Urban metabolism in policy and practice: a global discussion

Paul Hoekman and Dr. Aristide Athanassiadis

Funding period: 1 May 2019 – 1 November 2019
Type of funding: Seminar Series

Host institutions: University of Cape Town (South Africa), Tsinghua University (Beijing, China), Université Libre de Bruxelles (Brussels, Belgium)
Date: May 2019 (Cape Town), July, 2019 (Beijing), October 2019 (Brussels)
Lead organisers: Paul Hoekman (Metabolism of Cities) and Dr. Aristide Athanassiadis (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
Contact: Paul Hoekman

Abstract: 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.

Circular metabolism podcast

In collaboration with local partners, and funded by the Urban Studies Foundation, Metabolism of Cities organises a three-part seminar series in 2019 to further the debate around the uptake of urban metabolism in policy and practice. The seminars will each be full-day events (1 day) and will take place in Cape Town (South Africa), Beijing (China) and Brussels (Belgium). Each event will be structured in a similar way and involve city officials, practitioners, and academics. The seminars will have a strongly local content, but lessons and insights from every location will be shared at each subsequent seminar.

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