A study on the sustainable infrastructure of the Songdo City Project : from the viewpoint of the metabolic flow perspective

Baek, Insoo (2015-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In the 21st century, cities play a vital role in social, economic and environmental changes. They are the largest places of human settlement and it is expected that more than 80 percent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050 (UNEP, 2012). At the same time, as the role of cities significantly increases, it also contributes to negative outcomes on the planet. In particular, the current cities’ demand for materials and energy consumption accounts for almost 80 percent of the world’s consumption and it leads to serious environmental problems. The main problems are climate change, biodiversity loss, desertification, and ecosystem degradation. In response to these urban issues, sustainable cities have emerged as an alternative way of urban life. Since cities consume a massive amount of energy, an efficient resource management system has to be established for the sustainable urban future. In addition, finding ways to reconcile economic growth, social well-being and the sustainable use of resources is imperative in urban sustainability. Since people’s lifestyle and their material footprint are dependent on the urban design, construction and operation of urban infrastructures, ways to make an urban infrastructural system more sustainable will contribute to the transition towards sustainable cities. In this study, the thesis applies Material Flow Analysis (MFA) to one of the sustainable cities, Songdo, South Korea. Before delving into the analysis, it explores the overview of the New Songdo City (NSC) project and describes its sustainable urban infrastructures. Then it examines the material flow of inputs and outputs of the city in order to reveal their sustainability and suggests a guideline for the realisation of sustainable cities. Quantitative and qualitative methodologies are used to assess and compare the material and energy flow trends for this city. The results indicate that the general material consumption in Songdo is higher than the average in South Korea. It reflects the high-income households’ consumption patterns in Songdo. In addition, one could see that the sustainable networks have merely contributed to the overall consumption. The findings from this study can be used to formulate sustainable development policies and strategies in terms of increasing the efficiency of resource and energy use in urban areas. Furthermore, this research is expected to provide a platform for realisation of sustainable cities by highlighting the important role of urban infrastructures and their material resource flow.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In die 21ste eeu speel stede 'n belangrike rol in die sosiale, ekonomiese en omgewingskwessies veranderinge. Stede is die grootste vorm van menslike nedersetting en daar word verwag dat meer as 80 persent van die wêreld se bevolking in stede sal woon teen 2050 (UNEP, 2012). Op dieselfde tyd, namate die rol van stede aansienlik verhoog, dra dit ook by tot negatiewe uitkomste op die planeet. Veral huidige stede se vraag na materiaal en energie reken vir byna 80 persent van die wêreld se verbruik, en dit lei tot ernstige omgewingsprobleme. Die grootste probleme is klimaatsverandering, biodiversiteit verlies, verwoestyning en die agteruitgang van ekostelsels. In reaksie op hierdie stedelike kwessies het volhoubare stede na vore gekom as 'n alternatiewe vorm van stadsbewoning. Aangesien stede 'n massiewe hoeveelheid energie gebruik, moet 'n doeltreffende hulpbronbestuur stelsel vasgestel word. Daarbenewens, is dit noodsaaklik om maniere te vind om ekonomiese groei te integreer met sosiale welsyn en die volhoubare gebruik van hulpbronne. Aangesien mense se lewenstyl en hul impak op die omgewing afhanklik is van die stedelike infrastruktuur, sal maniere om hierdie infrastruktuurstelsel meer volhoubaar te maak bydra tot die oorgang na volhoubare stede. In hierde studie word, stedelike materiaalvloeiontleding toegepas op een van die volhoubare stede, Songdo, Suid-Korea. Voor die analise, sal 'n oorsig van die nuwe Songdo stad projek en die stad se volhoubare infrastruktuur gegee word. Dan word die vloei van materiaal in-en uitgange van die stad ondersoek om hul volhoubaarheid te illustreer, en stel dit 'n riglyn voor vir die verwesenliking van volhoubare stede. Kwantitatiewe en kwalitatiewe metodologie word gebruik om die materiaal en energie vloei tendense vir hierdie stad te bepaal en vergelyk. Die resultate dui daarop dat die algemene materiaal verbruik in Songdo hoër is as die gemiddelde in Korea. Dit weerspieël die hoë-inkomste huishoudings se verbruikspatrone in Songdo. Daarbenewens kan 'n mens sien dat die volhoubare netwerke slegs bygedra het tot die algehele verbruik. Die bevindinge van hierdie studie kan gebruik word om die volhoubare ontwikkeling van beleid en strategieë te formuleer in terme van die verhoging van die doeltreffendheid van die hulpbron-en energie gebruik in stedelike gebiede. Verder word verwag dat hierdie navorsing 'n platvorm in terme van die realisering van volhoubare stede sal voorsien deur die belangrike rol van stedelike infrastruktuur, en die materiaal hulpbron vloei te beklemtoon.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96906
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