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Journal Articles Journal of Industrial Ecology Year : 2023

Drivers of urban metabolism: Toward a framework for urban transformations

Les moteurs du métabolisme urbain : Vers un cadre pour les transformations urbaines


The environmental and social crises in cities call for radical future visions that can incite transformative change. Yet, urban metabolism research typically adopts an explanatory, retrospective approach to the drivers of urban flows and stocks, resulting in conservative, business‐as‐usual future outlooks. In this study, we present the results of a narrative literature review on drivers and futures of urban metabolism, and consequently use these results to propose and apply a framework that can be used by researchers (i) to systematically identify the drivers of urban metabolism, and (ii) to critically engage with these drivers for the development of transformative future visions. The framework comprises seven thematic categories of drivers (demographic, economic, cultural, political, technological, environmental, and infrastructural) and an eighth category (power) to be used as the lens through which the interactions between drivers, activities, and flows in the city are critically examined. Applying the framework to the case study of biowaste management in Rennes, France, we found it useful for the systematic identification of often overseen drivers. The proposed framework, allowing for a combined analysis of flows and drivers, can become a useful tool toward a solution‐oriented urban metabolism research.
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hal-04198047 , version 1 (06-09-2023)





Anastasia Papangelou, Jean‐baptiste Bahers, Lynda Aissani. Drivers of urban metabolism: Toward a framework for urban transformations. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 2023, ⟨10.1111/jiec.13435⟩. ⟨hal-04198047⟩
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