Edited by Matthias Ruth and Brynhildur Davidsdottir
Chapter 11: Futures Scenarios of Industrial Ecosystems: A Research Design for Transportation Planning
Paul Beavis, John A. Black, James Lennox, Graham M. Turner and Stephen J. Moore 11.1 INTRODUCTION A challenge in assessing the performance of industrial ecosystems is to consider how short-term efficiency gains reconcile with effective long-term sustainability outcomes. Each industrial ecosystem makes an imprint on the anthroposphere. This imprint may be termed its peculiar system format. We must assess whether the set of processes, characteristic of the industrial ecosystem, map to outcomes of reduced resource intensity of use and environmental impacts in the long term. In materials accounting, this is a significant imponderable, due to complex physical dynamics in interaction with other industrial ecosystems, underpinned by behavioral changes. This is demonstrated in the research of impediments to achieving sustained dematerialization (Fischer-Kowalski and Amann 2001). The transportation and land use activity also requires design techniques to address this predicament. For instance, technical gains in automobile fuel efficiency may be undermined if this induces increased travel on a network. A tractable modeling framework would deal with uncertainty in evaluating the possible tension between efficiency and effectiveness across timescales and industry sectors of certain stocks and their flows. Consequently, in a long-term context, this uncertainty is not only about the technical and sociological solutions to current problems but also about the ignorance of what to study and what programs to enact for future corrections to biophysical relations which may otherwise lead to emerging non-sustainability. We may term this process ‘sketch planning the future’, which involves a framework of building interacting scenarios based on...
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