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Input-Output Conference 2010

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Highlight: Urban Energy Transition

A new book on energy challenges for 21st-century cities

Featuring a chapter by ISA's Manfred Lenzen, Barney Foran and Richard Wood on Urban Lifestyle Transitions.

As people flock to the cities in search of opportunities, and societies become more urbanised, they also become more affluent, and their energy systems more efficient. At the same time the demands of people for material wealth, comfort and convenience increase rapidly, causing the increase of industrial energy demand, which in turn often outstrips all energy efficiency gains. Generally the cities are the places where money is made, and which become the home of the wealthy, while the countryside is the place where resources are taken. Urban centres thus become sinks of rural resources and energy.

This book shows that many growing urban metropolises are reaching their limits of domestic resource availability or environmental pollution, while at the same time further efficiency improvements become costly. By increasingly drawing on cheap resources and energy beyond their borders, facilitated by an increasingly globalised international trade, they export their environmental pressure into resource-rich, but often technology-poor, low-wage regions. The domestic resource hinterland turns into the global resource hinterland.

Urban Energy Transition is a compendium of 28 chapters, presenting perspectives that are both local and international in scope and relevance: views from 18 countries in both the developed and developing world. As a cross-disciplinary survey this volume covers diverse urban topics, including: carbon emissions policy and practice; the role of embodied energy; urban thermal performance planning; building efficiency services; energy poverty alleviation efforts; renewable community support networks; aspects of household level bio-fuel markets; urban renewable energy legislation, programs and incentives; innovations in individual transport systems; global urban mobility trends; implications of intelligent energy networks and distributed energy supply and storage; and the case for new regional monetary systems and lifestyles.

Hardcover ISBN: 9780080453415

Check out other book chapters by the ISA team.