A socio-ecological approach to improve industrial zones towards eco-industrial parks

Olcay Genc*, Guido van Capelleveen, Ercan Erdis, Onur Yildiz, Devrim Murat Yazan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
222 Downloads (Pure)


One of the concrete examples of industrial symbiosis development is eco-industrial parks, which improves resource efficiency and minimizes environmental impacts by adopting models for waste exchanges between industries. Despite past efforts, many industrial zones around the world are not yet considered as eco-industrial parks because of the low number (or total lack) of symbiotic relationships among industries. A promising strategy is to develop those existing industrial zones into eco-industrial parks. However, there is a lack of studies addressing how to assess environmental improvement in relation to network sustainability. This study demonstrates such an assessment approach using an integration of food web analysis and social network analysis. These two methods can assist in assessing differences in network configurations with respect to potential implementations of industrial symbiosis, and in analysing the resilience, redundancy, connectance, and cyclicity of eco-parks. The use of the methods is illustrated in a case study of an industrial zone in Turkey. Four potential future scenarios are proposed, including potential future co-location of companies in the industrial zone in order to foster industrial symbiotic network formation. These scenarios are compared with the current configuration. The results indicate the method's ability to assess the resilience of an industrial network. Moreover, the case shows an improvement of network sustainability and follows some sustainable properties of natural ecosystems as a result of implementing the industrial symbiosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109507
JournalJournal of environmental management
Early online date12 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2019


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Eco-industrial parks
  • Food web analysis
  • Industrial symbiosis
  • Social network analysis
  • Circular economy


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