Smart City and Urban Metabolism Research Group

Smart Cities & Urban Metabolism is one of the cross cutting research themes of the Department of Urbanism at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology.

This theme is concerned with understanding the metabolism of urban environments and its relationship to landscape systems theory. Smart Cities & Urban Metabolism investigates the performance of infrastructures, environmental technology and systems in relation to spatial quality, environmental sustainability, liveability and the social wellbeing of future cities.

The theme focuses on developing future urban systems that are less damaging to the environment by making them more efficient in terms of energy, material cycles, waste management and the effectiveness of related hard and soft infrastructure.

Metabolism tools can help to assess and aid the growth (and decline) of cities in developing regions towards more resilient systems based on reciprocal relations between cities and hinterlands, culture, nature and ecology.

Research questions

  • What are effective strategies to influence urban metabolism in such a way that cities can accelerate their transitions into sustainable living environments with a high quality of life?
  • How to set up and carry out inventory baseline studies, scenario planning and simulation?
  • How to set up and carry out flow & infrastructure planning and design?
  • How to measure environmental performance?
  • How to create visual analytics and infographics?

The Research Group is led by Arjan van Timmeren and Alex Wandl; the graduation education is coordinated by Ulf Hackauf.