Urban District Energy Futures: A Dynamic Material Flow Analysis (MFA) Model

With more than half the world population now urbanised, urban metabolism – defined as the throughput and transformation of material and energy flows to sustain human life in urban settlements – is responsible for consuming the majority of global resources and the impact that this has on the environment. The identification, quantification and analysis of the main stocks and flows of energy and matter can support decision-making for a more sustainable urban resource use. Material Flow Analysis (MFA) is a method that has been widely used to study the metabolism of anthropogenic systems at a variety of scales. Yet the scale of the urban district has been addressed only scarcely. Often an established municipal unit for the purpose of planning, decision making and implementation, it is this district scale which is the subject of our study. In this we first present a mathematical MFA model (MMFA) for the simulation of energy and matter flows within our chosen urban district (Matthäus, Basle). We then go on to describe how this model was calibrated to this district. Various scenarios (with a special focus on energy) for the future optimisation of this status quo are discussed. We conclude by suggesting some promising strategies for the more sustainable development of Matthäus during the next fifteen years.

Published in:
CISBAT 2007, 585-590
Presented at:
CISBAT 2007, Lausanne, 4-5 September 2007
Lausanne, EPFL

 Record created 2007-10-22, last modified 2018-03-17

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