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Construction industry market segmentation: Foresight of needs and priorities of the urban mining segment
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering. Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Economics. (ME310, Urban Mining)
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis [Artistic work]
Abstract [en]

Context: Current unsustainable practices have resulted in the depletion of natural resources and a prevailing material scarcity. Urban Mining has emerged in this context and suggests the “mining” of cities or other sources in urban areas to retrieve valuable resources. It raises the topic of how urban mining as a market segment of the construction industry is like today and in the future. 

Objective: The thesis sets out to study what firms in the urban mining market segment desires in terms of needs and priorities. Furthermore, what could be prioritized in the future (2030), what future scenarios could be expected and what implications these can have on organizations within the segment and on the construction industry. 

Method: A foresight methodology was applied as a framework for the research design. Interview with representatives from 10 firms, including observations of their operations, resulted in a number of mutual needs shared across the urban mining segment. These were prioritized in relative importance based on a questionnaire of 67 respondents representing 44 different firms in Sweden. A combination of these studies and a review of technology trends further enabled the extrapolation of future scenarios. 

Results: The findings shows that firms within the urban mining market segment prioritizes and emphasizes needs related concerns in optimization, cost control, safety, environmental and social care today. Needs related to safety, environmental and social care are indicated to remain top prioritized as a result of the future market circumstances. A holistic and lifecycle approach in urban mining practices was deemed of low priority today but was indicated to grow significantly in relative importance in the future. 

Conclusion: Technology, urbanization and globalization indicates stricter and more competitive market circumstances in the future. Especially related to safety, lifecycle consideration, environmental, and social care. The research suggests that firms concerned and those operating within the urban mining segment may need to undergo transformational changes in their organization to meet what the market segment expects in the future. Moreover, the findings opens up the possibility for actors and stakeholders concerned with the construction industry to proactively go into a desired future by knowing how the future market could unfold.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 70 p.
Blekinge Tekniska Högskola Forskningsrapport, ISSN 1103-1581
Keyword [en]
Urban mining; C&D; Emerging technology; Trends; Management; Product & service development; Needfinding, Customer needs; Sustainability
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-1017ISRN: BTH-AMT-EX—2015/CIIE-06-SEOAI: diva2:825836
External cooperation
Volvo CE
Subject / course
MT2535 Degree Project in Master of Science in Industrial Management and Engineering
Educational program
IEACI Master of Science in Industrial Management and Engineering
2015-06-08, J1640, Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, SE-371 79 Karlskrona, Karlskrona, 13:15 (English)
Stanford University, ME310: Urban Mining
Available from: 2015-06-24 Created: 2015-06-24 Last updated: 2015-06-24Bibliographically approved

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Ha, Simon
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