CEFISES Seminar: Nicola Bertoldi and Daniela Perrotti, “Agency and actors in urban social-ecological systems through the concept of urban metabolism: A conceptual framework and computational analysis of research literature”
February 23@15:00-17:00 CET
Attention, location and time change! Exceptionally, the session will take place between 15:00 and 17:00 on the Saint-Gilles campus, room AV-25, Bâtiment Lemaire (second floor in the fore part of the building, just before the courtyard), Rue Wafelaerts, 47-51, Bruxelles.
Series: Urban Metabolism
Speakers: Nicola Bertoldi and Daniela Perrotti (Urban Metabolism Lab, LAB, UCLouvain)
Title: “Agency and actors in urban social-ecological systems through the concept of urban metabolism: A conceptual framework and computational analysis of research literature.”
Abstract: The urban metabolism concept’s potential for informing sustainable policies has been highlighted by urban political ecology, notably through the notion of agency. Outside urban political ecology, the urban metabolism has been conceptualized by systems-based approaches grounded in industrial ecology, urban ecology, or social ecology. Those approaches have generally overlooked the various forms of agency that urban political ecology has identified at the urban metabolism concept’s core, thereby leaving the problem of linking social-ecological systems and actors in urban metabolism-based urban sustainability studies unaddressed. This presentation explores such a problem by conceptualizing agentic features specific to the structures and processes that comprise urban social-ecological systems. To this aim, we outline a conceptual framework characterizing forms of agency that describe those same agentic features and are constitutive of the urban metabolism concept itself from a systems-based and sustainability-oriented perspective. We then extract cognate concepts of interest from a corpus of scientific literature about the urban metabolism and industrial ecology’s, urban ecology’s, or social ecology’s theoretical foundations by drawing on computational linguistics, text mining, and semantic network analysis. Through our proposed framework, we show how those same concepts illuminate the urban metabolism notion’s relevance to urban sustainability by ascribing forms of agency to social-ecological systems’ subsystems and subprocesses.