The 15 circular steps for cities
Updated on 09.12.2022
This document outlines problems facing many linear cities today, arguing the case for circular change. It highlights elements that make cities suitable as both cradles and catalysts for a circular transition. The document also provides concrete guidance on how a linear city can start a circular journey, presented in the form of 15 circular steps.
The 15 steps are subdivided into three main categories: planning, acting and monitoring. The ‘planning’ category includes steps such as characterising local resource flows, conceptualising options among sectors with circular potential, and crafting a circular vision and strategy with clear circular goals and targets. The ‘acting’ category focuses on steps that involve ways to actively implement a circular economy, such as closing loops by connecting waste generators with off-takers or constructing and procuring circular buildings. The ‘monitoring’ category aims to maintain the implementation of the circular economy.
Relevance for Circular Systemic Solutions
This document can assist city stakeholders with transitioning towards a circular city and enacting circular actions. By design, the document considers as a pre-requisite the involvement of all relevant value chains and sectors and the cooperation of stakeholders to carry out the steps. The proposed methodology considers important aspects such as the coaching and education of citizens, connection and cooperation between circular stakeholders, and communication on circular progress based on monitoring.
How to use this tool or method
This tool serves as a step-by-step guide for cities, elaborating on the three key steps to be taken on the path to becoming a circular city: planning, acting and monitoring. The tool thus provides general guidance in the form of steps that cities can follow to the extent they find appropriate and useful. For each step, an in-depth explanation is provided.
Strategy design and decision making
Environmental pollution and land use
Increased recycling rates
Equality of opportunities/Just transition toward a sustainable and inclusive circular economy
Education, knowledge, training and reskilling
Stakeholder and citizens mobilisation, engagement and participation
large 500 000-200 000, medium 200 000-50 000, and small cities 50 000-5 000