and the opportunities that exist in each city, and we aim to bring together a variety of people from government, academia, and practice. We will be focusing on getting a more systematic understanding of the local city's resources and the relationship between different resources and how they flow through the city, with a specific focus on locally specific environmental challenges.

The events will take place in Cape Town (May 2019), Beijing (July 2019) and Brussels (November 2019). This seminar series is funded by the Urban Studies Foundation.

Cape Town
South Africa

May 9, 2019

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July 6, 2019

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November 26, 2019

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This seminar series is supported by a Seminar Series Award from the Urban Studies Foundation.