The Direct Material Inputs into Singapore's Development

Authors

  • Niels B. Schulz

    Corresponding author
      Niels B. Schulz, Energy Futures Lab, Urban Energy Systems, 101 Skempton Building, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW72AZ, UK <n.schulz@imperial.ac.uk> <www.imperial.ac.ukurbanenergysystems>
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    • Niels B. Schulz is a research associate in a new project on Urban Energy Systems at the Energy Futures Lab of Imperial College London.


Niels B. Schulz, Energy Futures Lab, Urban Energy Systems, 101 Skempton Building, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW72AZ, UK <n.schulz@imperial.ac.uk> <www.imperial.ac.ukurbanenergysystems>

Abstract

Because human population and socioeconomic activity are both increasingly concentrated in cities, an improved understanding of the environmental consequences of urbanization is needed. A 41-year annual time series of direct material flows was compiled for Singapore, representing a case of fast, export-driven industrialization. Results show that the spectacular economic growth of Singapore by a factor of 20 was associated with a similar expansion of domestic material consumption (DMC). DMC remained closely coupled to economic activity, increasing from below 4 tonnes per capita annually in 1962 to more than 50 tonnes annually in 2000. Despite economic structural changes and a growing service sector, no significant improvements in overall material productivity have been observed.

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