Circular Cities and Communities

Circular Cities and Communities

Cities are key players in the transition to a circular economy. Cities have a range of tools that have a direct impact on people’s lives. The concentration of people, materials, products, capital and data make cities ideal places for change to circular model. Dense networks of people and resources foster creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

ideopsis circular cities

Local authorities have key responsibilities in areas important to the Circular Economy. They can facilitate and accelerate the transition to circular innovation and shape urban planning and development. By creating circular cities, cities can become leaders and drive the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Circular cities can accelerate the implementation of SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and SDG 12 (Responsible Production and Consumption), but indirectly drive action on many other SDGs. Local policy makers are connected to local networks and often receive higher levels of trust from citizens. In close cooperation with other stakeholders can create more people-centered, local solutions.

The concept of urban metabolism provides a framework to guide our thinking on how to achieve a circular transition in cities. It can feed circular city strategies and visions, inspiring ideas on how to address sustainable development challenges and design circular and sustainable cities. It helps us: find ways to reduce resource use and improve material efficiency; to close material loops and achieve decoupling of economic activities from resource consumption to create a circular city with associated benefits for people.

To operationalize the concept of urban metabolism and quantify the flow of resources in urban areas, various assessment methods are used. Different methods help understand different elements of a city and may inform policy processes in different ways. Some are more useful in providing overall recommendations on reducing resource consumption, while others help target interventions. ideopsis Ltd can support cities for Material Flow Analysis (MFA) which quantifies resource flows by physical weight or volume, looking at the overall magnitude of material flows, without assessing the internal processes in a city. Material flow analysis traces the path of specific materials from origin to disposal. Other approaches in this category include energy and carbon flow analyses. Moreover, ideopsis Ltd can support cities and communities to a circular transition journey by developing circular economy transition action plans (which might include mapping, repairing, library of things, sharing platforms, etc).