Environmental sustainability assessment of urban systems applying coupled urban metabolism and life cycle assessment

Morten Birkved, Benjamin Paul Goldstein

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    The necessity of assessing and addressing the environmental sustainability of urban systems is becoming increasingly relevant due to growing urbanization across the globe, higher consumption in urban systems and related competition for finite resource stocks. In this study we present how fused urban metabolism (UM) and life cycle assessment (LCA) can be applied to assess the sustainability of urban system, taking into account up- and downstream activities directly or indirectly linked to the metabolism of urban systems. Further we apply the fused UM-LCA approach to assess the absolute environmental sustainability of large urban systems by relating the environmental sustainability performance of urban systems with global environmental burden boundaries quantifying pollution thresholds beyond which performance of global ecosystems services may be detrimentally affected.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the Sustainable Buildings - Construction Products and Technologies : Collection of Full Papers
    EditorsKarl Höfler, Peter Maydl, Alexander Passer
    Number of pages12
    PublisherVerlag der Technischen Universität Graz
    Publication date2013
    ISBN (Print)978-3-85125-301-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    EventSustainable Building Conference 2013 - Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria
    Duration: 25 Sep 201328 Sep 2013


    ConferenceSustainable Building Conference 2013
    LocationGraz University of Technology

    Bibliographical note

    Presented Thursday Sep. 26th 2013 at the Sustainable Building Conference 2013, Graz, Austria.
    Full paper also available in Proceedings of the SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS – CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS & TECHNOLOGIES Collection of Full Papers pp. 521-532.


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