The urban subsystem is dynamic, so the status of the demand actors and the associated resource flows are constantly changing. This might be linked to the dynamics of land use, population growth or technological innovations. Some of these changes are intrinsic to the urban system under observation and other may be brought through (external) regional, national and international influences.
We may also distinguish between continuous (e.g. internal socio-economic) and discrete (deliberate intervention) influences and consider their rate of change (land use changes slowly whereas changes in tenancy or in employment status may happen relatively quickly).
These changes inevitably influence urban sustainability. Therefore, critical factors are being identified and studied in order to provide guidelines towards sustainable development.
Research has been dedicated to:
– Assess resource consumption of urban economic activities;
– Analyse the correlation between urban resource consumption and socioeconomic, geographical, climate and governance parameters;
– Urban environment history – relation between urban form and resource consumption over time;
– Urban morphology and climate change.
This will lead to the articulation of criteria for the planning of communities that better serve a resource efficient urban fabric.