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Applying Industrial Ecology to Industrial Parks: An Economic and Environmental Analysis


  • Sheila A. Martin

    (Research Triangle Institute)

  • Robert A. Cushman

    (Durham GIS Department)

  • Keith A. Weitz

    (Research Triangle Institute)

  • Aarti Sharma

    (Research Triangle Institute)

  • Richard C. Lindrooth

    (Northwestern University)


Industrial ecology (IE) is an emerging framework for characterizing relationships between businesses and analyzing their economic and environmental performance. By applying the principles of IE, members of eco-industrial parks (EIPs) pursue improvements in their economic efficiency while reducing the environmental burden of their production activities. This article discusses the potential of EIPs for improving economic and environmental performance and presents a methodology for developing and analyzing potential EIPs. The methodology is applied to a prototype EIP based on companies in Brownsville, Texas, and Matamoros, Mexico. The potential for improved economic performance can be an important draw for public and private developers trying to populate an EIF, and this study shows that these benefits are attainable. We conclude with a discussion of the conditions necessary for successful EIPs in the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Sheila A. Martin & Robert A. Cushman & Keith A. Weitz & Aarti Sharma & Richard C. Lindrooth, 1998. "Applying Industrial Ecology to Industrial Parks: An Economic and Environmental Analysis," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 12(3), pages 218-237, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ecdequ:v:12:y:1998:i:3:p:218-237
    DOI: 10.1177/089124249801200304

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    Cited by:

    1. Frank Boons & Wouter Spekkink & Wenting Jiao, 2014. "A Process Perspective on Industrial Symbiosis," Journal of Industrial Ecology, Yale University, vol. 18(3), pages 341-355, May.
    2. David Gibbs, 2003. "Trust and Networking in Inter-firm Relations: the Case of Eco-industrial Development," Local Economy, London South Bank University, vol. 18(3), pages 222-236, August.

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