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The need - In 2006, in an effort to evolve its image and economy, the city of Venlo along with the Chamber of Commerce committed to embed Cradle to Cradle (C2C) principles into the city’s economic activities.
The solution - In 2007, it was decided that all new city buildings would be designed using C2C principles. While designing Venlo City Hall, careful attention was given to material choices and energy saving technologies. The vision was to create a building that would enable better connections between different city departments, and show consideration for the health of workers, visitors, and the surrounding environment.
The outcomes - The new city hall has played a key role in updating the city’s image. Traditionally associated with agriculture and logistics, Venlo is now increasingly associated with innovation and circular economy opportunities that are attracting both businesses and skills.
How does the initiative support the transition to a circular economy? - C2C design allows for continuous material recovery and reutilisation in a technical or biological system. Through healthy material choices and design for disassembly, it is possible to recoup some of the original investment, as materials can be sold back to manufacturers through a ‘buy and buy-back’ scheme.
Explore more about Circular Economy in Cities
This case study belongs to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy in Cities suite of online resources, which acts as a reference point for urban policymakers on the circular economy. It draws out opportunities in three key urban systems - buildings, mobility, and products - and looks at how city governments can enable a circular economy transition.
Five modules aim to answer the critical questions on this topic:
- Vision: What will the implementation of circular economy principles in cities look like?
- Factsheets: What are the circular economy opportunities in key urban systems and what benefits can a circular economy transition bring?
- Policy levers: What can urban policymakers do to accelerate this transition?
- Case studies: What examples are there of urban policymakers already putting this into action?
- Other networks & resources: What are other organisations doing on the topic of circular economy and cities?