OR/18/068 Next steps

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Bide, T P, Brown, T J, Petavratzi, E, and Mankelow, J M. 2018. Vietnam – Hanoi city material flows. Nottingham, UK, British geological Survey. (OR/18/068).

The next steps in this project include:

  1. A bottom up quantification of future supply and demand (Figure 3). Statistical data related to buildings and construction were collected during this first stage of the project, but have not been used to their full potential. This is due to additional data requirements related to building types, building density, building stocks and material compositions that have not been investigated and where data gaps exist. Additional review of available literature and, if possible, discussions with stakeholders in Vietnam is required. Another area that should be explored is the use of remote sensing data that may prove useful in quantifying some of these parameters to enable the research to progress quicker.
  2. The ultimate goal of this project is the development of a full material flow analysis model for Hanoi. This type of analysis would have many benefits. For example:
  • Mapping material flows and stocks at city level provides essential background information on raw material availability, use and recycling. It can identify risks and supply disruption issues that can be mitigated by tailored interventions. The outcomes of material flow analysis can assist effective decision making and the planning of urban development projects.
  • Several additional layers can be built on material flow maps, for instance, to identify the interrelationships of energy consumption and raw material use, or raw material use and land use, and many more.
  • Material flow maps can identify opportunities for improving the recovery and recycling of end-of-life products and their use as feedstock back into construction.
  • Material flow maps clearly outline the impact that trade has on raw material within the specified system boundaries (e.g. single country or city).
  • Hidden flows, such as illegal mining can be identified during the analysis.

The first step in material flow analysis includes the development of a system that describes the stages and processes that materials go through from extraction to end of life. Such a system does not exist for the city of Hanoi and in order to develop it, engagement with Vietnamese stakeholders will be required. The materials flow analysis can be complex due to the great range of sources of materials entering the system. The processing and trade of these materials into different forms coupled with often a lack of data, especially on a regional/city level, requires careful consideration. In addition, the analysis will require significantly more data some of which may be available in the public domain and others that require input from stakeholders in Hanoi. Therefore, for this research to effectively progress it is critical that discussions are held with the relevant government ministries which deal with construction materials in both Hanoi and Vietnam. This will provide essential underlying understanding about data availability and accessibility from Vietnamese stakeholders to third parties. It is also important to understand whether complementary MFA-type projects are already being undertaken in Vietnam. It is clear from press releases and news articles that issues surrounding supply of construction materials are being considered by local and national government and BGS will need to engage with relevant authorities to ensure any work undertaken aligns with the needs of stakeholders in Vietnam.

Other future research in this area may involve analysing trends in similar developing countries, or countries that have undergone rapid urbanisation (e.g. China) to see if parallels can be drawn with Vietnam. This may help with predicting future trends and also for filling data gaps, for example on the material composition of buildings. There is also merit in investigating in more detail statistical methods for predicting future trends to ensure demand forecasts can be generated in a robust manner.