Urban–industrial symbiosis to support sustainable energy transition

Urban–industrial symbiosis to support sustainable energy transition

Maria Angela Butturi Rita Gamberini

Department of Science and Methods for Engineering, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy

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Despite the growing interest in the field of urban–industrial symbiosis as well as in sustainable energy solutions at the city level, a research gap is recognized in terms of analyzing the advantages of energy symbiosis networks between industrial and urban areas integrating renewable energy systems.

The urban–industrial symbiosis can support both urban transition toward sustainability and industrial green innovation through creating advantageous relationships in the framework of a common low-carbon strategy between industrial districts and neighboring urban areas. Urban–industrial symbiosis extends the concept of industrial symbiosis, a part of the industrial ecology field, to urban–industrial synergies. Taking advantage of the geographic proximity, it promotes the exchanges of waste, resources, and energy between urban and industrial areas, as well as the sharing of infrastructure.

Thus, the paper aims at presenting an in-depth analysis of the main urban–industrial symbiosis schemes based on low-carbon energy flows between industries and cities, investigating the energy syn- ergies potential. It introduces the concept and outline of sustainability-driven framework with the aim of modeling urban–industrial energy symbiosis networks integrating renewable energy sources from a multi-stakeholder point of view and supporting decision-making on the economic, environmental, and social sustainability of the energy synergies.


low-carbon transition, renewable energy sources, sustainable energy, urban–industrial symbiosis


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