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At Circle Economy, we have supported over 30 cities around the world in creating circular strategies. With nature as our mentor and data as our guide, we help cities to:

Prioritise

The circular economy can be approached from multiple angles, making it difficult to know what to do first.

We use data to build a holistic understanding of how the city currently manages its resources. From fossil fuels to food, we identify key challenges and opportunities for the city, to inform local actions that have the most impact.

Visualise

Quantitative analyses of resource and waste patterns are often complex and difficult to comprehend.

We convey this information through easy-to-understand visuals, allowing diverse stakeholders to recognise their roles in making the city more circular.

Collaborate

Local governments often have limited resources and lack the right partnerships to realise a circular economy.

We engage diverse stakeholders to create a common understanding of local challenges and opportunities. The resulting shared sense of ownership helps to break down silos within government, and to activate non-governmental stakeholders to play their part.

Take action

A circular economy sounds great in theory, but it can be difficult to translate this into impactful action on the ground.

We help policymakers to identify leverage points and circular interventions to shape an urban strategy for the circular economy.
For cities, a circular economy yields great benefits, ranging from reduced greenhouse gas emissions, savings on landfilling costs and improved security of materials to new livelihood opportunities and local value creation.

At Circle Economy, we use our Circle City Scan to guide cities on their journey from a linear to circular economy, using data to inform multi-stakeholder decision making to accelerate the transition.

Our method: The Circle City Scan

To guide cities in their transition, we have developed the Circle City Scan, a tried-and-tested method comprising five phases:

1. CITY BASELINE ANALYSIS

When faced with the task of developing a circular economy strategy, many cities ask us, “Where do we start?” We help cities to prioritise sectors to focus on by comparing the city's economic activities and their impacts on key metrics (such as jobs, emissions and economic value added), and identifying relevant local policies and activities underway. Priority sectors can then be analysed in further depth using Material Flow Analysis.

2. MATERIAL FLOW ANALYSIS (MFA)

Using Material Flow Analysis, we identify the key points for intervention within city sectors. The MFA combines multiple data points from a variety of sources, and provides a visual overview of resource use and waste generation by the city. The analysis helps urban changemakers to better understand resource use patterns in their city, and to recognise their role in shifting them from linear toward circular.

3. DEVELOPMENT OF A CIRCULAR STRATEGY

Once the focus areas for a city have been identified, we help stakeholders to develop a strategy based on the most impactful interventions. Drawing on our extensive experience and a database of over 3,000 real-world case studies, we work with local stakeholders to select those most relevant to the context and people's aspirations. We conduct a scenario analysis on a shortlist of promising opportunities to estimate their likely impacts and choose the best options. As an outcome, the city receives a strategy for pursuing the most impactful circular opportunities, supported by data and best practices, and co-developed with core stakeholders.

4. CIRCULAR CITY ACTION PLANNING

To transform promising circular opportunities into local action, we co-develop step-by-step roadmaps that city stakeholders can act upon.
We provide neutral spaces for government and non-government actors to work together on addressing systemic challenges, ranging from the development of innovative pilot projects to the revision of policies to create a more enabling environment for the circular economy. We help them identify the key objectives they would like to achieve, the indicators that will aid in assessing progress toward these objectives, and the actions required to move from the current state.

5. LOCAL BUSINESS ACCELERATOR

Local businesses can help the cities they operate in become more circular, for example, through upscaling or diversifying their offerings, making the value chain more circular. Our expert team provides training on the principles of circular business and linear risks, and shares real-life case studies and success stories from similar contexts. Where needed, we help form communities of practice to overcome practical obstacles, from financing and accounting to regulation and bureaucracy: accelerating progress and creating a connected network of local businesses.
To discuss the unique needs of your city or region and how the Circle City Scan can be adapted to suit them, please contact us via the link below.

To see how the Circle City Scan can solve the unique needs of your city or region

Contact us

PAST clients and PROJECTS

Glasgow

MEET THE TEAM

Blake
Robinson
Cities Lead
Ilektra
Kouloumpi
Senior Strategist
Jordi
Pascual
Strategist
Max
Russell
Project Manager Cities
Liesl
Ehlers
Head of PMO
Noah
Baars
City Analyst
Vojtech
Vosecky
Associate
Claudia
Alessio
Research Analyst

Looking for inspiring circular city initiatives from around the world?

Explore relevant city case studies on the Knowledge Hub
Go to Knowledge Hub