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Integrating Life Cycle Assessment into the Framework of Environmental Impact Assessment for Urban Systems: Framework and Case Study of Masdar City, Abu Dhabi

Industrial Ecology Group, University of Freiburg, Tennenbacher Straße 4, 79106 Freiburg, Germany
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Environments 2019, 6(9), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6090105
Received: 5 July 2019 / Revised: 22 August 2019 / Accepted: 3 September 2019 / Published: 9 September 2019
Planning urban expansion under the interconnected Sustainable Development Goals requires a systemic analysis of its environmental impacts. The benefits of integrating the widely used system analysis tool life cycle assessment (LCA) into the planning process tool environmental impact assessment (EIA) are described in the literature. However, not many applications of such an integration have been conducted. The aim of this study is to refine the framework for integrating LCA into the process of EIA and to apply this framework to an example of urban expansion: Masdar City in Abu Dhabi. The integrated framework builds on the complementarity between the scope and assessment steps of the tools and assesses the impacts for the areas of protection: human health, ecosystem, and resources. The framework is then applied to the vehicles, buildings, and infrastructure in the city’s first development phase (DP1). Major environmental stressors include the loss of existing desert ecosystem and the utilization of non-renewable sources of energy at various development stages of DP1. Substituting natural gas-based electricity with solar power could potentially save 46% of current carbon emissions. To mitigate the land transformation impacts, construction of “close-to-nature” artificial habitats, and increased use of low-carbon fuels is suggested. View Full-Text
Keywords: life cycle assessment; environmental impact assessment; sustainable urban development; Masdar City life cycle assessment; environmental impact assessment; sustainable urban development; Masdar City
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Madhu, K.; Pauliuk, S. Integrating Life Cycle Assessment into the Framework of Environmental Impact Assessment for Urban Systems: Framework and Case Study of Masdar City, Abu Dhabi. Environments 2019, 6, 105.

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