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

Circular Economy in Cities


World Economic Forum
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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.

16 Oct 2018
BAMB reversible construction diagram

The Circular Supplier Community Workshops give suppliers and interested actors along the building supply chain the opportunity to gain information about best practices and the advantages of Materials Passports, Circular Buildings & Building Information Modelling.

24 Oct 2018 to 26 Oct 2018
local renewables conference

Event type:


Join leading and learning cities, policy-makers from European and national governments, businesses, research and finance institutions for the 9th edition of the Local Renewables Series in Freiburg and Basel from 24 to 26 October 2018. This ICLEI conference will showcase practical and innovative examples of how to reduce energy and resource use, and make ideal use of energy sources and other resources in the region.

03 Oct 2018 to 05 Oct 2018
ecocity logo

EEB Member Ecocity organises the first ever ‘Ecocity Forum‘ in Thessaloniki, Greece. The aim of this 3 day conference is to raise awareness about the role that the circular economy can play in building the cities of tomorrow
The event is funded by the Greek government and will gather academics, representatives from business, NGOs and public authorities from across Europe to debate the various aspects of what a circular economy involves.

20 Sep 2018

The Buildings as Material Banks project and One Planet Network invite you to join them in learning from exemplary initiatives in construction and debating how innovative tools are supporting a systemic shift towards circularity in the built environment through digitalisation, assessment and procurement.

24 Sep 2018
Lodz bioeconomy congress logo

The European Bioeconomy Congress Lodz 2018 will be held on September 24th, 2018, in Lodz, Poland to support the development of a bioeconomy in the Central and Eastern European Bioregions.

Employment and the circular economy: Job creation in a more resource efficient Britain

Employment and the circular economy: Job creation in a more resource efficient Britain

Britain employment in CE report title page


WRAP, Green Alliance
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United Kingdom

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Britain faces huge economic challenges in its use of labour and scarce natural resources. Although unemployment is now falling, the risk of being out of work is higher in some regions and for some types of occupations. While Britain has significantly increased its resource efficiency in recent years, supply risks in an increasingly competitive global economy mean that we need to get better at using natural resources. A new research study, undertaken jointly by WRAP and the Green Alliance, shows that these challenges are linked: improving our resource efficiency can make a valuable contribution to improving Britain’s labour market situation.

One route to improving resource efficiency is to develop a circular economy. This involves keeping products and resources in use for as long as possible through recovery, reuse, repair, remanufacturing and recycling. In addition to protecting the environment, this potentially offers substantial economic benefits. These include greater economic stability through increased resource security and new business and employment opportunities from an expanding industrial sector. This study focuses on the second aspect and identifies the scope for the growth of the circular economy to offer new jobs.

The study finds that regions where unemployment is higher, such as the North East and the West Midlands, could see the greatest impact on job creation, especially among low to mid-skilled occupations where job losses are projected for the future.

The study finds that if we stay on the current development path for the circular economy in Britain, then by 2030 the sector could:

  • require an extra 205,000 jobs;
  • reduce unemployment by around 54,000; and
  • offset 11% of future losses in skilled employment.

Alternatively, under a transformational scenario where there was a more extensive expansion of circular economy activities, by 2030 the sector could create over half a million jobs, reduce unemployment by over 100,000 and potentially offset around 18% of the expected future losses in skilled employment.

Circular Jobs: Understanding Employment in the Circular Economy in the Netherlands

Circular Jobs: Understanding employment in the Circular Economy in the Netherlands

circular jobs title page


Circle Economy, EHero
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Harald Friedl

To ensure that policymakers and governments know how and where to implement the circular economy effectively, there is a great need for practical tools to measure it.

Aimed at defining, identifying and quantifying employment opportunities that are needed in the circular economy, Circle Economy and the Erasmus Research Institute for Happiness Economics (Ehero) have developed a standardised and replicable methodology that measures circular employment in cities around the world. This opens up the possibility of monitoring circular employment and therefore empowers cities and governments to effectively invest in the jobs of the future.

The initial findings of this joint research show that 8.1% of all jobs in the Netherlands are currently circular. Once identified, the circular jobs were categorised according to the seven key elements of the circular economy, showing that a large majority are focused on ‘incorporating digital technology’ and ‘preserving and extending what’s already made’. In the past fifteen years, activities that involve ‘repair & maintenance‘ have remained stable in numbers, with the ‘incorporation of digital technologies’ becoming an up and coming job provider. This points to the importance of knowledge-intensive industries and innovation within the Dutch economy.  

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

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).

LIPOR is committed to transition from waste to resource management

Commitment Targets
Start Date: 
December 2018

LIPOR's Environmental Education and Intervention Program aims to create an educational offer that encourages citizens to implement good environmental practices and facilitates the acquisition of skills that support civic intervention and a sustainable development.

LIPOR intends to reach 90 000 people with its awareness campaign within its catchment area. This involves delivering about 10 direct environmental awareness actions to the community its environmental education technicians daily.

