Optimizing Urban Material Flows and Waste Streams in Urban Development through Principles of Zero Waste and Sustainable Consumption
AbstractBeyond energy efficiency, there are now urgent challenges around the supply of resources, materials, energy, food and water. After debating energy efficiency for the last decade, the focus has shifted to include further resources and material efficiency. In this context, urban farming has emerged as a valid urban design strategy, where food is produced and consumed locally within city boundaries, turning disused sites and underutilized public space into productive urban landscapes and community gardens. Furthermore, such agricultural activities allow for effective composting of organic waste, returning nutrients to the soil and improving biodiversity in the urban environment. Urban farming and resource recovery will help to feed the 9 billion by 2050 (predicted population growth, UN-Habitat forecast 2009). This paper reports on best practice of urban design principles in regard to materials flow, material recovery, adaptive re-use of entire building elements and components (‘design for disassembly’; prefabrication of modular building components), and other relevant strategies to implement zero waste by avoiding waste creation, reducing wasteful consumption and changing behaviour in the design and construction sectors. The paper touches on two important issues in regard to the rapid depletion of the world’s natural resources: the built environment and the education of architects and designers (both topics of further research). The construction and demolition (C&D) sector: Prefabricated multi-story buildings for inner-city living can set new benchmarks for minimizing construction wastage and for modular on-site assembly. Today, the C&D sector is one of the main producers of waste; it does not engage enough with waste minimization, waste avoidance and recycling. Education and research: It’s still unclear how best to introduce a holistic understanding of these challenges and to better teach practical and affordable solutions to architects, urban designers, industrial designers, and so on. How must urban development and construction change and evolve to automatically embed sustainability in the way we design, build, operate, maintain and renew/recycle cities? One of the findings of this paper is that embedding zero-waste requires strong industry leadership, new policies and effective education curricula, as well as raising awareness (through research and education) and refocusing research agendas to bring about attitudinal change and the reduction of wasteful consumption.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.
Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.mdpi.com/
urban waste streams; material flow; closed-loop urban metabolism; zero waste concept; resource recovery; recycling and reuse; reducing consumption; product stewardship; waste avoidance; changing behavior; adaptive re-use of buildings;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
- Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
- Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
- Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
- Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
- Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
- O13 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (XML Conversion Team).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.