Integrated Assessment: Sociology, Technology and the Environment (IASTE)
The Research Group on Integrated Assessment: Sociology, Technology and the Environment (IASTE) is a consolidated research group (GRC) recognized by the Government of Catalonia (2017 SGR-230; 2014 SGR 00140; 2009 SGR 0594) and hosted by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Our research focuses on multi-scale integrated analysis of the metabolism of social-ecological systems. Central to our research is the development of a transdisciplinary approach: Multi-scale Integrated Analysis of Societal and Ecosystem Metabolism (MuSIASEM). MuSIASEM integrates biophysical and socioeconomic variables across multiple scales, thus establishing a link between the metabolism of socio-economic systems and the potential constraints imposed by the embedding natural environment. MuSIASEM uses integrated sets of indicators that can be chosen "à la carte" by social actors in relation to multiple criteria of performance. MuSIASEM lends itself particularly well for analyzing the nexus between land use, food, energy, water and climate in relation to sustainable development goals.

Research topics include:

  • Energy metabolism, water metabolism, and waste metabolism of socio-ecological systems
  • The Nexus between population, land use, water, food and energy security
  • Multi-scale integrated assessment of alternative energy technologies
  • Food system analysis
  • Decision support tools based on participatory integrated assessment (science for governance)
Usage statistics Most popular
Latest additions:
2019-03-21
10:08
11 p, 535.1 KB Complexity, uncertainty and ambiguity: Implications for European Union energy governance / Kovacic, Zora (University of Bergen. Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities) ; Di Felice, Louisa Jane (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals)
Energy security is an ambiguous concept. Growing academic interest has aimed at defining, conceptualising and measuring energy security, often through indicators. Energy policy in the European Union (EU) is not concerned with energy security’s ambiguous conceptualisation, nor does it use energy security indicators, but it refers consistently to security as one of its primary aims. [...]
2019 - 10.1016/j.erss.2019.03.005
Energy Research & Social Science, Vol. 53, (July 2019) , p. 159-169  
2019-03-01
12:29
The Hijacking of the Bioeconomy / Vivien, Franck-Dominique (University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne) ; Nieddu, Martino (University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne) ; Befort, Nicolas (NEOMA Business School) ; Debref, Romain (University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne) ; Giampietro, Mario (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals)
Georgescu-Roegen used the term bioeconomy to refer to a radical ecological perspective on economics he developed in the 1970s and 1980s. In recent years, it has also become a buzzword used by public institutions to announce and describe a supposed current economic and ecological transition. [...]
2019 - 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2019.01.027
Ecological Economics, Vol. 159 (May 2019) , p. 189-197  
2019-02-11
10:22
Multi-scale integrated assessment of second generation bioethanol for transport sector in the Campania Region / Fierro, Angelo (Università di Napoli Federico II) ; Forte, Annachiara (Università di Napoli Federico II) ; Zucaro, Amalia (Università di Napoli Federico II) ; Micera, Roberto (Istituto di Ricerca su Innovazione e Servizi per lo Sviluppo) ; Giampietro, Mario (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals)
Current narrative on biofuels is backed up by a large number of studies published in the scientific literature that address second-generation bioethanol only through a single topic approach, nonetheless in the vast majority of cases transition to this energy carrier is evaluated as a generally ‘promising’ technology. [...]
2019 - 10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.01.244
Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 217 (April 2019) , p. 409-422  
2018-12-17
10:20
A holistic framework for the integrated assessment of urban waste management systems / Chifari, Rosaria (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals) ; Lo Piano, Samuele (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals) ; Bukkens, Sandra G.F. (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals) ; Giampietro, Mario (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals)
We report on the development of a holistic framework to organize and integrate quantitative information characterizing the performance of Urban Waste Management Systems (UWMS) across dimensions and scales. [...]
2018 - 10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.03.006
Ecological Indicators, Vol. 94, Part 3 (November 2018) , p. 24-36  
2018-10-29
22:44
4 p, 77.0 KB La representació de la ciència a través de ciència ficció / Lemkow, Louis (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Departament de Sociologia)
En el artículo se realiza una revisión histórica y crítica de algunas de las tendencias y de los autores más conocidos dentro del mundo de la ciencia ficción.
En l’article es fa una revisió història i crítica d’algunes de les tendències i dels autors més coneguts dins el món de la ciència-ficció.
In the article there is a critical, historical review of several of most well known science fiction authors and tendencies.

