Urban sustainability assessment of Taiwan based on data envelopment analysis

Wen Chi Yang, Yuh Ming Lee*, Jin-Li Hu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The rapid process of urbanization brings forth growing concerns about the sustainability of cities. This study adopts an extended urban metabolism framework to assess urban sustainability and utilizes a data envelopment analysis (DEA) model with undesirable outputs that takes pollutions into account in order to measure the aggregate urban input-output efficiency of Taiwans 22 administrative regions. The model not only compares aggregate urban efficiency, but also identifies which input or output item should be adjusted and what the target values are. The results indicate that Taipei City and Lienchiang County are the most sustainable cities in Taiwan. This study also proposes several indices, categorized as resource efficiency and pollution efficiency. In terms of resource efficiency, the findings present that Taiwan needs to improve its electricity and water efficiencies the most. With regard to pollution efficiency, garbage efficiency performs the best. Finally, industrial structure has a strong influence on resource efficiency and pollution efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-353
Number of pages13
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • Aggregate efficiency
  • Disaggregate efficiency
  • Undesirable outputs
  • Urban metabolism
  • Window analysis

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