ARE YOU ALREADY CLOSING LOOPS? IGNITING YOUR JOURNEY TO CIRCULAR ECONOMY PATHWAY!
Cities are mostly perceived as places where wealth opportunities and benefits exist for everyone — the notion of agglomeration benefits is a major reason why cities attract and concentrate a large number of inhabitants. This perception is true, and the reality of many people, but at the same time, cities represent an extremely demanding resource unit that causes direct or indirect environmental impacts which will affect people’s wellbeing. It is widely known that urban agglomerations also entail significant negative externalities.
In this context, Circular Economy (CE) principles are relevant because they promote the conservation of natural resources by closing resources loops to prevent waste generation. Furthermore, CE is claimed as a model to decouple economic wealth from ecosystem depletion. CE is focused on reused, remanufactured, and recycled feedstock rather than in the use of virgin resources. Therefore, we put forward in this course the CE promising approach in connection with Climate change and Sustainability goals. Such an approach needs transitional requirements that we term “enablers of CE” in our program.
This course was developed to support the transitional planning towards Circular Cities (CC) and sustainability by means of the CC framework. The purpose of which is to guide (in a stepwise manner) the envisioning of strategic plans towards circularity practices that intrinsically enrich cities qualities and their intertwined ecosystems. To address these challenges and build an effective CE strategy, constant evaluation and refinement is required by relevant stakeholders from industry, government, and civil society. In fact, participatory methods will be part of our course to show how through working on some cases, collaboration and synchronized participation might be facilitated.
Participants of this course can expect to learn how cities can be (re)designed to become more environmentally respectful and more socially inclusive by analyzing some existing successful cases of CC. Some of the leading references in this regard are the Ellen McArthur Foundation, Metabolic, Circle Economy, UNEP, OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), that have reported on the following cities: Copenhagen, London, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, etcetera.
- Participants will learn about the key features of CE and become aware of the Circular Economy opportunities to enhance the quality of people’s life and the environment in urban settings.
- Participants will learn what is needed to enable transitions from linear to circular economy at city level and some successful examples.
- Participants will learn CE tools and how to design transitional pathways towards circular economy in cities, the development of strategic plans will be part of the design.
- Participants will learn about some of the evaluative methods to identify specific material flows that offer circularity opportunities in a region.
- Participants will have hands on experience on participatory methods to create the vision of a city (region) to achieve some circularity targets.
- Participants will apply long-term planning tools to elaborate strategies to construct building-blocks towards Circular economy deployment at city level.
- Participants will learn about assessment methods to provide feedback and direction to the strategic plans of circular cities.
The outcomes of this course are related to the application of the knowledge acquired during this course to real-life cases that participants would like to put forward during the project work sessions and beyond them.
The evaluation of this course will include three formative components: peer to peer evaluation about the project work (including presentation of the project report), individual participation during the theoretical component of the course and the project report.
Stay tuned for more upcoming information regarding the 2023 course!