Urban resource management is a highly sophisticated economic approach, aiming at sustainability or sustainable growth.1 From this perspective, management performance should be analysed over a period of decades, which can only be done retrospectively, making particular use of concepts derived from ecological economy.2 Environmental history, especially that part of the discipline concerned with pollution, often focused on a single environmental medium – air, soil or water, viewed as the natural resource at risk.3 Resource management presupposes the identification or rather definition of this single resource, almost necessarily at the expense of attention to other resources, however. In contrast to urban pollution problems, careless or illegal action or unwanted side effects seem to be of minor importance in resource management when long term planned intentional activities prevail and are likely to result in the construction and utilization of special institutions or infrastructure.