Start Date: 
December 2018

LIPOR’s annual prevention programme includes several projects and initiatives implemented across all  eight municipalities aiming to prevent and reduce food waste.

With the “Embrulha" (Pack It) project LIPOR wants to engage 50 restaurants in Porto Municipality and 10 restaurants in other LIPOR municipalities to recover 6 tonnes of food waste.

The "Dose Certa" (Right Portion) project aims to certify 46 food establishments in total.

Start Date: 
December 2020

The Strategic Plan for Urban Waste 2020 (PERSU 2020) is the reference instrument of the urban waste policy in Portugal.

LIPOR has defined a target of 50 kg per inhabitant a year in 2020 for selective collection as a goal. Several projects that aim to increase multi-material and organic recovery figures are defined in LIPOR's strategic plan.

For landfills, the target is a maximum value of landfill of biodegradable waste deposition of 10%. 

Start Date: 
December 2018

One public tender for catering services with fully sustainable and circular criteria.

31 Jul 2018

Deadline extended for the WRI Ross prize for cities: applicaitons close 31 July 2018

Transformative projects igniting citywide change are invited to apply for a $250,000 cash prize and exposure to a world-class advisory council.

The WRI Ross Prize for Cities is a global, biennial competition supported by Stephen M. Ross to celebrate transformative projects that have ignited citywide change. Five finalists will be chosen in Fall 2018 and one winner of the $250,000 prize will be announced in April 2019.

Urban transformation is more important than ever, and often goes unnoticed beyond its immediate environs— help us spotlight the best cases from around the world to elevate these stories and inspire others.

24 Oct 2018
Annual meeting 2018

Brussels Environment invites you to the #beCircular Annual Meeting 2018 of the Regional Programme in Circular Economy: "Brussels, pioneer Region in circular economy": an opportunity to meet key players, discuss the most relevant issues and draw inspiration from Brussels' initiatives in circular economy.

Brussels Regional Programme for Circular Economy

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.
04 Oct 2018
Environment Ireland logo

Environment Ireland® is Ireland’s major environmental policy and management conference. Organised in association with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, the conference is now in its 14th year and will feature a roundtable on Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy.

Industrial territorial ecology improves energy efficiency for the Port of Strasbourg

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.

Guia sobre Economia Circular i Verda al món local

Guide to Circular and Green Economy in the local world: How to get into action and tools for local entities

Guide to Circular and Green Economy in the local world: How to get into action and tools for local entities.


Xarxa de Ciutats i Pobles cap a la Sostenibilitat (Network for Cities and Towns towards Sustainability in Catalonia (Spain))
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The "Guide to Circular and Green Economy in the local world" was published as part of the 2016-2019 Business and Green Economy Economy Plan for Local authorities promoted by the Network of Cities and Peoples towards Sustainability. This guide is based on the experience of its authors as well as municipalities participating in the Workshops organised as part of the same Plan collaboration of the Generalitat of Catalonia. The respective contributions of the Business and Green Economy Plan working group channel important challenges and successes in promoting the circular economy by local authorites throughout this document.

The aim of the guide is to disseminate the circular economy concept and provide acitonable suggestions to local authorities (politicians, civil servants) in order to promote circular economy at different levels of governance, where the scope is both mainstreaming within public administration as well as private sector buy-in.

The guide first presents the concept of circular economy, strategies for implementation and the local authorities can play in this transition. The second part presents the steps a local entity can follow to define a strategy to boost the circular and green economy in its area. The guide also includes a workbook that with tools and materials to put into practice such a strategy and facilitate the transition to a circular economy.

26 Sep 2018
Circular Cities

Cities can be key players in rolling out circular models, reducing the use of resources and raw materials. 

CEN Guidelines for integrated circular economy strategies at local and regional level

CEN Guidelines for integrated circular economy strategies at local and regional level

CEN Guidelines for integrated circular economy strategies at local and regional level


ACR+ (Jean-Pierre Hannequart, Philippe Micheaux Naudet)
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Philippe Micheaux Naudet (ACR+)

The present guidelines have been developed by ACR+ in the framework of its Circular Europe Network initiative (CEN:

It aims at explaining the potential role of local and regional authorities, and at developing guidelines to help them draw up integrated and efficient circular economy plans. Even though acknowledging the broader concept, these guidelines focus mainly on materials, considering that it is difficult for local and regional authorities to encompass all topics at once and since material resources represent the core element of circular economy.

The guidelines clarify the circular economy concept from a local or regional authority's perspective (Part 1) and propose key steps and elements to include in a local or regional circular economy strategy (Part 2).

The present document should serve as a set of first guidelines in the subject, particularly for the members of the Circular Europe Network, and is intended to be completed with examples of best practices to set such strategies, as well as concrete cases of circular economy.

The document is also available in Catalan, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. For more information, please click here.

06 Jun 2018 to 08 Jun 2018
Wascon 2018

WASCON is the reference international conference on the use of alternative materials in construction.