The success of Circular Economy is highly dependent on its geographical context, such as location of resources, cultural acceptance, economic, environmental and transport geography. While in some cases an impact of the proposed change may be considered equally significant under any circumstances (e.g. increase of carbon emissions as a main contributor to the global climate change), many impacts may change in both direction and extent of significance depending on their context (e.g. land consumption may be positively evaluated if applied to abandoned territories or negatively if a forest needs to be sacrificed). The geographical context (i.e. its sensitivity, vulnerability or potential) is commonly assessed by the Spatial Decision Support Systems. However, those systems typically do not perform an actual impact assessment as the impact magnitude stays constant regardless of location. Likewise, relevant Impact Assessment methods, although gradually becoming more spatial, assume their context as invariable. As a consequence, impact significance so far is a spatially unvarying concept.
Therefore, Rusne’s PhD research suggests an assessment framework, ontologies and generic GIS tools for spatially varying impact significance assessment. For the validation of her framework she uses eco-innovative spatial development strategies to close material loops in Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.
“I strive to turn impact significance assessment into a tool that supports and improves design practice rather than burdening it”
REPAiR and CINDERELA projects
REPAiR (Resource Management in Peri-Urban Areas) and CINDERELA (New Circular Economy Business Model for More Sustainable Urban Construction) are H2020 projects that are part of AMS portfolio. The common denominator for both of the projects is Activity-based Spatial Material Flow Analysis (AS-MFA) – a new method that allows to visualize material flows using Sankey maps. The maps have advantage over the traditional Sankey diagrams in that they do not suffer from aggregation and cutting the system at its administrative boundaries that way reducing spatial blindness to the material flows. The AS-MFA is further used to generate place-based eco-innovative spatial development strategies and assess the significance of their impacts environmental, societal and economic impacts.
Rusne has been among the creators of the AS-MFA framework and is further developing the implementation of the framework into a web-application.
geoFluxus is a spin-off company founded by AMS Institute team members Rusne Sileryte, Arnout Sabbe, Alexander Wandl and Arjan van Timmeren. It is based on the AS-MFA framework developed in REPAiR and CINDERELA projects. The core task of the spin-off is to convert incomprehensible waste data tables into comprehensible maps and graphs. The company does so by establishing communication with a governmental agency responsible for waste management, accessing waste data in their possession, analyzing it and publishing using an online platform in compliance to the legal agreements. Started with Amsterdam City as their first customer, geoFluxus aims to map waste flows all over the world.
Rusne Sileryte is a PhD researcher at the Chair of Environmental Technology and Design in the Department of Urbanism, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, where her research is focused on the GIS tools and methods for spatially varying impact significance assessment. She has a background in architecture, urban design and geomatics engineering, therefore her research interests lie in the computational workflows that can support impact assessment in early design stages from building to the regional scale.