Metal capital sustaining a North American city: Iron and copper in New Haven, CT

Journal Article

A detailed inventory shows that an average resident of the City of New Haven depends on a per capita capital stock of 9200 kg/c of iron and 144 kg/c of copper in the city infrastructure, buildings, transportation systems, and equipment. Of the iron stock 28% is in items such as rail cars and ships in ocean trade not permanently within the city, and 22% is devoted to receiving and delivering oil fuel to the city and its surrounding communities. Copper is principally used in the distribution of electric power and in water piping within buildings. The city's 9200 kg/c of iron stock-in-use is less than the 13,000 kg/c national average due to New Haven's lack of heavy industry and relatively small number of large buildings. The 144 kg/c of copper stock-in-use is only 58% of the overall value for the United States, but is comparable to that in cities such as Stockholm, Sweden. Attainment of a level of iron and copper services with contemporary technology in less developed countries to the level enjoyed in New Haven would require consumption of the presently identified world copper resources.

Reference spaces

  • New Haven