Food and feed supply and waste disposal in the industrialising city of Vienna (1830-1913): a special focus on urban nitrogen flows.
ABSTRACT: Taking an urban metabolism perspective, this article investigates food and feed consumption as well as flows of nitrogen in the city of Vienna during the industrial transformation. It addresses the question of the amount of agricultural products consumed in the city and their nitrogen content, their origin and their fate after consumption. Changes in dietary nitrogen flows in nineteenth century Vienna are embedded in the context of a socio-ecological transition from an agrarian to an industrial socio-metabolic regime. Similarities and differences in the size and dynamics of urban nitrogen flows in Vienna and Paris are discussed. Critical reading of historical sources and historical material flow accounting are the methodological backbone of this study. Between 1830 and 1913, inflows of dietary nitrogen into the city increased fivefold. Throughout the time period under observation, the urban waterscape was the most important sink for human and animal excreta. The amount of nitrogen disposed of in the urban waterscape via urban excreta increased sevenfold. The average daily consumption of nitrogen per capita was very similar to that in Paris, but the composition of foodstuff differed. In Vienna, the share of meat in food consumption was considerably higher. Both cities had to face the challenge of increasing output flows. However, urban authorities in Vienna and Paris came to different solutions of how to deal with this challenge. Besides institutional settings, the specific geomorphology of the cities as well as biogeographic factors such as the absorption capacity of the Danube in Vienna and the Seine in Paris mattered.
Project description:Understanding how cities can transform organic waste into a valuable resource is critical to urban sustainability. The capture and recycling of phosphorus (P), and other essential nutrients, from human excreta is particularly important as an alternative organic fertilizer source for agriculture. However, the complex set of socio-environmental factors influencing urban human excreta management is not yet sufficiently integrated into sustainable P research. Here, we synthesize information about the pathways P can take through urban sanitation systems along with barriers and facilitators to P recycling across cities. We examine five case study cities by using a sanitation chains approach: Accra, Ghana; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Beijing, China; Baltimore, USA; and London, England. Our cross-city comparison shows that London and Baltimore recycle a larger percentage of P from human excreta back to agricultural lands than other cities, and that there is a large diversity in socio-environmental factors that affect the patterns of recycling observed across cities. Our research highlights conditions that may be "necessary but not sufficient" for P recycling, including access to capital resources. Path dependencies of large sanitation infrastructure investments in the Global North contrast with rapidly urbanizing cities in the Global South, which present opportunities for alternative sanitation development pathways. Understanding such city-specific social and environmental barriers to P recycling options could help address multiple interacting societal objectives related to sanitation and provide options for satisfying global agricultural nutrient demand.
Project description:Cities are characterized by concentrating population, economic activity and services. However, not all cities are equal and a natural hierarchy at local, regional or global scales spontaneously emerges. In this work, we introduce a method to quantify city influence using geolocated tweets to characterize human mobility. Rome and Paris appear consistently as the cities attracting most diverse visitors. The ratio between locals and non-local visitors turns out to be fundamental for a city to truly be global. Focusing only on urban residents' mobility flows, a city-to-city network can be constructed. This network allows us to analyse centrality measures at different scales. New York and London play a central role on the global scale, while urban rankings suffer substantial changes if the focus is set at a regional level.
Project description:Material management faces a dual challenge: on the one hand satisfying large and increasing demands for goods and on the other hand accommodating wastes and emissions in sinks. Hence, the characterization of material flows and stocks is relevant for both improving resource efficiency and environmental protection. This article focuses on the urban scale, a dimension rarely investigated in past metal flow studies. We compare the copper (Cu) metabolism of two cities in different economic states, namely, Vienna (Europe) and Taipei (Asia). Substance flow analysis is used to calculate urban Cu balances in a comprehensive and transparent form. The main difference between Cu in the two cities appears to be the stock: Vienna seems close to saturation with 180 kilograms per capita (kg/cap) and a growth rate of 2% per year. In contrast, the Taipei stock of 30 kg/cap grows rapidly by 26% per year. Even though most Cu is recycled in both cities, bottom ash from municipal solid waste incineration represents an unused Cu potential accounting for 1% to 5% of annual demand. Nonpoint emissions are predominant; up to 50% of the loadings into the sewer system are from nonpoint sources. The results of this research are instrumental for the design of the Cu metabolism in each city. The outcomes serve as a base for identification and recovery of recyclables as well as for directing nonrecyclables to appropriate sinks, avoiding sensitive environmental pathways. The methodology applied is well suited for city benchmarking if sufficient data are available.
