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The Dynamics of Regions and Networks in Industrial Ecosystems

The Dynamics of Regions and Networks in Industrial Ecosystems

Edited by Matthias Ruth and Brynhildur Davidsdottir

Industrial ecology provides a rigorous and comprehensive description of human production and consumption processes in the larger context of environmental and socioeconomic change. This volume offers methodologies for such descriptions, with contributions covering both basic and advanced analytical concepts and tools to explore the dynamics of industrial ecosystems, concentrating specifically on regions and networks.

Chapter 7: Design Approach Frameworks, Regional Metabolism and Scenarios for Sustainability

Tim Baynes, Jim West and Graham M. Turner

Subjects: business and management, organisation studies, economics and finance, industrial organisation, regional economics, transport, environment, ecological economics, environmental sociology, transport, urban and regional studies, regional economics, transport


Tim Baynes, Jim West and Graham M. Turner INTRODUCTION 7.1 As a physical entity, the whole of an urban economy may be considered as an industrial ecosystem; one that exists at several spatial and temporal scales and whose dynamics are affected by population growth and strategic planning among other factors. The long-term (100 years) influence of policy and strategic planning is generally under-represented in such city region industrial ecosystems. The long-term, often indirect, impacts of policy choices have been demonstrated to be of critical importance to the vulnerability or sustainability of a region (Proust 2003). In the following we demonstrate an approach to simulating regional metabolism that addresses the broader implications for sustainability by explicitly incorporating strategic choices in its representation of the physical dynamics of a city region. This is achieved through a computer model framework that incorporates the dynamics of the physical economy of a region and, simultaneously, functions as an integrated historical account of regional metabolism. Importantly, the framework is also a facility whereby decision-makers can use these attributes in combination with expert knowledge or other computer models to simulate and explore the physical implications of long-term strategies. This framework has been constructed using the design approach (Gault et al. 1987). In contrast with some approaches to urban simulation and decision support such as those found in Brail and Klosterman (2001), the decision-maker is employed as an integral part of the mechanism by which simulations of the future are calculated. The example here is the study area...

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