University of Wisconsin–Madison

How Circular Economies Will Drive a New Urban Metabolism

Type Policy Brief or Report
Year 2019
Level City or Town
State(s) All States
Policy Areas Energy, Finance & Procurement, Transportation & Mobility
Although the traditional linear economy brought much prosperity, it has functioned by taking primary resources, turning them into products, and disposing of the waste. In the face of the global climate change crisis, cities need to transit to circular economy. In a city with a circular economy, “reduce-reuse-recycle” will replace “take-make-dispose”. Five areas are central to circular economies: citizen engagement, waste as a resource, Circular design and planning models, New models of procurement, Circular economy incubators and start-up ecosystems. It is also important for city leaders to work with private sector to secure the funds for circular program. Urban mobility will be carbon-neutral, relying on low- to zero-emission vehicles within a broader energy network powered by renewables. Cities and businesses will also generate savings from using recycled building materials and turning waste into fuel to power buses.

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