Project description:China is undergoing rapid urbanization, but the speed and stage of urban development are quite heterogeneous among different regions and city types. Understanding the urban scaling characteristics of China's relatively developed cities is important for addressing environmental and social challenges. Within the scope of 114 third-tier-and-above Chinese cities, the research calculate the scaling parameters of various urban development variables with respect to urban population and urban GRP in different city types based on urban scaling quantitative models. Also, univariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed on the factors affecting urban electricity consumption. The research results show that the urban scaling characteristics of Chinese cities differ between different types of cities, industrial cities show unique scaling features compared to commercial cities and mixed-economy cities. Additionally, urban electricity consumption is found to be closely related to urban population, urban construction land area and street lamp number. The results can help different types of cities make targeted policies and provide insights for reducing resource consumption during the urbanization process.
Project description:"The Belt and Road" initiative has been expected to facilitate interactions among numerous city centers. This initiative would generate a number of centers, both economic and political, which would facilitate greater interaction. To explore how information flows are merged and the specific opportunities that may be offered, Chinese cities along "the Belt and Road" are selected for a case study. Furthermore, urban networks in cyberspace have been characterized by their infrastructure orientation, which implies that there is a relative dearth of studies focusing on the investigation of urban hierarchies by capturing information flows between Chinese cities along "the Belt and Road". This paper employs Baidu, the main web search engine in China, to examine urban hierarchies. The results show that urban networks become more balanced, shifting from a polycentric to a homogenized pattern. Furthermore, cities in networks tend to have both a hierarchical system and a spatial concentration primarily in regions such as Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta region. Urban hierarchy based on web search activity does not follow the existing hierarchical system based on geospatial and economic development in all cases. Moreover, urban networks, under the framework of "the Belt and Road", show several significant corridors and more opportunities for more cities, particularly western cities. Furthermore, factors that may influence web search activity are explored. The results show that web search activity is significantly influenced by the economic gap, geographical proximity and administrative rank of the city.
Project description:Starting from a previous experience carried out by the working group "Building and Environmental Hygiene" of the Italian Society of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine (SItI), the aim of the present work is to define new strategic goals for achieving a "Healthy and Salutogenic City", which will be useful to designers, local governments and public bodies, policy makers, and all professionals working at local health agencies. Ten key points have been formulated: 1. climate change and management of adverse weather events; 2. land consumption, sprawl, and shrinking cities; 3. tactical urbanism and urban resilience; 4. urban comfort, safety, and security perception; 5. strengths and weaknesses of urban green areas and infrastructures; 6. urban solid waste management; 7. housing emergencies in relation to socio-economic and environmental changes; 8. energy aspects and environmental planning at an urban scale; 9. socio-assistance and welfare network at an urban scale: importance of a rational and widespread system; and 10. new forms of living, conscious of coparticipation models and aware of sharing quality objectives. Design strategies, actions, and policies, identified to improve public health and wellbeing, underline that the connection between morphological and functional features of urban context and public health is crucial for contemporary cities and modern societies.
