Ecological network analysis of an emergy metabolic system based on input–output tables: Model development and case study for Vienna

The rapid population growth accompanied by health concerns and other global environmental problems in cities and regions has boosted the popularity of ‘urban metabolism’ topic among academics and policy makers. Being among those regions, Vienna plays a key role in identification of disorders in production and consumption patterns and in promoting efficient and sustainable development of other similar regions. Combining emergy input-output with ecological network analysis allows researchers to study hierarchy of sectors and functional relationships along all possible metabolic paths of ecological and socio-economic flows exchange in urban economy and between urban economy and environment.
In this study, using emergy input-output table of Vienna, we introduced a model that combines of emergy input-output model with ecological network analysis. Then, using system-level analyses (flow and contribution analyses) we determined status of components the system. Finally, the components responsible for disorders in emergy consumption were identified using pairwise control and utility analyses. The results provide insight into indirect effects of internal metabolic processes on the hierarchy and role of each component in urban metabolic system. This model will also provide a support for city managers and policy makers to guide the development of emergy consumption structure towards efficient and sustainable urban metabolic system.


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