Efficient urban development is self-sufficient, with a functional urban metabolism that consumes the minimal amount of resources. It occurs when an urban system is able to mitigate the pressures of the over consumption of materials, energy, water and food while maintaining or enhancing citizens’ quality of life. The following indicators relate the concept of efficiency to the sustainable city model, and describe how and why efficiency is necessary following the urban metabolism:

A6. Urban metabolism

Energy efficiency can be improved by incorporating the use of renewable energies into the urban fibers. In doing so, the urban framework will be able to increase resource conservation and energy efficiency for their major consuming sectors. These areas make up the domestic sector, services and equipment, mobility, as well as the primary sector, and all contribute to the mass flow rates of water and waste, and would benefit from improved management.

In order to improve the efficiency of waste management, it is necessary to reduce resource consumption and to turn the materials cycle into a closed loop process (as much as possible). It is becoming increasingly more important for consumers to place less emphasis on material goods, and to purchase goods and services wisely. In order to achieve this goal, we must focus on efficiency in production and consumption, saving raw materials, the collection and the best use of resources contained in waste, and the prevention of unnecessary consumption etc.

The quality of the environment is threatened by high levels of noise and air pollution in urban systems. Not only do they pose a risk to first-order environmental quality, but also to the public health of citizens. The private vehicle, and its high volume of traffic, has emerged as the main source for polluting emissions. Improving air quality requires changing people’s perceptions, and moving them towards alternative modes of transportation that are less polluting than private vehicles. The sustainable mobility model for Ecosystemic Urbanism presents solutions to these problems, and offers healthier scenarios.


<<The urban sustainability indicator of efficiency is the urban metabolism. The urban metabolism encompasses the management of energy, water, waste, materials, and air quality>>