Web of Science: 30 citations, Scopus: 35 citations, Google Scholar: citations,
Application of life cycle thinking towards sustainable cities: a review
Petit, Anna (Petit Boix) (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals)
Llorach-Massana, Pere (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals)
Sanjuan Delmas, David (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals)
Sierra-Pérez, Jorge (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals)
Vinyes Guix, Elisabet (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals)
Gabarrell Durany, Xavier (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Departament d'Enginyeria Química, Biològica i Ambiental)
Rieradevall, Joan (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals)
Sanyé Mengual, Esther (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambiental)

Date: 2017
Abstract: Defining sustainable cities is not straightforward. The main issues involved in urban sustainability are buildings, energy, food, green areas and landscape, mobility, urban planning, water and waste; and their improvement is promoted through different strategies. However, a quantitative method, such as life cycle thinking (LCT), is essential to evaluating these strategies. This paper reviews LCT studies related to urban issues to identify the main research gaps in the evaluation of these improvement strategies. The review identifies the main sustainability strategies associated with each urban issue and compiles articles that deal with these strategies through LCT, including environmental life cycle assessment (LCA), life cycle costing (LCC), social LCA (S-LCA) and life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA), as well as integrated analyses with combined tools. Water, waste and buildings are the urban issues that accounted for a larger amount of studies. In contrast, a limited number of papers assessed urban planning and energy (excluding energy in buildings). Strong interrelations among urban issues were identified, most of them including water. In terms of methods, 79% of the studies exclusively applied life cycle tools (i. e. , LCA, LCC, S-LCA or LCSA). Within this group, the environmental dimension was the focus of 84% of the papers. Single environmental indicators (e. g. , global warming) were common in 20% of the analyses, highlighting the need to integrate more impact categories to prevent trade-offs. In the field of social and sustainability assessment, there is a need for methodological advances that foster their application in urban areas. Further research should cover the thematic and methodological gaps identified in this paper, such as developing models that assess complex urban issues, generating comprehensive LCT studies and promoting multi-indicators. Life cycle tools might benefit from revising the methodology with stakeholders to optimize the understanding and communication of life cycle results for policy- and decision-making processes.
Note: Unidad de excelencia María de Maeztu MdM-2015-0552
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció MINECO/2015/MDM-0552
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció MEC/FPU13/01273
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció MEC/AP2010/4044
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció AGAUR/2014/SGR-1412
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció AGAUR/2015/FI-DGR
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció AGAUR/2014/FI-DGR
Rights: Aquest document està subjecte a una llicència d'ús Creative Commons. Es permet la reproducció total o parcial, la distribució, i la comunicació pública de l'obra, sempre que no sigui amb finalitats comercials, i sempre que es reconegui l'autoria de l'obra original. No es permet la creació d'obres derivades. Creative Commons
Language: Anglès.
Document: article ; recerca ; acceptedVersion
Subject: Sustainabililty ; Life cycle assessment ; Urban metabolism ; Sustainable policy ; Life cycle thinking
Published in: Journal of cleaner production, Vol. 166 (November 2017) , p. 939-951, ISSN 0959-6526

DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.08.030


Post-print
30 p, 1.4 MB

The record appears in these collections:
Research literature > UAB research groups literature > Research Centres and Groups (scientific output) > Experimental sciences > Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA)
Articles > Research articles
Articles > Published articles

 Record created 2017-11-06, last modified 2020-04-25



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