Cities and regions are cradles of innovation and socio-economic transformation with an enormous potential to lead the transition to a circular economy. Local and regional governments manage a number of key sectors in urban areas, such as mobility and waste management, and are ultimately responsible for controlling land use and urban planning. As such, they are ideally placed to foster a circular economy and lead the way towards a more sustainable, resilient future.
The European Cities of Tirana (AL), Ghent, Leuven and Mechelen (BE), Prague (CZ), Freiburg im Breisgau (DE), Copenhagen, Høje-Taastrup and Roskilde (DK), Helsinki, Lappeenranta, Oulu, Tampere and Turku (FI), Grenoble (FR), Budapest (HU), Florence and Prato (IT), Wiltz (LU), Bergen and Oslo (NO), Guimarães (PT), Ljubljana and Maribor (SI), Seville (ES) and Eskilstuna, Malmö and Umeå (SE) have joined forces to support and act on the transition to a circular economy.
Together they have signed the European Circular Cities Declaration, launched on 1 October 2020 at the 9th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns – Mannheim2020 during the policy panel "Circular Economy in Cities".
The Declaration has been developed by a broad group of European organisations committed to enabling the transition to a circular economy at the local level, including ICLEI, Circular Flanders, CSCP, ECERA, the European Investment Bank (EIB), Ellen McArthur Foundation, Eurocities, LWARB, UN Environment Programme and the WCYCLE Institute.
It provides a common, shared vision of a circular city that helps ensure cities act as a joined force on the road to circularity. Recognising the need to accelerate the transition from a linear to a circular economy in Europe, the cities and regions signing the declaration are committed to act as ambassadors and champion a circular economy that leads to a resource-efficient, low-carbon and socially responsible society, in which resource consumption is decoupled from economic growth.
The Declaration reflects broader European efforts to rethink the way economies and societies are organised. It also offers several benefits to cities and regions willing to take that lead. Signatories will have opportunities for collaboration with peers, and become part of a powerful unified group of cities that will help raise awareness of the long-term political, societal, environmental and financial benefits of the circular economy, and contribute to the development of a supportive political framework.
A ‘supporting document’ accompanies the Declaration, presenting in more detail a common vision and understanding of what the circular economy transition will look like at the local level and which levers local governments can use to bring it about. It furthermore presents a list of useful resources that can support local governments in this process.
Find more information here.