Preface—a new paradigm for life cycle thinking: exploring sustainability in urban development scenarios
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The main goal of this special issue is to further the understanding of how to integrate life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) methods and tools in the urban planning process. It is a relatively new and interdisciplinary topic that supports the integration of life cycle assessment techniques and expertise in urban planning and designing procedures such as strategic environmental assessment (SEA).
Starting with life cycle thinking, the integration of the environmental life cycle assessment, and also its implementation to assess economic (life cycle costing), and social impacts (social life cycle assessment) with other planning and designing methods and tools to the urban context have been analyzed and implemented in some case studies. Examples of planning and designing methods considered are urban metabolism, strategic environmental assessment, and multi-criteria decision analysis.
Results and conclusions
Ten contributions draw a clear picture on the current state of the art and present gaps and further developments necessary to build a complete and harmonized framework. It is evident that the variability of methodology and expertise involved in this multidisciplinary approach is very high, and that it is very important to support its further implementation to cover the current gaps. An interdisciplinary and harmonized framework and further implementation in three dimensions of sustainability are two examples of desirable future developments that were identified.
KeywordsCity management Life cycle assessment Life cycle thinking Urban planning Urban sustainability
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