related issues

Circular cities – a month of action

  • cooperation
  • culture
  • economy
  • environment
  • knowledge society
  • mobility

Our current levels of consumption exceed what our natural resource systems can produce, and we throw away more than we reuse or recycle, with tangible consequences for our environment and climate.

Cities are responsible for implementing national and EU recycling targets and can play a crucial role in stimulating behavioural change relating to consumption patterns. As procurers of goods and services we can guide decisions towards more circular choices, and build local partnerships with businesses moving towards circular production models.

Circular economy is the theme of EUROCITIES 2017 Ljubljana, taking place on 15-17 November. Starting today, we will be running a circular economy month to share examples of circular transition from across our network. We will be posting articles, interviews, social media cards and other items in the build up to the EUROCITIES conference in Ljubljana.

Some of our members have engaged in very specific work with great results. For example, Turin is now recovering nearly 400kg of unsold produce every day for redistribution from the city’s largest municipal market. Others, like Almere, have decided to cooperate with organisations, including private enterprise, to promote the upcycling of waste.

London has carried out a deep analysis of its urban resource plans and has come up with a road map for circular transition. Amsterdam, the first city to undergo a similar process, determined that focussing on the construction sector would bring a lot of added value.

Oslo has focussed on developing its market for secondary raw materials and has been using biofuels in their bus fleet.

We see many cities, such as Utrecht, creating specific job descriptions within their administrations to bolster understanding of the circular economy.

Several trends are apparent, and a recurring one is that cities are networkers and hubs. The Brussels Capital Region set up an online platform to map out and share news of existing initiatives and inspire others to take part in circularity.

Cities also have the power to influence the market place, for example through their use of public procurement. Ghent has adopted this approach in the regeneration of its old dockyards.

EUROCITIES members benefit from sharing case studies and learning from one another through our network. We want to encourage both the distribution of best practice, but also honestly identifying areas where more progress needs to be made.

We will be sharing many examples of this circular transition. Tell us your story and follow us on Twitter this month via #EUROCITIES2017 - #circulareconomy - #CircularCities

For more information visit

EUROCITIES staff contact

Alex Godson