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Energy and material flows of megacities

Chris Kennedy, a Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto, recently led a team of researchers to quantify energy and material flows for the world’s 27 megacities. This major undertaking and the sheer magnitude of the flows these researchers discovered (e.g., 9% of global electricity, 10% of gasoline; 13% of solid waste), shows the importance of megacities in addressing global environmental challenges.

Megacities face enormous social stresses because of their sheer size and complexity and it is critical for these cities to be able to access, share and manage their energy and material resources. Kennedy et al.’s research help identify megacities exhibiting high and low levels of consumption and those making efficient use of resources. Correlations are established for electricity consumption, heating and industrial fuel use, ground transportation energy use, water consumption, waste generation, and steel production in terms of heating-degree-days, urban form, economic activity, and population growth.

Read the full research paper here.