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Emergy-Based City’s Sustainability and Decoupling Assessment: Indicators, Features and Findings

Author

Listed:
  • Liming Zhang

    () (Key Lab of Pollution Ecology and Environmental Engineering, Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 10016, China
    Institute of Applied Ecology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 19A Yuquan Road, Beijing 100049, China)

  • Bing Xue

    () (Key Lab of Pollution Ecology and Environmental Engineering, Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 10016, China)

  • Yong Geng

    () (Key Lab of Pollution Ecology and Environmental Engineering, Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 10016, China)

  • Wanxia Ren

    () (Key Lab of Pollution Ecology and Environmental Engineering, Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 10016, China)

  • Chengpeng Lu

    () (Key Lab of Pollution Ecology and Environmental Engineering, Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 10016, China)

Abstract

Decoupling human well-being and local economic growth from resources consumption and environmental degradation has been recognized as a common vision to meet global sustainability. This paper taking Shenyang city as studied case aims to measure the decoupling process by proposing a set of new emergy-based and efficiency-oriented indicators. Decoupling process was verified in period of 1995–2010, and five new indicators including economic efficiency, the environmental pressure, the emergy-based five-year yield efficiency, the investment cost for decoupling, and the job-opportunities cost for decoupling were developed and applied. The results indicate that decoupling in Shenyang shows an erratic appearance, the trajectory of economic growth, and environmental pressure show absolute decoupling, while that of economic growth and resources utilization shows frequentative bending; emergy-based economic efficiency has been improved and the environmental pressure decreased along with the economic growth but the relative job cost per unit remains almost at the same level. However, this isolated and methodology-oriented case study provided the open-mind understandings to policy-making, thus, a wider scale comparison between different cities should be carried out for more knowledge mining.

Suggested Citation

  • Liming Zhang & Bing Xue & Yong Geng & Wanxia Ren & Chengpeng Lu, 2014. "Emergy-Based City’s Sustainability and Decoupling Assessment: Indicators, Features and Findings," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(2), pages 1-15, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:6:y:2014:i:2:p:952-966:d:33199
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sjöström, Magnus & Östblom, Göran, 2010. "Decoupling waste generation from economic growth -- A CGE analysis of the Swedish case," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(7), pages 1545-1552, May.
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    7. Bringezu, Stefan & Schutz, Helmut & Steger, Soren & Baudisch, Jan, 2004. "International comparison of resource use and its relation to economic growth: The development of total material requirement, direct material inputs and hidden flows and the structure of TMR," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1-2), pages 97-124, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Chengpeng Lu & Bing Xue & Chenyu Lu & Ting Wang & Lu Jiang & Zilong Zhang & Wanxia Ren, 2016. "Sustainability Investigation of Resource-Based Cities in Northeastern China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(10), pages 1-16, October.
    2. Zilong Zhang & Xingpeng Chen & Peter Heck, 2014. "Emergy-Based Regional Socio-Economic Metabolism Analysis: An Application of Data Envelopment Analysis and Decomposition Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(12), pages 1-21, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    decoupling; ecological indicator; sustainability assessment; emergy approach;

    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, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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