Renewable Matter # 28 / July-August

Circular Economy Club Launches the “Circular Cities Week”

by Antonella Ilaria Totaro

A decentralised global event in 100 cities so as to establish – over the course of a week – the opportunities and next steps for the implementation of the circular economy in urban areas.

 

LONDON – The Circular Economy Club (CEC) has announced it will celebrate its global “Circular Cities Week” event from October 28th to November 3rd, 2019. The goal of the event: push, with a united voice, for the design and implementation of circular economy strategies in cities worldwide. This effort coincides with the United Nations World Cities Day on October 31st.

 

About the Circular Economy Club (CEC)

The CEC, a finalist for the 2018 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Action Awards, is a non-profit international network uniting over 3,800 circular economy professionals and organisations from 110-plus countries. The organisation is headquartered in London, run voluntarily, open to all and free to join.

  

“Circular Cities Week” is slated to be an annual, decentralised global event. During the week, CEC City Organisers in more than 100 cities will organise workshops – with tools provided by the CEC – to identify opportunities and next steps to encourage the implementation of the circular economy in their cities. The process will bring in stakeholders from city governments, private and non-profit sectors, as well as academia.

 

What is a Circular City

City populations are growing worldwide. According to WEF, by 2050 around 70% of the global population will live in cities. However, urban ecosystems are suffering the consequences and impacts of a linear economy, where we take-make-waste materials that damage our ecosystems and generate economic losses. Under the linear system, around 75% of natural resources are consumed in cities, which produce over 50% of the waste generated globally and emit over 60% of the greenhouse emissions (UNEP, 2013). The circular economy provides the world with an opportunity to rethink how we design our economic system, and how we produce and dispose of products so as to ensure the long-term well-being of all species and our urban populations.

A circular economy is an economic system aimed at minimising waste and making the most of resources. In a circular system resource input and waste, emissions, and energy leakage are minimised by slowing, closing, and narrowing energy and material loops; this can be achieved through long-lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing, and recycling. 

Cities are major engines for employment and growth and therefore have a responsibility towards driving the circular economy transition. City leaders worldwide can find support for achieving their climate goals in an economic model that provides the opportunity to create sustainable cities that grow economically through unlocking savings and new circular business models whilst generating value out of waste. Circular strategies include circular design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing and recycling. 

At a city-level, a circular economy approach includes urban mining, through which all sorts of materials can be recollected and incorporated into the production system. Moreover, the fact that citizens and organisations are close in distance facilitates the logistics needed to recover materials after their use. 

 

Goal of the Circular Cities Week

The condensed timeframe of “Circular Cities Week” encourages a sense of urgency and purpose designed to help stakeholders identify opportunities, challenges and next steps for supporting the development of circularity at the city government level. The objectives of the week are twofold:

  • Convince and support city governments in publishing a local circular economy strategy plan with clear goals for their city
  • Create an open-source report of challenges, opportunities and next steps for all the participating cities

“We hope CEC ‘Circular Cities Week’ empowers circularity supporters with tools to lead circularity efforts in their region,” said Anna Tari, CEC founder. 

 

Circular Cities Week, www.circulareconomyclub.com/circular-cities-week

World Cities Day, www.un.org/en/events/citiesday

Circular Economy Club, www.circulareconomyclub.com

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