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Implications of systems integration at the urban level: the case of Hammarby Sjostad, Stockholm
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Industrial Ecology.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Industrial Ecology.
2013 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 48, 220-231 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Systems integration is a trend in the quest for increased environmental performance in urban districts, yet its implications are not yet fully known. Hammarby Sjostad is a district in Stockholm, Sweden, designed with high environmental ambitions. These ambitions were later expressed in the Hammarby Model, an integrated infrastructural system aiming to minimize the metabolic flows of the district by closing its material and energy flows. Various integrated systems were already present in Stockholm when discussions began around the development of the Hammarby Model. Using a conceptual framework inspired by transition theory, this paper analyses the process of designing and building the Hammarby Model. Our aim is to create a better understanding of the implications of systems integration at the urban district level. The findings of the study show that systems integration may both enable and constrain further innovation. On one hand, integration facilitates the implementation of technologies that are add-ons or that solve a reverse salient experienced by the integrated system. On the other hand, technologies that are perceived to threaten the integrated system are locked out, prohibiting further optimization of the system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 48, 220-231 p.
Keyword [en]
Systems integration, Sustainable urban development, Hammarby Sjostad, Innovation theory
National Category
Other Civil Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-126898DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.09.012ISI: 000320751000024Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84879903646OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-126898DiVA: diva2:642874
Note

QC 20130823

Available from: 2013-08-23 Created: 2013-08-22 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Industrial ecology for sustainableurban development- the case of Hammarby Sjöstad
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Industrial ecology for sustainableurban development- the case of Hammarby Sjöstad
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Today, more than half the world’s population lives in cities largely dependent on resources and ecosystem services from outside their physical boundaries. Correspondingly, urban resource needs and waste generation have serious worldwide ecological consequences, and urban areas have become a primary driver of environmental change. In response, various sustainable urban developments have been initiated worldwide. Quite a few of these rely on strategies giving urban areas the characteristics of ecosystems, i.e., fostering urban symbiosis by integrating infrastructural systems to optimise the environmental performance of the system as a whole.

Whether or not the strategy of urban symbiosis actually contributes to sustainable urban development is, however, debated. It may support only short-term system optimisation, hindering the implementation of new technology crucial for the longterm environmental improvement of society, as that might require no symbiosis but substitution. Or it might actually support a complete transition to sustainable urban development.

Consequently, this thesis explores the research question “How can urban symbiosis contribute to sustainable urban development?” using the implementation of urban symbiosis strategies in Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm, Sweden, as a single-case study. The choice of a single-case study approach was an attractive approach as the sustainable development strategy implemented in Hammarby Sjöstad was clear and consistent: the approach aimed at sustainable urban development by using innovative technical solutions such as urban symbiosis, and not by changing the behaviour of the inhabitants of the district. This fortuitous “natural experiment” was useful, as strategies for sustainable development are often difficult to evaluate since they are often not very clearly or consistently applied.

Using results based on literature reviews, in-depth interviews, discussions with focus groups, and quantitative data, this thesis concludes that urban symbiosis strategies do not directly respond to path dependence, and that such strategies are as dependent on radical behavioural change as are transition management strategies. In addition, urban symbiosis strategies can optimise existing infrastructural systems and advance the planning of the sustainable urban district.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. xii, 75 p.
Series
TRITA-IM, ISSN 1402-7615 ; 2014:01
National Category
Other Civil Engineering
Research subject
Industrial Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-145150 (URN)
Public defence
2014-06-02, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20140514

Available from: 2014-05-14 Created: 2014-05-12 Last updated: 2014-05-14Bibliographically approved

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