European land consumption could be reduced by as much as 80 percent according to the EU’s SUME project findings. The SUME project uses a new land-use planning model based on urban metabolism that has been developed specifically to calculate resource-efficient urban structures in order to help meet the EU’s green-house gas emission goals.

European land consumption could be reduced by as much as 80 percent according to the EU’s SUME project findings. The SUME project uses a new land-use planning model based on urban metabolism that has been developed specifically to calculate resource-efficient urban structures in order to help meet the EU’s green-house gas emission goals.
SUME scenarios show that accommodating population increases does not have to result in urban sprawl. According to members of the SUME project team, higher density, lower land consumption and mixed forms of development will be required to reduce urban sprawl by up to 80%. This would have substantial impacts on energy consumption for heating and transport, contributing to a substantial reduction in green house gas emissions. The SUME project argues that changes to the current development trends can be achieved through the application of state-of-the-art urban and regional planning tools relying on the principles of urban metabolism. An ‘urban metabolism approach’ incorporates the flows of resources, energy and waste of urban systems in planning and modifying the built environment.
At a conference hosted by ÖIR on May 3rd 2011, 200 international experts and city planners met in Vienna to discuss the new tools for urban planning inspired by the concept of urban metabolism with the collective goal of providing a platform for the exchange of ideas and experience using the SUME results as a comparative background.
Athens, Munich, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Porto Stockholm and Vienna presented their view of the challenges to creating resource-efficient cities, their innovative approaches and their development perspectives.
The conference proceedings can be downloaded from http://www.sume.at.

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