CIRCular TERritories: Accelerating the Transition towards a Circular Economy at Regional and Local Levels in Europe

  • Project no.351311
  • Duration 10/2017 - 04/2019

The current economy operates mainly on a "take-make-dispose" model – a linear model where every product is bound to reach its "end of life". This leads to a growing pressure of production and consumption on the world’s resources and environment. A circular economy model strives towards using and re-using our resources in a more resource efficient through preserving and enhancing natural capital, optimising natural resource yields by circulating products, components and materials, as well as fostering effective waste management and minimising detrimental practices.
The main objective of this service on Circular Economy is to provide evidence on the territorial dimension of the transition towards a Circular Economy and to provide evidence on local and regional patterns and flows of materials, including primary materials and waste. The analysis of the territorial dimension aims to cover changes in resource use, design, production, distribution, consumption, and waste management. In addition, it aims to provide input to European regions and cities on their potential for implementing steps towards a circular economy.
Political relevant questions in context of the project:

  • What does the circular economy mean from a territorial perspective, what territorial factors influence the development towards a circular economy and what territorial characteristics make regions and cities more or less optimal to support the circular economy?
  • How do the approaches used to implement a circular economy, such as industrial symbiosis, clustering, territorial connectivity, energy efficiency and smart logistics, but also the sharing economy, affect different types of European regions and cities (i.e. capital cities, secondary growth poles, small and medium sized towns)?
  • What do material patterns and flows, including primary materials and waste, look like in European regions and cities and how have they changed over the past 10 years in the different types of European regions and cities (i.e. capital cities, secondary growth poles, small and medium sized towns)?
  • What is the potential for implementing the circular economy in European regions and cities and what kind of action/policy is needed in what type of region/city to ensure a smooth transition to circular economy/lifestyle?

The Wuppertal Institute primarily develops and analyses the indicators for assessing the state of a circular economy in European regions and cities as well as processing one of the case studies.

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