Metabolic flows and infrastructure transitions
This project examines the prospects for reducing resource consumption and waste flows through the transformation of infrastructure networks in the Gauteng City-Region (GCR). The need for such an assessment arises from the realisation that city-regions can no longer continue to grow while assuming unlimited resources. The study will involve tracking the throughput of water, energy, biomass (food and non-food), waste and if possible other materials in economic and human activities in the GCR, as well as analysing the infrastructure that conducts flows of these inputs and waste outputs into, around and out of the city-region. While government has previously commissioned investigations into the state of environment or the state of energy in the province or its parts, this study will – for the first time – provide an overall picture of total resource consumption and waste outputs, giving clear guidance on how to effect an infrastructure transition to increase efficiency and sustainability of the GCR.
- Collection, loading and formatting of the required data for each component of a systems-dynamic model of metabolic flows in the GCR;
- Preliminary quantitative estimation of metabolic flows for the GCR;
- Contributes to a jointly co-ordinated Sustainability Institute, African Centre for Cities & GCRO book entitled “Sustainable urban transitions and governance”.
This is a three year project that started in 2011/2012 and will end in 2013/2014.
Outputs in 2012/13
Three book chapters with the following titles:
- Conceptual foundations and approaches to urban metabolism assessment
- Towards assessing the metabolism of and infrastructure transitions in the Gauteng City-Region
- Head in the clouds? Reflections on managing storm-water as a resource in the Gauteng City-Region
- MS Access / Excel database for metabolic flows
- An integrated method’s statement analyzing challenges, and clarifying choices made and approaches taken in, the data collection process, published as a GCRO Occasional Paper