Comment on article “Is There a Metabolism of an Urban Ecosystem?” by Golubiewski
Having published a review of urban metabolism (UM) literature (Kennedy et al. 2011), three criticisms can be raised with Golubiewski’s article:
The paper has a tendency to misunderstand the intentions of UM researchers, and makes incorrect assertions about what UM studies are trying to achieve. It was difficult to follow the reasoning behind assertions such as “Proponents of UM assert that because it makes explicit the resource/waste pressures of a city, it constitutes an ecological assessment” and “With such statements, UM research aims to connect ecology and economics.” These are not apparent from the UM literature. It is well understood that fully connecting ecology and economics requires some form of integrated assessment, with UM as a key component (e.g., Fung and Kennedy 2005).
The critique tends to be overly focussed on loose statements in the UM literature in which the analogy between cities and organisms has been taken too far. I agree with the criticism of the...
KeywordsInterdisciplinary Research Urban Ecosystem Urban Canopy Urban Sustainability Ecosystem Metabolism
- Hoornweg, D., P. Bhada, M. Freire, C. L. Trejos and R. Dave. 2010. Cities and Climate Change: An Urgent Agenda, World Bank InstituteGoogle Scholar