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Underneath Norrköping: An Urban Mine of Hibernating Infrastructure
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2013 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study examines the subsurface infrastructure in the Swedish city of Norrköping from an urban mining perspective. Urban mining is a broadly defined term for different strategies that regard the built environment as a resource base for materials. In this study, the focus is on three base metals that exist in large quantities in infrastructure parts: iron, copper and aluminium. A special focus is given to the parts of Norrköping’s infrastructure that are not in-use and thus constitute a ”hibernating stock” that contains recyclable metals.

The main results of this study are twofold. First, a quantitative assessment of the hibernating stocks of urban infrastructure gives answers to how large the stocks are and where in Norrköping they are located. This was performed using a spatially informed Material Flow Analysis to arrive at a recycling potential in terms of weight and spatial concentration. Second, a qualitative assessment was made regarding how these hibernating stocks of urban infrastructure come into existence. An infrastructure studies perspective was used to outline three patterns with their own sets of ”hibernation” logics. These logics give rise to different prerequisites for the implementation of urban mining in practice.

A main argument of this study’s cover essay is that both of the above outlined kinds of knowledge are needed to engage in urban mining with confidence. Thus, the main focus of the cover essay text is to describe how the two different perspectives of Material Flow Analysis and infrastructure studies were combined into a coherent research approach.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013. , 53 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1617
Keyword [en]
Urban mining, infrastructure, hibernating stocks, Material Flow Analysis, infrastructure studies, Norrköping
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-98056DOI: 10.3384/lic.diva-98056Local ID: LIU-TEK-LIC-2013:51ISBN: 978-91-7519-521-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-98056DiVA: diva2:651628
Presentation
2013-10-04, A30, A-huset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-09-26 Created: 2013-09-26 Last updated: 2013-12-19Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. To prospect an urban mine - assessing the metal recovery potential of infrastructure "cold spots" in Norrkoping, Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>To prospect an urban mine - assessing the metal recovery potential of infrastructure "cold spots" in Norrkoping, Sweden
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2013 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 55, 103-111 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In conventional mining, prospecting methods are used to increase the degree of certainty with regard to the stock of metals. Similarly, prospecting in terms of "urban mining" aims to increase the information about metal stocks available for recovery in the built environment. Infrastructure systems, such as for power supply and heating, are rich in copper, aluminum and iron (including steel). For a number of reasons, pipes and cables remain in the ground after being taken out of use or disconnected. This is also true for entire obsolete systems. In this paper, these infrastructures "cold spots" are viewed as hibernating stock with a significant potential for urban mining. less thanbrgreater than less thanbrgreater thanThe infrastructure systems for AC and DC power, telecommunication, town gas and district heating in the city of Norrkoping, Sweden, have been quantified and spatially allocated with a GIS-based approach of Material Flow Analysis (MFA). About 20% of the total stock of aluminum and copper in these systems is found to be in hibernation. The findings also indicate that cables have been disconnected to a larger extent than pipes. As an example, cables for DC power, taken out of use in the late 1930s yet still in the ground, consist of 230 tonnes of copper. The results illustrate a clear tendency for larger stocks of hibernating copper and aluminum to be found in the central rather than the outer parts of the city. A reverse, ring-like pattern is true for iron, mostly because the central parts of the town gas pipes are used for fiber optics. less thanbrgreater than less thanbrgreater thanParticular focus has been placed on the industrial area of Sodra Butangen, which is slated for redevelopment and re-zoning from industrial to residential. Since the ground will be dug up for sanitation purposes anyway, the entire metal stock can be taken into prospecting consideration. Analysis shows that the chances of finding aluminum here are 28 times higher than in the rest of the city. less thanbrgreater than less thanbrgreater thanWe argue for an increased MFA focus on the heterogeneous complexity found in the details of the specific locale, rather than striving for generalized assumptions about the broader picture. In doing so, MFA could very well provide a tool for a future business line of urban mining of hibernating metal stocks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2013
Keyword
Urban mining, Hibernation, Infrastructure cold spots, GIS, Metal stocks
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-97230 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.05.041 (DOI)000322802300011 ()
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Innovation Agency, VINNOVA||

Available from: 2013-09-06 Created: 2013-09-05 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. A Cable Laid Is a Cable Played: On the Hibernation Logic behind Urban Infrastructure Mines
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Cable Laid Is a Cable Played: On the Hibernation Logic behind Urban Infrastructure Mines
2013 (English)In: The Journal of urban technology, ISSN 1063-0732, E-ISSN 1466-1853, Vol. 20, no 3, 85-103 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Our societies are reliant on metals to such an extent that the total amounts of some of them in the built environment are comparable in size to the remaining amounts in known mountain ores. Because of concerns about mineral scarcity, the United Nations has assessed alternative sources for metal extraction and targeted urban areas in general and infrastructure systems in particular, since these are large, spatially concentrated and rich in metals. Referring to the possibility of recovering these metal stocks, infrastructure systems constitute what material flow researchers has conceptually termed “urban mines.” While most urban infrastructure is in use, significant amounts of cables and pipes have been disconnected and remain in their subsurface locations; they are “hibernating.” In this article, we analyze the occurrence of such hibernation in the Swedish city of Norrköping's urban infrastructure mine where, we know from a previous study, that every fourth kilo of infrastructure is discarded. Our applied perspective is different from the logic of system expansion as a way to meet increased demand often found in the field of infrastructure studies since we are interested in how systems are disconnected and left behind. This enables us to offer a refined understanding of the concepts of infrastructure “decline” and infrastructure “cold spots.” We argue that to prevent the increase of dormant infrastructures and to engage in the urban mining of already dormant infrastructures, we must develop a sensibility to the materiality of derelict infrastructure components and the underlying causes for why they form different kinds of spatial patterns.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2013
Keyword
Urban Mining; Urban Infrastructure; Infrastructure “Cold Spots;” Hibernation; Norrko¨ping
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-98054 (URN)10.1080/10630732.2013.809222 (DOI)000324670300006 ()
Available from: 2013-09-26 Created: 2013-09-26 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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