Assembling Industrial Ecosystems for a Knowledge City: Case of the Sustainable Housing Industry

Assembling Industrial Ecosystems for a Knowledge City: Case of the Sustainable Housing Industry

Carlos Scheel (Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico) and Nathalíe Galeano (Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico)
DOI: 10.4018/jskd.2012070103
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Economic forces and industrialization are determinant factors in wealth creation; however, an important part of the equation has been omitted by most of the industrial and social players, especially in developing countries. The business cycle’s impact on the environment, on the life cycle assessment, and on the biocapacity of the earth has had a tremendous effect on the equilibrium of all the sub-systems (economic, social, and environmental resources). Based on these systemic requirements, a synergistic approach involving all the stakeholders has been collated and a systemic framework, the Sustainable WIT Model has been developed, and is designed to build “sustainable clusters of high value, globally competitive industries” for developing regions. This paper discusses how the Sustainable WIT Model has been applied to one of the most important industries currently having an impact on economic, social, and environmental ecosystems worldwide - the sustainable construction industry - in a region where it is creating suitable conditions for a city to become part of a knowledge-based economy. The SWIT Model considers the economic growth of the industrial life cycle as a priority, but also includes other external forces that have previously been ignored, such as societal impact, human well-being, and bio capacity, in such a way that the sustainability cycle can be economically viable.
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Creating Enabling Conditions For Sustainable Industrial Ecosystems

From isolated business models to industrial-environmental ecosystems, the traditional concepts of vertical and horizontal integration fail in the new world of cooperating communities (Moore, 1996). For some economic structures, most competitive advantages do not come only from scale and/or scope in economies, but also from networks of sustainable industrial ecosystems (Scheel, 2010; Scheel, 2009), where value is incrementally generated in these knowledge-based networks.

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