Entropy and the City. GHG Emissions Inventory: a Common Baseline for the Design of Urban and Industrial Ecologies
AbstractFrom a thermodynamic point of view, the attribution of the adjective sustainable to an open system like the city is, at least, very problematic. The biosphere is a closed system, kept far from the thermodynamic equilibrium by the flow of energy coming from the sun. The biosphere maintains and increases its internal order dispersing entropy, generated by all the internal processes, as thermal infrared radiation. But then, the elegant picture of sustainability given by thermodynamics can not be applied to open systems, and notably to the city, without raising both theoretical and practical problems. The city is almost by definition a place of consumption and of degradation of potentials, kept in local equilibrium by external flows of matter and energy, but at the same time plays a key role in shaping and maintaining the global flows of matter, energy, and information, and this role must be taken into account when interpreting thermodynamic-based descriptions. The urban capital probably represents the greatest investment made by mankind. Materials have been harvested from the earth crust and from the natural systems, and have been concentrated and ordered in the city. But the "city" is not the infrastructure: it's concept of a different logical type. The city is a further level of organization that produces services of higher level. The urban infrastructure is necessary, but not sufficient to produce the city services. The city is the most important social and health "device". A proper accounting must consider the city-performance of the urban infrastructure, beyond the mere, local energy and carbon efficiency. In this context, local GHG accounting is proposed as a rather simple and useful basis to ground process-wise studies and projects, including the creation of effective local industrial ecologies, in a continuous city-making effort toward higher sustainability.
Busi, R., Pezzagno M. (a cura di), Una città di 500km. Letture del territorio padano, Roma Gangemi editore, 2011
Docchio S., Pezzagno M. An approach to the question of minor deprived urban communities considering supra-regional strategies,
Consonni, G., La difficile arte di fare città nell’era della metropolis, Maggioli editore, 2008
Gottman, J. Megalopoli. Funzioni e relazioni di una pluricittà. Torino, Einaudi, 1970
Odum, H.T. Environmental Accounting: Emergy and Environmental Decision Making; John Wiley and Sons: New York, NY, USA, 1996; pp. 384.
OECD, Better understanding our cities, The role of urban indicators, Parigi, OECD publishing, 1997
OECD Territorial Reviews, Competitive cities in the Global Economy, Parigi, OECD publishing, 2006
Jørgensen, S.E. Parameters, ecological constraints and exergy. Ecol. Modell. 1992, 62, 163–170.
Jørgensen, S.E.; Svirezhev, Y.M. Towards a Thermodynamic Theory for Ecological Systems; Elsevier: Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2004; p. 366.
Kasako, M., et al. Are European Cities Becoming Dispersed? A comparative analysis of fifteen European urban areas, Landscape and urban planning, 2006, 77, 111-130
Susani, L.; Pulselli, F.M.; Jørgensen, S.E.; Bastianoni, S. “Comparison between technological and ecological exergy.” Ecol. Modell. 2006, 193, 447–456.
Wall, G. and Gong, M., “On exergy and sustainable development – Part 1: Conditions and concepts”, Exergy Int. J. 1(3) (2001) 128–145, Elsevier.
Rybski, D.; Sterzel, T.; Reusser, D. E. ; Winz, A.; Fichtner, C. and Kropp P.J. “Cities as nuclei of sustainability?” Pysics and Society. (v2) mar. 2014
IPCC, 2006. 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, Prepared by the National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Programme, Eggleston H.S., Buendia L., Miwa K., Ngara T. and Tanabe K. (eds). Published: IGES, Japan.
Ecodynamics Group, REGES: Progetto per la verifica e certificazione della Riduzione delle Emissioni di Gas a Effetto Serra nel territorio della Provincia di Siena. (GHG inventory - ISO 14064 certification) 2014.
Copyright (c) 2014 Tema. Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish in this journal agree to the following:
1. Authors retain the rights to their work and give in to the journal the right of first publication of the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons License - Attribution that allows others to share the work indicating the authorship and the initial publication in this journal.
2. Authors can adhere to other agreements of non-exclusive license for the distribution of the published version of the work (ex. To deposit it in an institutional repository or to publish it in a monography), provided to indicate that the document was first published in this journal.
3. Authors can distribute their work online (ex. In institutional repositories or in their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges and it can increase the quotations of the published work (See The Effect of Open Access)