Learning outcomes of the course unit
To shed light on the meaning of sustainability through the study of the human system metabolism and comparison with the metabolism of the natural ecosystem. To use this comparative approach for thinking about criteria for sustainable development.
Course contents summary
Human system versus natural ecosystems: similarities and differences.
Human systems and ecosystems and their processes: representing them as networks.
The ecosystem as an energy and matter flow network: building representative models.
The human ecosystems as exchange networks: water and energy as currency.
How to analyze ecosystems. Network analysis.
Input/output analysis, system level indices.
Growth and development in natural and human ecosystems.
A broader perspective: the metabolism of the anthroposphere.
Material flow analysis.
Sustainable development and eco-efficiency.
Ulanowicz R.E. 1986. Growth and Development. Springer-Verlag, Berlin pp. 203.
Ulanowicz R.E. 1996. Ecology, the ascendent perspective. Columbia University Press, pp. 201.
Baccini P., Brunner P.H., 1991. Metabolism of the anthroposphere. Springer-Verlag, Berlin pp. 157.
Bleischwitz R., Hennicke P., 2005. Economia leggera. L'ecoefficienza dal Fattore 4 al business sostenibile. Edizioni Ambiente, pp. 216.
Lectures will be organized using power point presentations. Working groups on the topics covered during the lectures.