Urban Metabolic Mapping: Securing the Biophysical Foundation of Indian Cities

Staff: Mehta, V. ; Kemp-Benedict, E. ; Briggs, J.; Wang, D.
Date: 2011-ongoing
Client/Funder: SEI IPS funds

Rapid population growth and economic activity in Indian cities have overwhelmed their ecological support base, leading to chronic shortages in electricity, water and road space while polluting the physical environment.

This project seeks a systems understanding of problems that cuts across myriad aspects of the urban sustainability conundrum in order to inform better urban governance. The key policy tool being developed is a deliberative modeling framework that will treat cities as living entities, that use energy and resources to generate useful products and waste, asking questions such as: What are the material and energy inputs that keep the city running? What are the waste products of the city?

A pedagogical computer model will be built for Bangalore – India's burgeoning software capital, which serves as a poster-child of these problems – that will integrate diverse aspects of the urban environmental problem, and the diverse actors involved in crafting solutions.

The project brings together a strong, multidisciplinary team of ecological economists and environmental scientists from SEI, the Indian Institute of Management, and the Indian Institute of Science. Consumption data will be compared with social, economic and demographic information. Current and future development scenarios will be gauged against dimensions of economic efficiency, social equity and environmental sustainability.

Follow the link below to see early mapping results for Bangalore.

External Link