Urban metabolism of six Asian cities

The urban metabolism framework maps the activities of cities from their consumption of materials, the different activities associated with those processes, and the wastes produced. Information generated provides a diagnostic tool for identifying high waste generating or inefficient activities and identifying potential points of policy intervention. A streamlined urban metabolism approach based on material flow analyses was applied to six Asian cities—Bangalore, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, Seoul and Shanghai. The streamlined approach surmounts the lack of city level data, which is often cited as the most significant limitation preventing material flow analysis at the city level. Extension of the methodology to cover more cities can contribute towards creating benchmarks for city typologies.