Ecological sustainability or regional metabolisms: Material flow analyses of the regions of Hamburg, Vienna and Leipzig

Hammer, M., Giljum, S., Luks, F. & Winkler, M. (2006)

In: Natur und Kultur, 7 (2), 62-78.

The paper describes the material consumption in the regions of Hamburg and Leipzig for the years 1992-2001 and for the region of Vienna for the years 1995-2003. Applying the method of material flow analysis, the total consumption of materials has been accounted for and put into relation to economic development. Indicators of material consumption serve as measures for ecological sustainability. The description of the relation to economic development allows conclusions concerning the material intensity of the economy and its eco-efficiency. The paper discusses the methodological problems in accounting regional material flows, illustrates the implications of material flows for land use, and formulates improvements for regional statistics to develop sustainability indicators on a regional level.

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