What is a Circular City?
The launch of the European Green Deal puts the concept of circular economy at the centre of efforts to transform the European Union into a fair and prosperous society, where economic growth is decoupled from resource use and environmental harm. In light of the socio-economic impact of the current crisis, the road to recovery is an opportunity to rethink the way we do things – to build back in a way that ensures a more resilient future. A systemic shift to a regenerative economic model is fundamental to achieving climate neutrality and keeping resource consumption within planetary boundaries. It requires citizen behaviour change and multilevel governance of the transition. Cities and regions have a central role to play in achieving this.
Why Circular Economy?
The environmental benefits – less emissions, improved health and liveability, the preservation of nature – of the circular economy have been well documented. Circular thinking can also lead to cost reductions, new revenue streams and more effective risk management. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation concludes that the transition to a circular economy can produce new business and economic opportunities and lead to a 4% rise in employment.
A CityLoops vision for a Circular City
"A circular city is one that promotes the transition from a linear to a circular economy in an integrated way across all its functions, in collaboration with citizens, businesses and the research community. It fosters business models and economic behaviour which decouple resource use from economic activity by maintaining value and utility of for as long as possible, in order to close material loops and minimise harmful resource use and waste generation. Through this transition, cities seek to improve human wellbeing, reduce emissions, protect and enhance biodiversity, and promote social inclusion, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals."