Industrial Symbiosis Plans Lay the Foundation for a Smart City’s Infrastructure
Circularity in manufacturing resources would cut waste and emissions by 90%.
A more sustainable future will require nations, cities, and industrial zones to facilitate industrial symbiosis, in which byproducts of one industrial process become the raw materials for another. The leaders of FutureCityCo*, a greenfield development project, have fully embraced this concept.
FutureCityCo is redefining fundamental concepts of city planning with an industrial footprint based on the circular flow of resources. We helped its leaders use sophisticated models to design the zone’s manufacturing activities and the hundreds of resource flows that these activities will generate as operations ramp up.
Our team identified more than 70 scalable opportunities for resource synergies. The reuse and recycling of energy, water, and materials in the design would create 90% less waste and emissions over 10 years than a similar project without industrial symbiosis embedded into the core city concept.
To bring FutureCityCo’s plans to life, we brought in a team that included experts and practitioners in manufacturing, real estate, advanced analytics, and more.
We began by forecasting the input-output balance for each of the manufacturing activities that the project’s industrial zone will host. Triangulating from a range of data sources, the team used optimization algorithms to identify potential reuse opportunities that would keep resources circulating as long as possible within the system.
Our team used this analysis to outline the optimal geographic clustering of factories, and the infrastructure required to facilitate the most efficient reuse of CO2, water, energy, and other waste materials. This included solid-waste recycling facilities, reverse-osmosis water treatment, steam cascading, and more. We analyzed more than 600 forecasted resource flows.
The vast number of options for FutureCityCo’s industrial footprint design also mean a highly variable cost structure. For that reason, our team designed a state-of-the-art digital tool that enables the project’s leaders to simulate different scenarios and adjust the capital expenditure modeling accordingly. This flexible capex plan enables a sequenced rollout of necessary infrastructure, helping the zone’s developers accommodate any potential changes to the project’s requirements for utilities and land use.
We also supported the company’s short-term planning for tenant attraction and plot assignments. When complete, the project will contribute tens of billions to the host nation’s GDP and create tens of thousands of skilled manufacturing jobs.
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