Resources Science ›› 2017, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (9): 1682-1690.doi: 10.18402/resci.2017.09.07

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Chinese urban household metabolism accounting based on material flow analysis

Li YAN1,2(), Jingru LIU1()   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology,Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100085,China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100049,China
  • Received:2017-02-10 Revised:2017-07-08 Online:2017-09-20 Published:2017-09-20


As research into sustainable consumption theory advances, urban households as the final consumption sector have become the main research focus in sustainable development. It is important and necessary to carry out ‘cell-scale’ environmental impact assessments at the urban household level. Based on Material Flow Accounting,we built an accounting framework for urban household material flow to provide a new focus for household-scale material flow analysis. We selected an average urban household as the system boundary,72 products and water and energy for household use as the research scope. We then measured input,output and stock of resource use of an average urban household in 2015. The concept of an average urban household originates from the China Statistic Yearbook 2016,and there are 2.90 persons per household. Results show that the direct material input (DMI)of an average urban household in 2015 was 86 420kg,and the material output was 83 457kg,thereby the net addition to stock (NAS)was 2374kg per household. As for material categories,water input accounted for the largest proportion,whereas the other 9% was important in total material input structure and deserved more attention and exploration. Mineral input fell into the second group,due to an increase in new residential buildings and purchase of durable goods. Biomass followed as the third,and food made the most contribution to biomass input. In terms of consumption categories,housing,food and transportation were the main sources of material input. For current urban household consumption,we present appropriate polices to encourage residents to change their unsustainable consumption concepts to sustainable household consumption patterns,such as consumption reduction,sharing economy,ecological design for products and green infrastructure.

Key words: household metabolism, material flow analysis(MFA), sustainable consumption, urban metabolism