Circular development in the world’s cities will be essential in achieving global climate goals. 45% of emissions come from how we make and use products, and how we produce food. The circular economy provides a framework for using resources differently, allowing us to better operate within the confines of the planet. However, a report by Circle Economy earlier this year found that our global economy has become less circular since 2018, indicating that we are heading in the wrong direction.
The principles of a circular economy are thus highly relevant to cities, yet for many this is a new topic that at first is not easy to relate to city functions. Since 2015, Circle Economy’s Cities Programme has worked with over 20 cities to develop well-informed circular economy strategies based on material flow data and the local socio-economic context. To allow more cities to conduct these assessments, the process is being digitised in the form of an open-access online tool called the “Circle City Scan Tool”.
The Circle City Scan Tool aims to allow any local government or city change agent to identify and prioritise circular opportunities for their city or region, based on socioeconomic and material flow data about their context. The tool has been developed in its prototype version by Circle Economy with support from the MAVA Foundation.
To ensure the tool can be adapted to fit different regional contexts and addresses the practical needs of cities, ICLEI experts will be testing the tool with 10 pilot cities from 3 world regions (see full list below) and will provide recommendations for improvements to the tool based on their long-standing expertise working with local governments on local sustainability plans and circular economy projects.
The ten cities participating in the pilot include:
1. Accra, Ghana
2. Cape Town, South Africa
3. Nairobi, Kenya
4. Rabat, Morocco
5. Batangas, Philippines
6. Bogor City, Indonesia
7. Bogor Regency, Indonesia
8. Quezon, Philippines
9. Bonn, Germany
10. Turku, Finland
“We are excited to be testing the Circle City Scan Tool to identify priorities for the circular economy transition that complements Batangas City's ambition to be a liveable green city vis-a-vis being a premium agro and highly industrialised city. There is a pressing need to strike a balance between being eco-friendly and safe and urbanisation.” says Mayor Beverley Rose A. Dimacuha from Batangas City, one of the 10 pilot cities.
ICLEI experts will guide the pilot cities through the tool, support data collection and stakeholders engagement. The analysis will provide the pilot cities with an overview of how much of the materials flowing through their jurisdiction are consumed and wasted, and where they can intervene to shift their economies toward circularity.
“The Circle City Scan Tool will enable us to learn more about the circular economy and further advance our environmental sustainability initiatives” says Ms. Andrea Valentine A. Villaroman from the Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department of Quezon, one of the pilot cities.
“Through the piloting of the Circle City Scan Tool we aim at identifying additional, more qualitative features that could be integrated into the platform to make it as collaborative and inclusive as possible, in line with how we frame Circular Development across our network.” Burcu Tuncer, Head of Circular Development at ICLEI World Secretariat.
Circle Economy and ICLEI will work together to incorporate these additional features and resources to complement the tool in the lead up to the ICLEI World Congress 2021.
“This exciting collaboration with ICLEI will provide valuable insights into cities’ circular economy needs, which will help to strengthen the tool and make it more useful to a wider range of cities. In time, we hope that the tool will help ICLEI’s regional offices to guide many more cities on their journey toward circularity, creating positive impact at a global scale.” Blake Robinson, Senior Strategist at Circle Economy
If your city needs guidance on its transition to a circular economy, please let us know what kind of help you need via this 15 min survey.
About ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability: ICLEI is a global network of more than 1,750 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development. Active in 100+ countries, ICLEI influences sustainability policy and drives local action for low emission, nature-based, equitable, resilient and circular development. ICLEI's Members and team of experts work together through peer exchange, partnerships and capacity building to create systemic change for urban sustainability.
About Circle Economy: Circle Economy is an Amsterdam-based impact organisation that connects and empowers a global community to create the conditions for systemic transformation toward a circular economy. Their Cities Programme works with businesses, cities and governments to identify opportunities for transition, and provides a powerful combination of practical and scalable solutions to turn these opportunities into reality. Circle Economy has helped over 20 cities on their journey toward a circular economy.