Operationalizing sustainability in urban coastal systems: A system dynamics analysis


November 12, 2013 - Georgia Mavrommati, <kbithas@eesd.gr>, Panayiotis Panayiotidis

Journal or Book Title: Water Research

Keywords: Coupled human and natural systems; Pollutant loads; Biological quality elements; Good ecological status; Ecological sustainability; System dynamics

Volume/Issue: Online

Year Published: 2013

We propose a system dynamics approach for Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) in urban coastal systems. A systematic analysis based on theoretical considerations, policy analysis and experts’ knowledge is followed in order to define the concept of ESD. The principles underlying ESD feed the development of a System Dynamics Model (SDM) that connects the pollutant loads produced by urban systems’ socioeconomic activities with the ecological condition of the coastal ecosystem that it is delineated in operational terms through key biological elements defined by the EU Water Framework Directive. The receiving waters of the Athens Metropolitan area, which bears the elements of typical high population density Mediterranean coastal city but which currently has also new dynamics induced by the ongoing financial crisis, are used as an experimental system for testing a system dynamics approach to apply the concept of ESD. Systems’ thinking is employed to represent the complex relationships among the components of the system. Interconnections and dependencies that determine the potentials for achieving ESD are revealed. The proposed system dynamics analysis can facilitate decision makers to define paths of development that comply with the principles of ESD.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2013.10.041

Type of Publication: Journal Article



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