Exploring urban metabolism—Towards an interdisciplinary perspective

The discussion on urban metabolism has been long dominated by natural scientists focussing on natural forces shaping the energy and material flows in urban systems. However, in the anthropocene human forces such as industrialization and urbanization are mobilizing people, goods and information at an increasing pace and as such have a large impact on urban energy and material flows. In this white paper, we develop a combined natural and social science perspective on urban metabolism. More specifically, innovative conceptual and methodological interdisciplinary approaches are identified and discussed to enhance the understanding of the forces that shape urban metabolism, and how these forces affect urban living and the environment. A challenging research agenda on urban metabolism is also presented.

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