On April 11th Holland Circular Hotspot and Circle Economy launched the Circular Cities brochure at the Holland Circular Hotspot event ‘Grenzeloos Circulair’ in The Hague.
The brochure is aimed at an international audience of decision makers involved in city administration and development. It shares knowledge and experience of circular solutions from the Netherlands to inform and inspire parties and to stimulate international cooperation.
Download the brochure here.
“In a city, everything comes together; the vast majority of us live in cities. Holland Circular Hotspot and Circle Economy dedicate this brochure to the domain of cities, because these are the places – where we live, work and recreate – that can determine our common future. Cities and the circular economy are essential in achieving our climate goals, and SDG’s. Cities are places of action, and time is running out.” – Freek van Eijk, director Holland Circular Hotspot
Circular Economy; a system approach for cities
A lot has been written about cities from different viewpoints: smart cities, sustainable cities, resilient or climate adaptive cities. Typical urban topics like the built environment, energy & mobility are interlinked and ask for a system approach. We believe Circular Economy can be the approach to make a real change in cities.
What is Circular Economy?
Circular Economy is an inspiring concept that is, true to its name, about the economy, and viable business models. But it is also about sustainability. The concept of keeping the value of products and materials in the loop as high and long as possible is very central in this vision. But a circular economy is also about renewable energy, respect for biodiversity and social inclusiveness. It is about people and businesses that interact and find new ways of collaboration and preserve and create value.
Start small, deliver results ‘close to home’ and scale up
A circular economy in cities can start small and deliver results ‘close to home’. A result, for example, a revitalised building and meaningful jobs, is something that people can identify with and that inspires them to scale up. Solutions can jump from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, each in their own context and with their own local hero.
In the Circular Cities brochure Holland Circular Hotspot and Circle Economy have included many circular examples from their home base of the Netherlands.
“We believe that many of these concepts can work in both developed and developing countries. Examples that are inspirational, actionable and have the potential to scale up. We have included circular examples from the built environment, mobility, energy, feeding and greening the city, water management and cross-sectoral topics like consumer goods and plastics. We do not aim to be complete in our examples, we aim to inspire and invite you to work together on solutions that can be adapted to your reality.” – Harald Friedl, CEO Circle Eonomy
Holland Circular Hotspot and Circle Economy share technological solutions, but the brochure does not stop there.
“The main challenges might be more linked to social innovation and lie in the domain of design and coalition building. A circular economy is a system change and asks for collaboration. A local government should set the ambition (urgency), set boundary conditions and allow for experimentation. Knowledge institutes develop new insights and tools, enable valorisation of their knowledge and create awareness. Local entrepreneurs show guts, take risks, accelerate and are the main actors of a scale-up. Involvement of inhabitants and the leaders (and consumers) of tomorrow is crucial” – Freek van Eijk, Director Holland Circular Hotspot
Sharing our knowledge and experience to reinforce and inspire
“We wrote this brochure because we believe that by sharing the knowledge and experience we have, we can inspire and reinforce to get started with actionable and scalable concepts showing delivering results ‘close to home’.” – Harald Friedl, CEO Circle Economy
The Dutch live in a challenging delta area and have had to work hard to make our densely populated and early industrialised country a vibrant and liveable place. Our environment made us innovative and collaborative. These traits mean that the Netherlands is a perfect living lab to pioneer city solutions for global challenges. Over the last 150 years, we have learned the hard way how to do it and we hope others can benefit from our experience. That is why in our last chapter we will share some of our lessons and tools with the intention to make this brochure actionable.
Holland Circular Hotspot and Circle Economy have joined forces shared networks, resources and insights to make this brochure. We hope it can be a kick start for circular development in your city!
Download the brochure here.