Welcome to the SUME project!


Urban development is running environmental risks, consuming huge amounts of resources and putting strains on the environmental system. The FP7-funded project Sustainable Urban Metabolism for Europe (SUME) is focusing on the way how future urban systems can be designed to be consistently less damaging to the environment than in the present. The concept of urban metabolism helps to understand and analyse the way how (urban) societies use resources of the environmental system such as energy and land for maintaining and reproducing themselves.

Based on the urban metabolism approach, the flows of resources, energy and waste maintaining the urban system are explored. The built environment as the stock of the urban system is using a substantial portion of flows being built. Moreover, the spatial qualities of built urban systems - the “urban forms” - have an impact on the qualities and quantities of resources needed to maintain them subsequently.

The SUME project will analyse the impacts of existing urban forms on resource use and estimate the future potential to transform urban building and spatial structures in order to signifi­cantly reduce resource and energy consumption, thereby taking into account differences in urban development dynamics. The project started in November 2008 and will be carried out over a period of three years (up to October 2011).

Watch the SUME film ! Euronews stream

In the 8min film, our project is presented together with another resource-related EU-project, named SHE, about low energy housing in Denmark. It is accessible on the website in several language and was broadcasted on Euronews, December 17th, 2010.

Short summary of the Urban Development 2050 Conference ! Immoflash magazine

SUME Flyer (A3) download the SUME project flyer

The SUME research questions