Urban Metabolism Assessment in the Context of Sustainability: the Case of Nur-Sultan city (Kazakhstan)
The accelerating pace of urbanization sharpens the contradictions between the needs of cities residents and the quality of environment. Due to growing intensity of materials and energy flows between urban spaces and environment the “urban metabolism” concept can be considered as a basic need to study cities’ ecosystems resilience and sustainable development. A comprehensive assessment of the resource intensity of large cities in this paper was based on calculating the Sustainable Development of Energy, Water, and Environment Systems Index that benchmarks cities by 7 dimensions and 35 main indicators. The index is calculated for the first time taking into account the capital city of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan, which has recently joined to the Race to Zero to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Positions of Nur-Sultan city in the sustainability rating were analyzed in comparison with 21 cities of the world. The results showed that Nur-Sultan belongs to the group with the lowest index values “Challenged Cities”, which determines the key directions of future development. The results are useful for the city's integration into the race to net-zero targets achievement, focusing on energy and CO2-saving measures, rising renewable energy potential and water and environment quality, and development of research, innovations and sustainability policy.