Academic journal article Journal of Applied Management Accounting Research

Introducing the Urban Metabolism Approach for a Sustainable City: A Case of Jakarta, Indonesia

Academic journal article Journal of Applied Management Accounting Research

Introducing the Urban Metabolism Approach for a Sustainable City: A Case of Jakarta, Indonesia

Article excerpt


As awareness and discussion on sustainable development and sustainable cities has increased, studies on urban metabolism have been becoming more significant. The concept of urban metabolism perceives a city as a living organism. It includes measuring and analysis of the technical and socioeconomic processes in a city, resulting in resource consumption, growth, production of energy, and elimination of waste (Kennedy et al, 2007). Since urban metabolism provides evidence on the overall significant resources inputs, outputs and storage, it is in line with the framework of sustainable development that emphasizes the needs to maintain regeneration and environment carrying capacity in terms of the use of material and energy and the disposal of waste and emission.

This is a small and basic study which is based on the concept of urban metabolism. This pilot research was organised by Trisakti University and Sandikta College of Administration Science supported by the University of Toronto. Research paper of Hoornweg, et. al. (2007) on urban metabolism in 7 world cities and the data collection format from University of Toronto become the main guidance to carry out the study.

The purpose of study is to introduce urban metabolism as an approach for developing a sustainable city, by collecting urban metabolism data. Based on the available data, this study tried to construct and proposed a basic urban metabolism framework of Jakarta. The framework is expected to be sufficient for analysing the Jakarta initiatives on various sustainability issues including the climate change. Moreover, the study was initiated in order to show how urban metabolism can provide another perspective to help the city administrator to make public policies, create initiatives and motivate stakeholders toward a sustainable city.

Notwithstanding that a number of studies on urban metabolism have used different frameworks, this research used a standardize framework describing the urban metabolism developed by the World Bank. As presented by Hoornweg, et. al. (2007), the framework captures bio-physical stocks and flows within an urban metabolism; based on the Eurostat Economy-wide Material Flow Analysis methodology. However, the framework application can be different and customized among urban metabolism studies due to many factors, e.g. characteristics of the city and availability of data.

The urban metabolism framework views an urban as an open metabolism to the environment. By using urban metabolism framework, sustainability of a city can be identified and measured in terms of its use of resources, internal dynamics and negative impact to the environment. Consequently, policies and initiatives on energy, material, water, biomass, waste and emission can be taken to make the city more sustainable. The urban metabolism framework is presented in Figure 1.

In Figure 1, it is shown that the urban metabolism framework measures and analyses the inflows of energy (IE), water (IW), materials (IM) and biomass (IB) and the outflows of energy (OE), water (OW), and materials (OM). Inside the urban area, the framework measures the internal flows of water (QW), storage of water (SW) and materials (Sm), and also production of materials (PM) and biomass (PB).

The inflows and outflows of energy include electricity, fossil fuel, and cleaner and renewable energy that is imported, generated, consumed and exported by a city. The water inflow, outflow and internal process refer to clean water, waste water and recycled water. Material inflow stands for all imported significant material resources needed by a city while material production and material outflow indicates the solid waste and materials processed in a city or exported to other areas. In the urban sustainability framework, biomass refers to biological material derived from living organisms, i.e. plants or livestock, which are imported, produced or consumed by the urban citizens. …

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