2001
Treballs de la Societat Catalana de Biologia, Vol. 51 (2001) , p. 295-300  
2018-10-17
16:01
17 p, 2.1 MB Deep Decarbonisation from a Biophysical Perspective: GHG Emissions of a Renewable Electricity Transformation in the EU / Di Felice, Louisa Jane (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals) ; Ripa, Maddalena (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals) ; Giampietro, Mario (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals)
In light of climate change and security concerns, decarbonisation has become a priority for industrialised countries. In the European Union (EU), decarbonisation scenarios used to support decision-making predict a steady decrease in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, mostly driven by changes in production mixes and improvements in efficiency. [...]
2018 - 10.3390/su10103685
Sustainability, Vol. 10, Issue 10 (October 2018) , art. 3685  
2018-10-02
13:08
10 p, 2.2 MB Characterizing the metabolic pattern of urban systems using MuSIASEM: The case of Barcelona / Pérez-Sánchez, Laura (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals) ; Giampietro, Mario (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals) ; Velasco Fernández, Raúl (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals) ; Ripa, Maddalena (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals)
The extreme degree of openness of contemporary urban systems with regard to both economy and population creates a serious challenge for the study of urban energy metabolism. A novel tool based on Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Societal and Ecosystem Metabolism (MuSIASEM) is proposed to overcome these challenges. [...]
2019 - 10.1016/j.enpol.2018.09.028
Energy Policy, Vol. 124 (January 2019) , p. 13-22  
2018-09-06
13:16
13 p, 1.9 MB Unraveling the complexity of the Jevons Paradox : the link between innovation, efficiency, and sustainability / Giampietro, Mario (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals) ; Mayumi, Kozo (The University of Tokushima. Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences)
The term “Jevons Paradox” flags the need to consider the different hierarchical scales at which a system under analysis changes its identity in response to an innovation. Accordingly, an analysis of the implications of the Jevons Paradox must abandon the realm of reductionism and deal with the complexity inherent in the issue of sustainability: when studying evolution and real change how can we define “what has to be sustained” in a system that continuously becomes something else? In an attempt to address this question this paper presents three theoretical concepts foreign to conventional scientific analysis: (i) complex adaptive systems—to address the peculiar characteristics of learning and self-producing systems; (ii) holons and holarchy—to explain the implications of the ambiguity found when observing the relation between functional and structural elements across different scales (steady-state vs. [...]
2018 - 10.3389/fenrg.2018.00026
Frontiers in energy research, Vol. 6 (April 2018) , art. 26  
2018-08-16
20:52
The metabolism of oil extraction : a bottom-up approach applied to the case of Ecuador / Parra, Rony (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals) ; Di Felice, Louisa Jane (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals) ; Giampietro, Mario (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals) ; Ramos Martín, Jesús (Universidad Regional Amazónica Ikiam. Grupo de Población y Ambiente)
The global energy system is highly dependent on fossil fuels, which covered approximately 90% of primary energy sources in 2016. As the quality and quantity of oil extracted changes, in response to changes in end uses and in response to biophysical limitations, it is important to understand the metabolism of oil extraction – i. [...]
2018 - 10.1016/j.enpol.2018.07.017
Energy Policy, Vol. 122 (Nov. 2018) , p. 63-74  
2018-08-16
20:17
14 p, 2.8 MB Analyzing the energy performance of manufacturing across levels using the end-use matrix / Velasco Fernández, Raúl (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals) ; Giampietro, Mario (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals) ; Bukkens, Sandra G.F. (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals)
Within the context of the controversial use of the concept energy intensity to assess national energy performance, this paper proposes an innovative accounting framework: the energy end-use matrix. This tool integrates quantitative assessments of energy use of the various constituent compartments of socioeconomic systems. [...]
2018 - 10.1016/j.energy.2018.07.122
Energy, Vol. 161 (Oct. 2018) ,p. 559-572