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Knowledge category: Projects

Circular Construction In Regenerative Cities

Updated on 12.04.2023

Four European cities have teamed up with built environment partners to create a value chain enabling them to become fully smart, eco-friendly, regenerative, and circular economies. Through 36 demonstration projects, CIRCuIT presents the whole system of elements in the transition process and tools to boost regeneration while reducing raw material use.

Acronym: CIRCuIT
Countries: Denmark, Germany, Finland, United Kingdom
Start and end date: 01.06.2019 - 30.11.2023
Budget: 10 579 688 EUR
Funding source: Horizon 2020

More information

Many techniques tools and approaches have been developed and tested in either laboratories or pilot buildings around Europe. These demonstrations have served as great showcases for circular built environments but are yet to be demonstrated at a higher level. The CIRCuIT project aims to present the whole system of elements engaged in the transition process and promote the development of further solutions. Through 36 demonstration projects, it presents the tools of today and the future that will boost regeneration while substantially reducing the use of virgin raw materials. Through the project, four  European cities and regions – Copenhagen, Hamburg, Helsinki’s region of Vantaa, and Greater London – plan to undertake a full circular and regenerative transition. They have teamed up with partners from the entire built environment value chain to initiate this transition and become fully smart, eco-friendly, regenerative, and circular economies. 

Specifically, CIRCuIT demonstrates three innovative solutions in the four cities: the dismantling of buildings to reuse materials; transformation and refurbishment; and design for disassembly and flexible construction. It is developing urban planning instruments to support cities in implementing circular construction solutions and initiate changes at system level. It is also implementing a Circularity Hub – a data platform to evaluate progress in the circular economy and regenerative capacity – and setting up a knowledge sharing structure, the CIRCuIT Academy, to promote upscaling of solutions. The demonstration projects aim to bridge the implementation gap from individual pilot projects to full circular and regenerative cities. They aim to boost regenerative capacity and finalise the development of advanced indicators for impact measurement in a cross-European monitoring programme. They also aim to reduce consumption of virgin raw materials by 20% in new built environments and show cost savings of 15%.

Relevance for Circular Systemic Solutions

CIRCuIT covers a variety of innovative approaches to understand how they may be used in different city contexts. It maps the flows of built environment materials, urban mining, extending lifecycles and flexible construction. The project shows how cities can support the transition to a circular economy in the built environment. It is developing urban planning instruments to help cities implement circular construction solutions and initiate changes in public administration. CIRCuIT analyses European, national and local regulation to examine options to include circular construction requirements in urban planning and building permits. The project is also developing replicable criteria for public construction tenders, tools for early dialogue with developers, and templates for business cases to include embedded energy of built environment materials. In addition, the project is developing the Circularity Hub, an open digital platform for cities and stakeholders to access information and data on the built environment. The Circularity Hub will support acceptance and implementation of circular construction projects. It will be a test-bed of applications, including an exchange portal for digital materials, a dashboard of circularity indicators, technologies to visualise information and engage citizens, and a wiki for sharing experiences, methodologies and best practices in circular construction.

Horizon programme(s) and/or topic(s)


  • H2020-EU.3.5.: SOCIETAL CHALLENGES ‒ Climate action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials (Main programme)
  • H2020-EU.3.5.4.: Enabling the transition towards a green economy and society through eco-innovation
  • H2020-EU.3.5.2.: Protection of the environment, sustainable management of natural resources, water, biodiversity and ecosystems



  • CE-SC5-03-2018: Demonstrating systemic urban development for circular and regenerative cities


€ 10 579 687.50 (EU contribution: € 9 814 612.55)

Responsible organisation and contact details

Københavns Kommune

Contact the project:

Project consortium partners

  • Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg
  • Hsy Helsingin seudun ymparistopalvelut-kuntayhtyma
  • London Waste and Recycling Board
  • International Federation for Housing and Planning
  • GXN A/S, Maker
  • Lendager Arkitekter Aps
  • Tegnestuen Vandkunsten A/S
  • Tampereen korkeakoulusäätiö sr
  • Pääkaupunkiseudun Kierrätyskeskus Oy
  • Vantaan kaupunki
  • Greater London Authority
  • UKGBC Limited
  • Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine
  • Technische Universität Hamburg
  • Otto Dörner Kies und Deponien Gmbh & Co Kg
  • Building Research Establishment Ltd
  • Clear Village Trustee Limited
  • E Hoch 3 Gbr Hora Tazir
  • Arkitema K/S
  • Enemærke & Petersen A/S
  • Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
  • Grimshaw Architects LLP
  • FSB
  • Otto Wulff Bauunternehmung Gmbh
  • Eggers Tiefbau Gmbh
  • Nedrivningsaktieselskabet J. Jensen, Plan 1 A/S
  • Ramboll Finland Oy
  • Umacon Oy

built environment, CEAP2 key product value chain

Territories involved

large 500 000-200 000, medium 200 000-50 000, and small cities 50 000-5 000

large metropolitan area >1.5 million, metropolitan area 1.5 million-500 000