Quantifying Potential Anthropogenic Resources through Hot Spot Analysis
Kuang-Ly Cheng1,2,3, Wing-Man Li2, Hwong-wen Ma1,3, Shu-Chien Hsu2,3
1Graduate Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taiwan; 2Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong; 3Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Urban mining could be an alternative to the continuous extraction of raw materials from nature. One of the most abundant resources in the anthroposphere is urban buildings, which consist of a large number of construction materials such as concrete, bricks, steel, glass, wood, and aluminum. However, there is still little known about the materials that have been stocked in the city, reflecting the need to ascertain the quality, composition, location, and age of the urban construction material stock. To address this problem, this study estimates the amount of secondary raw materials in Taipei City from year 1965-2014 by analyzing data such as construction period, structure, type, total floor area, and location of the buildings through statistics and geographical information systems (GIS). Hot spot analysis is also introduced to assess the location of resources. Our results show that up to year 2014, 186 Mton of construction materials are accumulated in Taipei, including concrete (81%), bricks (9%), steel (8%), and other materials (1%). In the short term, the hot spots with development potential are Da’an (Zone I) and Zhongshan (Zone II) districts. A total of 185 (108,914 m2) and 147 (118,814 m2) buildings exist in Zone I (0.1 km2) and Zone II (0.6 km2) respectively. Zone I stores 180 kton of materials, including concrete (80%), bricks (15%), and steel (5%); while Zone II stores 119 kton of materials with concrete (71%), bricks (25%), and steel (4%). This study concludes that time is a priority consideration in assessing the development potential of anthropogenic resources, and that quantitative and high spatial resolution data could enhance resource management and planning. This article provides valuable information on the quantity of resources in the anthroposphere for potential use, in-depth investigations on the extractable material stock should be carried out in the future.