- Metabolism of Low Carbon Cities    click here to open paper content65 kb
by    Karakiewicz, Justyna | justynak@unimelb.edu.au   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The use of the concept of metabolism is often used when we talk about sustainability. The paper will define metabolism as a continuous flow of energy and matter, which produce waste, through a network of chemical reaction.
Climate change is widely considered as one of the biggest environmental challenges facing the world today. The pressure has been mounting for the past few years for cities to reduce their carbon footprint and create low carbon cities. And since productivity and utility of land varies to the great degree, around the world, scientists came up with alternative to ecological-footprint called the global hectare. The global hectare is a unit of land needed to produce resources and process the waste. The living Planet Report produced by Global Footprint Network, World Wildlife Fund International and Zoological Society of London in 2006 calculated that each person on Earth consumed the renewable resources of 2.2 global hectares in 2003, however there are only 1.8 global hectares available per person. This clearly shows that dramatic changes need to happen in a very near future. And if cities are central to the problem of ecological crisis, they must be central to its solution.

The paper will illustrate how through viewing the cities as ecological system, and therefore complex adaptive systems we can start to model processes that can help us not only to dramatically reduce the carbon footprint but also improve the quality of life and happiness.

The paper will start with developing ideas around circular metabolism and the idea based on the laws of thermodynamics, which “shows that anything which comes into biological system must pass through and that the amount of waste is therefore dependent on the amount of resources required”. Therefore we can determine how we can manage the waste and how much energy we will need to turn any waste into something useful following the principles of circular metabolism.

We will also try to demonstrate how the entropy factor could be minimized, by making sure that all carbon products, which eventually end up as CO2, can be recycled without enormous energy inputs.
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