3620 Doing more with less through integrated and symbiotic solutions: Use of product-service systems for resource efficient regional development

David Angus Ness , Barbara Hardy Institute/School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
Ke Xing , Barbara Hardy Institute/School of Advanced Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
Full Papers
  • Paper 3620_GIN2012_final.pdf (503.2 kB)
  • Justification of the paper:

    Research on Product-Service Systems (PSS) has largely focused on delivering more efficient and effective services via individual or groups of manufactured products within the business world, with improved customer satisfaction accompanied by financial and environmental benefits. There has been relatively little research on the application of PSS principles to planning of services and facilities within wider urban precincts, and how this might achieve more resource efficient solutions with co-benefits.


    The paper seeks to show how PSS principles and methodologies may be used for urban precinct development so that ‘achieving more with less’ can be realised through integrated and symbiotic solutions.

    By means of a model and use of a case study precinct, the paper aims to demonstrate how this approach may improve not only the resource efficiency of urban areas, enabling more outputs (e.g. services) with less inputs (e.g. resources), but also deliver multiple co-benefits such as cost savings, environmental improvements, and increased employment.

    Theoretical framework:

    An urban precinct may be viewed as a cluster of related (but not necessarily connected) facilities, infrastructures, physical resources and natural attributes that are clustered together and configured in such a way that ideally they serve the community in an efficient and effective manner. In PSS parlance, they may be regarded as a series of product service systems involving products, services, networks of actors and supporting infrastructures that satisfy customer needs in a more competitive manner.

    Within the context of systems theory and soft systems methodology, the paper extends earlier concepts of PSS as a framework for ‘value co-production and creation’, and shows how this may be applied to planning of urban precincts. The networks of actors involves the complementary expertise of academia, industry and government according to the ‘Triple Helix’.

    The paper tests the proposition that more effective and efficient services may be delivered within a precinct, with less physical resources, less waste, less emissions and less cost, by uncovering interconnections and creative synergies between various services and between supporting infrastructures, facilities and products.


    Using examples including a mixed use ‘industrial ecology’ precinct being planned for South Australia ‑ which seeks to integrate industry, education, training, research and community amenitiesthe paper indicates how application of product-service systems principles can open up opportunities for synergistic sustainability beyond just resource efficiency and industrial ecology, with improved community services and socio-economic co-benefits.


    The product-service systems model facilitates creative synergism, enabling co-operative value creation and ‘win-win’ solutions, with increased resource efficiency and multiple co-benefits.