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Circular Economy in Cities: a suite of easily accessible resources

Author: 
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Publication Date: 
05/2019
Country: 
United Kingdom

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Explore how city governments around the world are taking action to enable circular economy opportunities that deliver on a range of mayoral priorities, Sustainable Development Goals, and climate objectives.

In March 2019, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation launched Circular Economy in Cities, a suite of easily accessible resources which provide a global reference on the topic.

Its modules have been developed to respond to the growing interest in circular economy from city governments and mayors, and will offer insights to many other urban stakeholders, including the people who live in cities.

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.

The project addresses questions such as:

  1. Vision: What will the implementation of circular economy principles in cities look like?
  2. Factsheets: What benefits can a circular economy transition in key urban systems bring to cities?
  3. Policy levers: What can urban policymakers do to accelerate this transition?
  4. Case studies: What examples are there of urban policymakers already putting this into action?
  5. Other networks & resources: What are other organisations doing on the topic of circular economy and cities?

16 May 2019
Circular Cities – Innovating to tackle plastic waste

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City: 
Brussels
Country: 
Belgium

On 16 May, ICLEI Europe and the PlastiCircle project will join forces to host the special conference ‘Circular Cities – Innovating to tackle plastic waste’. More than 100 stakeholders from across Europe will gather at Scotland House in Brussels (Belgium) to assess European Union policies on the circular economy for plastics, the role of cities in tackling plastic waste, and the industry innovations driving circularity in Europe’s urban areas.

03 May 2019

The interactive workshop Squaring-up for a circular economy – Let’s make a change happen! will discuss how all members of society can contribute to achieving a prosperous and sustainable economy.

11 Apr 2019
Breakfast at Sustainabilitiy's

The ICLEI Europe Brussels Office organises the 29th Breakfast at Sustainability's entitled Fostering the circular food economy through stronger rural-urban linkages.

Circulair Den Haag: transitie naar een duurzame economie

Circular The Hague: transition to a sustainable economy

the hague strategy cover
Publication Date: 
02/2018
Country: 
Netherlands

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In this policy note, the City of the Hague outlines why a circular transition is necessary and what benefits it can provide to the city for its sustainable development. Continuing with a state-of-play, the note sketches out the policy framework at European, national and regional level to provide strategic context and introduce analysis of a non-exhaustive list of 143 ongoing circular projects in The Hague area. Links to further research show that making use of the opportunities a circular economy provides in the Construction, Procurement and Retail Trade sectors alone could substantially reduce carbon emissions and deliver 3,500 jobs in The Hague area.

Building on this research, the policy note indicates the city's priorities best lie in biomass, construction material and critical raw materials. To showcase possible next steps, the note provides a list of easily implementable projects and policies in these priority areas, while concluding with a stakeholder engagement strategy that should enable the city's administration to realise its goals for the priority sectors.

Roubaix's Circular Economy Route Map

inclusive circular economy zero waste
Publication Date: 
02/2019
Country: 
France

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Contact: 
Yves Antoine Bauche
Alexandre Garcin

After the 2014 elections, the new Roubaix municipality team wanted to change the image of its city and encourage a positive attitude towards both its inhabitants and France as a whole.

The roadmap aims at turning difficulties into advantages, generating a new dynamic. Based on the Sustainable development strategy (since 2003), a zero waste policy is progressively implemented with a focus on cooperation and awareness raising among the stakeholders.

The approach is global, even if some activities are implemented on a micro-scale (budget issue), mostly at the level of a city sub-district (Fresnoy-Mackellerie).

To enable the entire City of Roubaix to experience the transition to a zero waste economy, projects are open and accessible to all categories of population and businesses. This is reflected in the way the projects are designed and co-developed, and how the City communicates about them.

Some concrete solutions are tested on an everyday basis and feedback is already shared with others (zero waste family program, zero waste business label, zero waste festival…).

Generally speaking, the City of Roubaix wants :

  1. to have the largest possible audience sharing the zero waste concepts, to match activities that could bring new dynamics into this field and make it happen. The more people share the same values the better;
  2. to multiply the interaction at different levels (inhabitants, institutions, businesses) but also to keep a global coherent approach;
  3. to minimize the production of waste, by changing consumer’s behaviour, retailer distribution methods and the design and processing used by the companies;
  4. to make the remaining and really unavoidable waste enter a circular loop.

