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Evaluating low-carbon city initiatives from the DPSIR framework perspective
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Industrial Ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9616-635X
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Industrial Ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9215-0166
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Industrial Ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2829-2928
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Industrial Ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2459-0311
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2015 (English)In: Habitat International, ISSN 0197-3975, E-ISSN 1873-5428, Vol. 50, 289-299 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Current low-carbon city initiatives were evaluated using the DPSIR (Drivingforces-Pressures-State-Impacts-Responses) causal-effect framework for investigating interactions between environmental issues and human activities. For effective management towards achieving a low-carbon city, integrating the pressure-based, driver-oriented DPSIR approach could help decision makers examine whether greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction approaches deal with the root causes of GHG emissions and work to-wards low-carbon city development goals. The DPSIR framework was used on 36 global cities to analyse the socio-economic dynamics of GHG emissions and their pressures on the environment, the state of the environment, related climate change impacts and responses from society. The results indicated that numerous cities have awareness of low-car bon plans and that most of these plans are pressure-based and driver-oriented. Most city plans recognise energy, transportation and building as the main driving forces for GHG emissions, which cause environmental pressures, and highlight technical responses to reduce GHG emissions pressures from these root causes. Inaddition, most plans recognise institutional and cognitional responses to low-carbon city development, such as: policies and legislation; departmental planning and cooperation; measuring, monitoring and reporting performance; capital invest-ment; community education and outreach; and stakeholder involvement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 50, 289-299 p.
Keyword [en]
Low-carboncity, DPSIR framework, Content analysis
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Research subject
Planning and Decision Analysis
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-174072DOI: 10.1016/j.habitatint.2015.09.001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84941634546OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-174072DiVA: diva2:857541
Note

QC 20150929

Available from: 2015-09-29 Created: 2015-09-29 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Low-Carbon City Initiatives in China: Planning Approaches, Dilemmas and Opportunities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Low-Carbon City Initiatives in China: Planning Approaches, Dilemmas and Opportunities
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In order to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, tackle climate change and move toward sustainable development, the central government in China has proposed low-carbon city development as the national strategy and relevant initiatives have been taken by local governments. This thesis analyses current low-carbon city programmes and planning approaches in China, identifies limitations and proposes a metabolic approach that could be used to account for physical resources, monitor GHG emissions and involve stakeholders in the planning process.

There are currently two parallel programmes for low-carbon initiatives in China: the “Low-Carbon City” programme and the “Low-Carbon Eco-City” programme. Around thirty cities in the Coastal, Central and Western regions of China have been selected as the national pilot areas for these programmes. This widespread distribution marks a change the previous priority set on development in the Coastal region, meaning that more cities have opportunities to explore low-carbon pathways and obtain support from the state. The large number of cities involved shows China’s determination to transition to low-carbon development in different city contexts. The selected cities have set up local administrative groups to manage low-carbon development and have established integrated approaches to reduce GHG emissions from urban sectors such as energy, transportation, buildings and waste. Some plans have been developed by the cities themselves, while others have involved international cooperation. However, because of limited knowledge on low-carbon city development, an absence of established standards and procedures and the Chinese top-down planning system, low-carbon planning faces specific challenges, such as lack of information about GHG flows, GHG monitoring and stakeholder involvement.

To overcome these challenges and improve low-carbon city approaches in China, this thesis proposes a holistic approach to low-carbon city development, by integrating Industrial Ecology into urban planning. Such work would benefit greatly from adopting a metabolic approach, within which a metabolic approach-based standard is used to understand low-carbon city from GHG flows; a DPSIR framework is used to address root causes of GHG emissions; and an Eco-Cycle Model is used to describe urban metabolism and account for physical resources, monitor GHG emissions and involve stakeholders in the planning process.

The thesis also recommends better collaboration between relevant government departments and stakeholders. Moreover, instead of simply transferring approaches developed elsewhere, international cooperation needs to combine the local context and knowledge in China with international knowledge and experience. In return, experiences from China can help improve low-carbon city approaches in other parts of the world.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. vi, 43 p.
Series
TRITA-IM-LIC, 2015:01
Keyword
Low-carbon city; Urban planning; Metabolic approach
National Category
Other Civil Engineering
Research subject
Industrial Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-174076 (URN)978-91-7595-693-0 (ISBN)
Presentation
2015-10-20, E2, Lindstedtsvägen 3, KTH, Stockholm, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20150929

Available from: 2015-09-29 Created: 2015-09-29 Last updated: 2015-09-29Bibliographically approved
2. Systems Perspectives on Modelling and Managing Future Anthropogenic Emissions in Urban Areas: Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Carbon Studies in Stockholm, Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Systems Perspectives on Modelling and Managing Future Anthropogenic Emissions in Urban Areas: Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Carbon Studies in Stockholm, Sweden
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Managing anthropogenic emissions in urban areas is a major challenge in sustainable environmental development for cities, and future changes and increasing urbanisation may increase this challenge. Systems perspectives have become increasingly important in helping urban managers understand how different changes may alter future emissions and whether current management strategies can efficiently manage these emissions. This thesis provides some systems perspectives that have been lacking in previous studies on modelling and managing future anthropogenic emissions in urban areas. The city of Stockholm, Sweden, was selected as the study site and studies about nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon were chosen, given world-wide urban eutrophication and global concerns about climate change. A substance flow analysis (SFA) structured model, comprising a source model coupled with a watershed model in an SFA structure, was developed to investigate future nutrient loading scenarios under various urban changes in small urban lake catchments. The results demonstrated that climate change potentially posed a greater threat to future nutrient loads to a selected lake catchment in Stockholm than the other scenarios examined. Another SFA-based study on future phosphorus flows through the city of Stockholm indicated that the best management option may depend on the perspective applied when comparing future scenarios of phosphorus flows and that both upstream and downstream measures need to be considered in managing urban phosphorus flows. An evaluation approach for examining current management plans and low-carbon city initiatives using the Driving forces-Pressure-States-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework, was formulated. With such an evaluation approach, investigation of how well selected plans cover different aspects of the DPSIR framework and whether root causes and systematic measures are highlighted is possible. The results revealed that the current low-carbon city initiative in Stockholm falls within pressure-based, driver-orientated plans and that technical, institutional and cognitional measures are generally well covered. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. x, 60 p.
Series
TRITA-IM-PHD, 2016:02
Keyword
Anthropogenic emissions, Urban development, Future, Substance flow analysis (SFA), DPSIR.
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-186245 (URN)978-91-7595-961-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-06-02, V2, Teknikringen 76, KTH-Campus, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20160510

Available from: 2016-05-10 Created: 2016-05-07 Last updated: 2016-12-15Bibliographically approved

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