An application of system dynamics for evaluating planning alternatives to guide a green industrial transformation in a resource-based city

A number of resource-based cities have suffered from unsustainable industrial pathways and aggravated environmental devastation. For such types of cities, especially in developing countries, it is imperative to launch a green industrial transformation that calls for considering more alternatives that involve environmental concerns in the planning process. This study aims to develop a system dynamics model for evaluating different planning alternatives concerning three prominent factors: industrial scale, structure, and efficiency; the findings are expected to assist decision-makers with a wider perspective in retrofitting the industrial system. Linfen, a typical Chinese resource-based city, is taken as a case. The results showed that compared with structure adjustment and technical progress, scale control should be taken as the foremost transformation measure for some cities with more excessive industrial capacities or in even worse environmental situations. For Linfen, the production capacities of its four main industries, i.e., coking, iron making, steel making and coal-power generation, need to be cut down, respectively, by 18.0%, 8.6%, 12.7% and 64.2% compared to the local industrial department's preferred options. Because of its capability to depict sophisticated interactions of environmental issues and industrial factors under diversified circumstances, alternative evaluation with the SD model is of great potential for delivering more integrated knowledge to decision-makers in industrial planning towards green transformation.

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