ECO.NOMIA | The Portuguese Circular Economy Information Portal

Eco.nomia logo
Country: 
Portugal

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Contact: 
Secretary General for the Environment
Portuguese Agency for the Environment

The ECO.NOMIA portal, created in 2016, is one of the components of the Portuguese Action Plan for Circular Economy (2017), adopting the role of a knowledge-sharing space. It is a one-stop-shop for all things circular, in Portuguese, aimed at citizens, companies and investors. Not only does it explain the principles, advantages and opportunities of the circular economy, it also provides examples and information on financing, learning opportunities and national and international events.

 

The 48er-Tandler Re-use Shop – A Waste Prevention and Re-use Initiative of the City of Vienna

48er-Tandler

Vienna's Municipal Department 48, responsible for the city's waste management, has been active in re-use since 1989, when the city’s first re-use shop was founded. In Summer 2015, the Department opened the 48-er Tandler: a mobile re-use shop where citizens can buy affordable, quality second-hand goods and whose proceeds go entirely to charity. 

The EIB Circular Economy Guide

EIB Guide to Circular Economy

The EIB Circular Economy Guide
Author: 
European Investment Bank
Publication Date: 
10/2018
Country: 
Luxembourg

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Contact: 
CircularEconomy@EIB

The EIB has already supported the transition to a circular economy with over €2.1 bn in project financing, including the first of a kind Aanekoski bio-pulp mill in Finland, the largest circular investment to date in Europe. An overview of such projects, alongside the bank's perception of the drivers to a circular economy (resource opportunities, technological development and the emerging socio-economic paradigm of sustainable development), corresponding opportunities and potential business models (circular design, value recovery, optimal use & circular support) is provided in this guide. 

As the circular economy can actively contirbute to reducing carbon emissions and reaching wider environmental protection goals, the EIB is keen to finance projects contributing to this transition through a range of financing products, including EFSI and InnovFin for higher risk innovations. When doing so, it makes use of specific criteria to assess whether project are truly circular and attempts to categorise them within one of the aforementioned business models. During project assessment, further eligibility criteria are applied depending on the type of business model. These criteria, and more information about the bank's perception of circular economy strategies and project types, is provided in the guide's annexes.

Circular City Governance: An explorative research study into current barriers and governance practices in circular city transitions across Europe

Circular City Governance

Circular City Governance cover page

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Author: 
Jan Jonker, Naomi Montenegro Navarro
Publication Date: 
11/2017
Country: 
Luxembourg

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Contact: 
Jan Jonker

Circular City Governance - An explorative research study presents the results of an empirical research study into current barriers and governance practices in circular city transitions across Europe carried out by a team from the Radboud University Nijmegen School of Management (NL). The research activities ran from October to December 2017. The main objective of the study was to support the European Investment Bank (EIB) and other members of the Urban Agenda Partnership on Circular Economy involved in the working group on “Circular City Governance” (CCG) with the identification, analysis and elaboration of actions in support of Circular Governance in Cities, particularly through better knowledge and better funding. At the time this report was completed, the UAPCE’s Action Plan had been recently published for public consultation.

The research study follows an empirical approach primarily focussed on the identification of (i) the most common barriers and challenges that are encountered by cities seeking to promote the circular economy, and (ii) the most important governance interventions cities have taken to initiate and advance in the transition to a circular city. This information was drawn from the analysis of selected case studies of circular economy projects in urban environments, various publicly available circular economy strategies, plans prepared by cities and interviews with experts and officials of front-runner cities that have embraced the CE agenda across Europe. The results of this research study should contribute towarads improving the general knowledge basis on the promotion of the CE in cities by presenting the experiences and main lessons learnt by cities at the forefront of the CE agenda.

Circular Economy in Cities: Evolving the model for a sustainable urban future

Circular Economy in Cities

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Author: 
World Economic Forum
Publication Date: 
03/2018
Country: 
Switzerland

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The World Economic Forum’s Future of Urban Development and Services Initiative has released its new White Paper on the Circular Economy in Cities: evolving the model for a sustainable urban future.

This White Paper traces the conceptual underpinnings of the Circular Economy, and explains why cities are key to accelerating the transition away from the traditional ‘take-make-dispose’ model. It draws on examples from cities around the world in areas that include: channelling used building materials to new building sites, water harvesting and reuse, reducing energy use, electronic waste, healthcare and procurement. It explains the opportunities in the Circular Economy for all stakeholders and the ways in which they can work together at city level.

