Industrial symbiosis as a countermeasure for resource dependent city: A case study of Guiyang, China

Hong Li, Liang Dong, Jingzheng Ren

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Solutions towards sustainable cities are of vital importance for China's stakeholders due to the rapid urbanizations, serious resources depletion and environmental contaminations in China. China as the second largest economy is suffering from the dilemma of rapid industrialization and urbanization, and sustainable development. One of the most severe problems affecting China's sustainable urban development is the resource dependent city, in which resource mining and process industries dominate the local economy. With the depletion of natural resources and the degradation of environment, the concept of sustainability and economy transition solutions become more and more important. Under this condition, this study aims to conduct a comprehensive review on the major projects for a more sustainable future in China's national resource dependent cities and propose a countermeasure for the sustainability transition based on the industrial symbiosis concept. Firstly, an investigation on the panoramic view, challenges, transiting policies of China's resource dependent cities' project has been carried out. Subsequently, Guiyang city in Guizhou province of China, as a typical resource dependent city, has been chosen as example of industrial and regional symbiosis focusing on the integration and symbiosis of coal, electricity, aluminum, phosphor chemical, iron/steel industry and urban. Then, a quantitative assessment on the environmental benefits has been conducted based on material flow analysis approach. Results highlight a dramatic resource saving, solid waste reduction and carbon dioxide emission mitigation, as well as generating revenue for companies and local business opportunities. Finally, policy implications for promoting the industry symbiosis are discussed in details. Our research provides an efficacious solution for the transition of resource dependent cities, and it is revelatory for future sustainable urban planning and policy making in China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-266
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Industrial symbiosis
  • Resource dependent cities
  • Sustainable urban development
  • System integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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