Exploring the relationship between Melbourne's water metabolism and urban characteristics

Cities can be seen as complex urban systems that mobilise local and global resource flows to meet the needs of their inhabitants and their manufacturing sector. However, the local consumption of resources can be responsible for major local and global environmental changes that impact the human health and wellbeing inside and outside of the boundary of the urban system. With global urban population expected to continue to grow, the mitigation of further future environmental pressures from urban consumption is of critical importance. The complexity of the interrelationships between the local social, political, cultural, economic and environmental facets of a city as well as the interrelationship between these local characteristics and urban consumption, dictate that each city will have a different set of parameters that drive urban consumption. This research will investigate this issue by exploring the relationship between Melbourne's water metabolism and its urban characteristics. In practice, this study will correlate the spatially disaggregated water use of Melbourne with local factors such as demography, average income, territorial organisation, etc. It will then be possible to identify which urban characteristics have the greatest influence on water use and ultimately help to inform the development and implementation of the most appropriate and best targeted policies for reducing water use across Melbourne Metropolitan Area.

Conference: State of Australian Cities Conference 2015 At: Gold Coast

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