Project description:Human activities reshape the global nitrogen (N) cycle and affect environment and human health through reactive nitrogen (Nr) loss during production and consumption. In urbanized regions, the N cycle is greatly mediated by complex interactions between human and natural factors. However, the variations in sources, magnitude, spatiotemporal patterns and drivers of Nr flows remain unclear. Here we show by model simulations, anthropogenic perturbations not only intensify Nr input to sustain increasing demands for production and consumption in Guangzhou city, China, but also greatly change the Nr distribution pattern in the urban system, showing a substantial Nr enrichment in the atmosphere and a relatively low retention capacity of Nr in the terrestrial system. Our results highlight the strong anthropogenic effect of urban systems on the N cycle to suggest sustainable human activity changes to harmonize the relationship between Nr behaviors and human drivers.
Project description:The perception of urban subdivisions, deriving from regionalisation processes and the identification of separating elements (barriers), has proven to dynamically shape peoples' cognitive representations of space and route choice behaviour in cities. However, existing Agent-Based Models (ABMs) for pedestrian simulation have not accounted for these particular cognitive mapping processes. The aim of this paper is to explore the behaviour of pedestrian agents endowed with knowledge about urban subdivisions. Drawing from literature in spatial cognition, we adapted a region-based route choice model, which contemplates a high- and a local planning level, and advanced a barrier-based route choice model, wherein the influence of separating elements is manipulated. Finally, we combined these two approaches in a region-barrier based model. The patterns emerging from the movement of agents employing such approaches were examined in the city centres of London and Paris. The introduction of regions in the routing mechanisms reduced the unbalanced concentration of agents across the street network brought up by the widely employed least cumulative angular change model (-.08 Gini coefficient). The inclusion of barriers further raised the dispersal of the agents through secondary roads, while leading agents to walk along waterfronts and across parks; it also yielded a more regular usage of pedestrian roads. Moreover, the region- and the region-barrier based routes showed deviation ratio values from the road distance shortest path (region-based: 1.18 London, 1.16 Paris, region-barrier based: 1.43 London, 1.33 Paris) consistent with empirical observations from pedestrian behaviour research. A further evaluation of the model with macro-level observational data may enhance the understanding of pedestrian dynamics and help tuning the interplay amongst urban salient elements at the agent level. Yet, we consider the movement flows arising from our current implementation insightful for assessing the distribution of pedestrians and testing possible interventions for the design of legible and walkable spaces.
Project description:Modern urban science views differences in attractiveness of residential suburbs as the main driver of resettlement within a city. In particular, certain suburbs may attract residents due to lower commute costs, and this is believed to lead to compactification of a city, with highly populated central business district and sprawled suburbia. In this paper we assess residential resettlement patterns in Australian capital cities by analyzing the 2011 and 2016 Australian Census data. Rather than explicitly defining a residential attractiveness of each suburb in subjective terms, we introduce and calibrate a model which quantifies the intra-city migration flows in terms of the attractiveness potentials (and their differences), inferring these from the data. We discover that, despite the existence of well-known static agglomeration patterns favouring central districts over the suburbia, the dynamic flows that shape the intra-city migration over the last decade reveal the preference directed away from the central districts with a high density of jobs and population, towards the less populated suburbs on the periphery. Furthermore, we discover that the relocation distance of such resettlement flows plays a vital role, and explains a significant part of the variation in migration flows: the resettlement flow markedly decreases with the relocation distance. Finally, we propose a conjecture that these directional resettlement flows are explained by the cities' structure, with monocentric cities exhibiting outward flows with much higher reluctance to long-distance relocation. This conjecture is verified across the major Australian capitals: both monocentric (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart) and polycentric (Darwin and Canberra).
Project description:The study of socio-technical systems has been revolutionized by the unprecedented amount of digital records that are constantly being produced by human activities such as accessing Internet services, using mobile devices, and consuming energy and knowledge. In this paper, we describe the richest open multi-source dataset ever released on two geographical areas. The dataset is composed of telecommunications, weather, news, social networks and electricity data from the city of Milan and the Province of Trentino. The unique multi-source composition of the dataset makes it an ideal testbed for methodologies and approaches aimed at tackling a wide range of problems including energy consumption, mobility planning, tourist and migrant flows, urban structures and interactions, event detection, urban well-being and many others.