The 15 circular steps for cities

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This document outlines problems facing many linear cities today, and argues the case for circular change. It highlights elements that make cities suitable as both cradles and catalysts for a circular transition. The document also provides concrete guidance on how a linear city can start the circular journey, presented in the form of 15 circular steps.

As cities are expected to become more populated, with a 70% share of the population expected to live in urban areas by 2050, they are exposed to so-called linear externalities, such as emissions to air and water, and linear risks related to increased demand for resources. 

Nevertheless, cities are an interesting place for the implementation of a circular economy due to their scale that allows for efficient decision-making, but also large enough to establish new circular city functions and services, and circular business models.

A circular city conserves and reuses resources and products, shares and increases the use and utility of all assets, and minimise resource consumption and wastage in all forms. 

For a city, the journey towards circularity involves planning, acting on different levels and mobilising stakeholders, which is elaborated in this document that provides 15 steps for circular cities. 

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