The expansion of cities and their impacts currently constitutes a challenge for the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs). In this respect, assessments of resource consumption and the delivery of appropriate policies to support resource conservation are of paramount importance. Previous works in the literature have focused on one specific resource (e.g., water, energy, food) at the household level, while others have analysed the inter-relations among different resources (i.e., the nexus approach) at larger spatial scales (e.g., urban level). Moreover, household behavioural attitudes are generally excluded while assessing resource consumption scenarios. This work overcomes previous limitations by proposing a causal-loop structure derived from the literature, from which simulations of different scenarios can be generated that consider the nexus between food, energy and water at the household level. These simulations can provide alternative scenarios to assess the impacts of monetary policies as well as education and communication actions on the enhancement of resource savings and consider both their current use and household preferences. The metropolitan area of Napoli was chosen as the testbed area for the simulations. The results, in relation to the testbed, proved that communication actions would be most appropriate to increase the level of resource savings. The business-as-usual scenario was especially sensitive to variations in individual preferences towards pro-environmental behaviours and showed their higher impacts on the results. Improvements of this method and its derived scenarios in the context of the urban planning process could support the implementation of informed policies towards the conservation of key resources and promotion of sustainable citizen behaviour.

Simulations of scenarios for urban household water and energy consumption

Casazza, M;Ulgiati, S
2021

Abstract

The expansion of cities and their impacts currently constitutes a challenge for the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs). In this respect, assessments of resource consumption and the delivery of appropriate policies to support resource conservation are of paramount importance. Previous works in the literature have focused on one specific resource (e.g., water, energy, food) at the household level, while others have analysed the inter-relations among different resources (i.e., the nexus approach) at larger spatial scales (e.g., urban level). Moreover, household behavioural attitudes are generally excluded while assessing resource consumption scenarios. This work overcomes previous limitations by proposing a causal-loop structure derived from the literature, from which simulations of different scenarios can be generated that consider the nexus between food, energy and water at the household level. These simulations can provide alternative scenarios to assess the impacts of monetary policies as well as education and communication actions on the enhancement of resource savings and consider both their current use and household preferences. The metropolitan area of Napoli was chosen as the testbed area for the simulations. The results, in relation to the testbed, proved that communication actions would be most appropriate to increase the level of resource savings. The business-as-usual scenario was especially sensitive to variations in individual preferences towards pro-environmental behaviours and showed their higher impacts on the results. Improvements of this method and its derived scenarios in the context of the urban planning process could support the implementation of informed policies towards the conservation of key resources and promotion of sustainable citizen behaviour.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11367/108777
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