Urban Metabolism in China Achieving Dematerialization and Decarbonization in Suzhou

Urban metabolism is a critical component of urban sustainability. On the basis of the driving force−pressure−state−response (DPSR) model and using material flow analysis, this article proposes a framework for sustainable urban management and policy assessment. A case study city in China, Suzhou, illustrates this framework. The results show that resource consumption (excluding water), water consumption, and waste generation (excluding carbon dioxide) in Suzhou after implementation of proposed policies will be 14% lower than 2005 levels, 4.5% higher, and 28.9% higher, respectively, in 2015. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Suzhou will increase by 71.0% in 2015 over 2005 levels, whereas carbon intensity (CO2 emissions per unit of gross domestic product) will decrease by 44.9%. Future pollution control in Suzhou should pay more attention to pollution from vehicles. In addition, goals for relative dematerialization of energy and decarbonization in Suzhou will be achieved before absolute ones are. In the short term, the urban metabolism of Suzhou in 2015 may meet corresponding urban objectives. In the longer term, however, reducing the city's resource demand and waste generation will pose challenges for the sustainability of Suzhou.

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