2015/07/09 09:00 Chris Kennedy, “Industrial Ecology and Cities”, ISIE, U. Surrey

Plenary talk by Chris Kennedy, U. of Toronto, at “Taking Stock of Industrial Ecology”, 8th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Industrial Ecology, University of Surrey, Guildford, July 7-10, 2015

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker’s presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship by David Ing.

Plenary talks for ISIE 2015 are by contributors to an open access volume, Taking Stock of Industrial Ecology, available online as open access e-book from Springer in fall 2015.  See the table of contents and the Springer book description.


Chris Kennedy is Professor, Civil Engineering at the U. of Toronto, and President of the International Society for Industrial Ecology

[Chris Kennedy]

Minnesota Experimental City 1966-1973

  • No waste
  • Excluding industry
  • Guideway for cars
  • Water recycled
  • Buildings modular that could be reused
  • Fossil-fuel-free, maybe nuclear (not clear)
  • Otto Silhart, supported by vp Hubert Humphrey, Buckminister Fuller
  • Athelstan Spilhaus, South Africa, Woods Hole, dean of U. Minnesota Institute of Technology, comic strip, president of AAAS (1968 article in Science)
  • Waste is a something we don’t know how to use yet
  • Industrial symbiosis
  • None of this was done, came to nothing, a utopian vision
  • For 250,000 people, no more, no less
  • 1971 Minnesota governor created a center for tis

Looking back on IE for work on cities

  • Gradel and Allenby 1995 two paragraphs

Ernie Lowe’s book:  Discovering Industrial Ecology

  • Was talking with urban planners

Allenby 1999:  “sustainable communities” yet science has yet to understand meaning

Andrews 2002:  prescriptive IE … until grand visions tempered .. they will be a poor basis for public decisions

Scopus search:  IE and cities, city, urban or urbanization

  • Gradual increase in JIE keyword to 2006
  • Then from 2007 increase in title-abstract-keyword
  • 212 papers, remove some in industrial eco parks just happening to be in cities

Urban metabolism emerged as research separate from industrial metabolism

  • Both are parts of socio-economic metabolism

Scopus study:  urban metabolism or metabolism of cities

  • Wolman 1965 off chart, then 1994, and 1999 start rise
  • Human Studies 1999

Future directions:

  • Understand the environment impact of the urban metabolism and pursue plans to reduce them
  • Similar to Experimental Cities, but needs to be tempered

Electric City:

  • Decarbonization, electric vehicles
  • Making cities resilient to climate change

Key threshold for electrification associated with carbon intensity of electric, different below 600 than above 60

Urban scale industrial symbiosis, e.g. van Berkel Fujita Hashimoto Fujii

Bristow & Kennedy, JIE 2015 doi:10.1111/jiec.12239 :  What would rebound effect be?

  • Urbanization leads to increased energy use
  • If we build more cities, will we increase energy use?

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