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How does peri-urbanization teleconnect remote areas? An emergy approach

Chiu, Hao-Wei, Lee, Ying-Chieh, Huang, Shu-Li, Hsieh, Ya-Cheng
Ecological modelling 2019 v.403 pp. 57-69
construction materials, emergy, emissions, metropolitan areas, nonrenewable resources, urbanization, wastes, Taiwan
Urbanization not only causes environmental changes in metropolitan regions but also influences the ecological and socioeconomic changes of distant land areas due to increasing demands on resource use and waste emissions. Previous studies on the assessment of urban systems have focused on the city or metropolitan areas under study. There is a need to incorporate urban land teleconnections to investigate the relationship between a city and distant land areas during the process of urbanization. This paper analyzes the teleconnection of the energy and material flows associated with Taipei’s peri-urbanization and remote areas in Taiwan. The cross-scale emergy synthesis of Taipei and Taiwan was examined first to investigate the relationships of the material and energy flows between Taipei and Taiwan. The exploitation of non-renewable resources in Taiwan during the 1990s was driven mainly by the construction and development taking place in Taipei. Furthermore, compared with Taiwan, the Taipei area relies heavily on external resources. The results of the emergy evaluation of materials flows in Taipei indicated that 85% of the construction materials used were imported from other remote areas during the past 30 years. The use of construction materials in Taipei had a higher intensity in the city center during 1982–1992 and in the peri-urban area during 2002−2014. The results of the emergy synthesis indicated that urban land teleconnections exist between peri-urban areas of Taipei and other distant areas in Taiwan.