Towards a Closed-loop Community: Creating a Sustainable Seed in the Urban Environment
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In the coming years resource stress and waste management will continue to become two of the world’s biggest issues. If order to conserve resources and reduce waste that our cities produce I believe that we will need to begin to move towards a closed-loop pattern of consumption and away from the current, linear and wasteful pattern. If closed-loop systems are adapted and layered into our cities then resources and raw materials will have multiple lives and waste will be significantly reduced. Is it possible for our cities to begin to function according to closed-loop principles? This thesis is centered on three case studies of communities that are able to function as semi-closed-loops systems. The three communities include: Kalundborg Industrial Park in Denmark, the Mobius Project in London, and the Great Lakes Brewing Company in Ohio. Although these communities may not function strictly as closed-loops, they begin to move away from linear patterns of consumption towards closed-loop principles. Each community has been able to achieve a large cost and environmental savings by productively reusing waste products. This paper analyzes each case study and discusses the problems and opportunity that arise when considering closed-loop communities. I believe that adapting closed-loop principles will be the only way for our cities to make significant progress with the sustainability movement.