Space-time information analysis for resource-conscious urban planning and design: A stakeholder based identification of urban metabolism data gaps

The research presented here examined at which spatial and temporal resolution urban metabolism should be analysed to generate results that are useful for implementation of urban planning and design interventions aiming at optimization of resource flows. Moreover, it was researched whether a lack of data currently hampers analysing resource flows at this desired level of detail. To facilitate a stakeholder based research approach, the SIRUP tool – “Space-time Information analysis for Resource-conscious Urban Planning” – was developed. The tool was applied in a case study of Amsterdam, focused on the investigation of energy and water flows. Results show that most urban planning and design interventions envisioned in Amsterdam require information on a higher spatiotemporal resolution than the resolution of current urban metabolism analyses, i.e., more detailed than the city level and at time steps smaller than a year. Energy-related interventions generally require information on a higher resolution than water-related interventions. Moreover, for the majority of interventions information is needed on a higher resolution than currently available. For energy, the temporal resolution of existing data proved inadequate, for water, data with both a higher spatial and temporal resolution is required. Modelling and monitoring techniques are advancing for both water and energy and these advancements are likely to contribute to closing these data gaps in the future. These advancements can also prove useful in developing new sorts of urban metabolism analyses that can provide a systemic understanding of urban resource flows and that are tailored to urban planning and design.

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