As major engines of economic growth, cities have the tools, knowledge, and ability to drive the circular economy agenda forward and unlock economic, environmental, and social benefits for cities. This paper forms a guide to the project: Circular Economy in Cities. The project lays out a suite of reference resources for urban policy makers and change makers. It includes a vision for the circular economy in three key urban systems (buildings, mobility, and products), opportunity and benefit factsheets, urban policy levers, city case studies, and additional networks and resources.
Our cities are grappling with the effects of our take-make-waste economy. By 2050, three quarters of us will live in cities, where already, we consume 75% of our natural resources, emit 60-80% of greenhouse gases, and produce over 50% of global waste. Solutions to these challenges are needed for cities to be thriving, liveable, and resilient. The implementation of a circular economy will support city leaders to deliver against their priorities, the SDGs, and climate objectives, enabling them to establish long term prosperity.