The Circular Economy turns linear supply chains into loops so that nothing is wasted. Ideally, there is no more end of the line like a landfill. Practitioners look at all the options across supply chains to use as few resources as possible in the first place, keep resources in circulation for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them while in use, and recover and regenerate products at the end of service life.
Put simply: It means understanding that everything is a resource to be kept in circulation. There is no garbage or waste.
But what does a circular city look like, and how can local governments and citizens come together to create one?
ICLEI outlines a vision for a circular city as “a city 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. This means in practice fostering business models and economic behavior which decouple resource use from economic activity by maintaining the value and utility of products, components, materials, and nutrients for as long as possible in order to close material loops and minimize harmful resource use and waste generation. Through this transition, cities seek to improve human wellbeing, reduce emissions, protect and enhance biodiversity, and promote social justice, in line with the sustainable development goals.”
“It is important to understand priorities for circular economy interventions,” said Burcu Tuncer, Head of Circular Development & Global Coordination for ICLEI. As such, ICLEI partnered with Circle Economy to provide an online prototype tool, Circle City Scan Tool, which helps identify potential areas to focus efforts. The tool has been implemented in several European cities already.
As a starting point for achieving circular development, local governments can utilize 5 complementary strategies to transition from a linear to a circular economy in an integrated way across all urban systems in collaboration with citizens, businesses, and the research community.
Here are the 5 strategies to achieve circular development on a local level:
Read the full article about developing circular economies by Elizabeth Carr at Shareable.