Circular Cities are the Applied Logistics of a Circular Economy.
Circular Cities are Bioregions of Industry & Trade.
A circular economy seeks to rebuild capital, including financial, manufactured, human, social or natural. This ensures enhanced flows of goods and services. The system diagram below illustrates the continuous flow of technical and biological materials:
The Butterfly Graph
- Ellen MacArthur Foundation -
(EMF) Circular Economy in Cities
focuses on opportunities in three key urban systems - buildings, mobility, and products - and looks at how city governments can work to enable a circular economy transition.
Implementing the circular economy in cities can bring tremendous economic, social, and environmental benefits.The implementation of a circular economy vision could foster the emergence of:
These benefits can be achieved by changing the way urban systems are planned, designed, and financed, and how they are made, used, and repurposed.
This vision aligns with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the effects of climate change.
Circular Cities Program
The Circular Cities program gives members:
Using digital to accelerate and scale the circular economy
The Circle City Scan Tool enables local governments to discover and prioritize circular opportunities for their city or region, based on proprietary and publicly available socioeconomic and material flow data, relevant circular case studies, and users’ input as to which sectors, materials, and impact areas are a priority in local agendas.
The tool builds on Circle Economy’s expertise helping cities and regions develop circular economy action plans over the last five years, including cities such as Amsterdam, Glasgow, Basel, Almaty, Philadelphia, and more.
Exploring Doughnut Economic
Doughnut Economics Action Lab (DEAL) is a new organisation working with innovative cities, community groups, businesses and teachers worldwide to co-create and spread brilliant tools and resources that turn the ideas of Doughnut Economics into practice.
An Urban Circular Economy
is one in which cities keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end their life. It is a more efficient and environmentally sound alternative to the traditional linear economy in which we make, use and dispose of resources.
The Circular Cities project offers a knowledge ex-change platform for both pioneering first mover cities, and cities closely following behind, with regards to embedding circular economy principles into their urban operations.
The Circular Cities project will work to identify the effects, both positive and negative, of incorporating circularity into the cities’ planning instruments, as well as how these can be assessed. The outcomes are meant to help policymakers, investors, businesses, consumers and civil society to find the most promising transition pathways.
The Circular Economy in Cities
More than 80% of global GDP is generated in cities, which therefore makes them ideal testing grounds for circular economy models. The confluence of business, resident and government actors creates live innovation labs for addressing the complex challenges of linear economic models. The rich ecosystem of producers, consumers and intermediaries, as well as the goods themselves and the constant flow of information, create an opportunity to introduce new practices, including facilitation of the reverse logistics sector, material collection, waste processing, energy and natural resource conservation and new business models and product design that incorporate circular thinking.
Climate-KIC Circular Cities Project
Fast-Tracking Zero-Waste City Systems
Cities across Europe now unite in a project with the aim of developing a shared circular economy approach to urban development. The aim of the project is to identify best practices and act as city role models to engage other cities on the track towards circularity.
The Circular Cities project will work to identify the effects, both positive and negative, of incorporating circularity into urban planning instruments, as well as how these can be assessed.
The outcomes are meant to help policy makers, investors, businesses, consumers and civil society to find the most promising transition pathways.
The formal outcome of the project will include a circular economy toolbox for cities, outlining how cities can effectively incorporate circular economy into municipal planning and strengthen their capacity for systemic innovation. In this way, the municipalities, universities and utility companies engaged in the project will act as inspiration for others and form the basis for possible adjustments to local and national government regulations.
The Circular Economy Club (CEC)
is the largest international network of circular economy professionals and organizations with over 260 CEC local chapters in over 110 countries. Non-for-profit, global and open to anyone to join the club for free.
CEC envisions a new era where all cities worldwide function through a circular model, setting the end of an age of waste. CEC aim is to bring the circular economy to cities worldwide by building strong local networks and provide them to the expertise to design and implement circular local strategies.
The goals by 2022 are:
The Circular City Funding Guide
provides information for municipalities, businesses, and other actors that want to create sustainable cities and implement circular initiatives and projects.
The Guide provides information on:
1) circular economy in the urban context,
For a city to be circular, it should embed the three principles;
Design out Waste
Keep Material Flows Circulating
Regenerate Earth Eco-systems
New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Newlab announced the launch of the 2020 edition of the Circular City program to test and pilot solutions designed to address the increasingly complex and urgent challenges facing cities. Newlab and NYCEDC partnered to create the Urban Tech Hub in 2017 and the Circular City represents a key part of the vision to make New York City a global leader in urban innovation.
Circular City Studio, a program established with support from NYCEDC, encourages entrepreneurs to reimagine urban environments and help New York City address short, medium, and long term challenges facing our city.
The 2020 iteration empowers engineers, inventors, and entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds to pilot technologies that support NYC's sustainability agenda and rethink energy, waste, and recycling systems in New York City.
Circular Charlotte, NC
Charlotte is the first city in the United States to make a commitment to adopting the circular economy as a public sector strategy. In its circular future, all of the material resources that now end up in landfills will be the basis for Charlotte’s next industrial revolution: the foundation for an era of green manufacturing that unlocks new technological advances, increases local resilience, and supports workforce development.
In 2018 Envision Charlotte in partnership with the City of Charlotte, engaged Metabolic to analyze Charlotte’s waste stream and develop a strategy forward for our city. With Metabolic’s expertise in the Circular Economy,
Envision Charlotte will utilize a toolkit created by Metabolic to lead Charlotte and the U.S in becoming more circular while creating more jobs, innovations, and a drive towards zero waste.
Our report, “Circular Charlotte: towards a zero waste and inclusive city”, explores how Charlotte can start implementing a strategy to become the first circular city in the United States. We investigate how many valuable resources are currently lost through Charlotte’s waste system, and how these could be diverted into new, high-value uses.
We present a vision, co-created with stakeholders from the city, for how a Circular Charlotte could look and function. Finally, we describe a roadmap of actions that should be taken on the pathway towards this vision, and detail five initial business cases that can serve as a starting point for action.
Circular City of Boulder
Imagine a city that functions like an ecosystem. No waste. No impacts. Self-sufficient. Resilient and regenerative by design. This is the idea of a circular city, a concept that goes beyond incremental improvement and aims for a holistic and fundamental rethinking of the way we do things.
Circularity is catching on globally and here in Boulder we are also committed to making a circular transition, but we need your help in visioning what this transition should look like and how to take it forward in a way that improves our city for everyone who lives here.
The City of Boulder and Metabolic have been working to develop a holistic picture of a circular Boulder, where the current resource system is resulting in key problems or hotspots, and where there might be opportunities for closing material, energy, or water cycles locally.
Circular City & Living Systems Lab
The Circular City + Living Systems Lab (CCLS) is an interdisciplinary group of faculty and students researching living systems integrated into the built environment that produce and circulate resources within the food-water-energy nexus.
Synthesizing expertise from architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, planning, biology, and ecology, the CCLS applies principles of research and design to investigate transformative strategies for future cities that are adaptive and resilient while facing climate change.
Ongoing work at the CCLS includes research on urban integration of aquaponics, building-integrated agriculture, circular economies in the food industry, algae production, and green roof performance.
Circular Seattle—Art & Industry