Ghent's circular approach is turning its Old Dockyards brownfield into waterfront housing

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Country: 
Belgium

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In Ghent, Belgium, the circular economy brings together companies, institutions, governments and citizens on the way to sustainability. The Old Dockyards is a waterfront housing project where closing loops at the district level is key. Approximately 1,500 housing units will be constructed through public-private partnerships (PPPs).

UpCycle City contest - City of Almere

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Country: 
Netherlands

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The municipality of Almere aspires to become a waste-free and energy-neutral city by 2022. The administration wants to bring the business community and knowledge institutes’ innovative power together to enable co-creation in the field of waste management and upcycling in the urban context.

Brussels Regional Programme for Circular Economy

Publication Date: 
03/2016
Country: 
Belgium

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Contact: 
Joana Cruz
Catherine Vanderstichelen

The Brussels Regional Programme for Circular Economy (BRPCE) is an integrated strategy involving 111 measures aimed at delivering circular patterns at the city level. The main objectives of the BPRCE are:

  • to transform environmental objectives into economic opportunities
  • to anchor economic activities within Brussels’ borders, maximising resource circularity and boosting entrepreneurship, and
  • to create new employment opportunities.

London Waste and Recycling is delivering on the circular economy with stakeholder buy-in

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Country: 
United Kingdom

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London is among one the world’s most cosmopolitan and oldest cities, with a history spanning nearly two millennia, and one of the most cosmopolitan. As Britain’s largest city and country’s economic, transportation and cultural capital, over 8 million people live in London. The city is growing fast and its population is predicted to reach over 11 million by 2050. A more flexible and sustainable approach to products, housing, office space and critical infrastructure is crucial to London’s ability to adapt and grow.

From waste to resources: Genoa looks ahead to a circular economy

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Country: 
Italy

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Genoa set itself an objective to close the loop on waste materials by taking advantage of treatment plants in the city's immediate vicinity. By adopting a long-term and territorially integrated approach, the city intends to achieve higher recycling rates within five years and strengthen the circular economy locally.

Industrial territorial ecology improves energy efficiency for the Port of Strasbourg

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France

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With half a million inhabitants, the ‘Eurométropole’ of Strasbourg is a collection of 33 municipalities and represents a centre of activity in the east of France. Deeply committed to energy transition, the Eurométropole adopted a climate plan in 2009 aimed at energy savings, the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and the development of renewable energies.

Ljubljana turned invasive plants into recycled paper

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Slovenia

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Like many cities, Ljubljana is faced with significant overgrowth of Japanese knotweed, a plant on the list of 100 most invasive non-native species worldwide. Ljubljana teamed up with the Re-generacija collective of young designers and architects focused on issues connected to social and environmental well-being, as well as the University Botanic Gardens Ljubljana, the Pulp and Paper Institute and the public waste management company, Snaga, to prevent excessive overgrowth of the plant and reuse it.

Utrecht used recycled asphalt for the Cremerstraat cycle lane to reduce resource input

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Netherlands

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Utrecht, one of the four biggest cities in the Netherlands, aims to be climate neutral in 2030 and to reach a fully circular economy by 2050. In the shorter term, Utrecht is committed to increasing its share of circular procurement from 4% of the annual spend in 2016 to 10% by 2020. Utrecht’s sustainable vision is also reflected in its aspiration to become the most bike-friendly city in the world.

Lyon Metropole regenerates brownsites into fertile ground

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Country: 
France

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Lyon Métropole, which includes 59 municipalities and 1.3 million inhabitants, wants to build a sustainable future for its citizens. The Métropole relies on green investments to face environmental challenges. Lyon is also committed to building circular solutions for the region and has been recognised as a ‘zero waste territory’ (territoire zéro déchet, zéro gaspillage) since 2015. In April 2017, Lyon Métropole voted on strategic actions in favour of the circular economy.

Oslo takes an integrated approach to treat waste into circular bio-resources

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Country: 
Other (Norway )

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Oslo has been developing a waste management system based on circular principles to ensure separate waste collection is maximised and transform waste into secondary raw materials. To do so it has actively engaged with citizens, farmers as well as with its city’s public transportation company.

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