How the Circular Economy is Key to Sustainable Urban Development

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It’s no secret that the world is facing some major environmental challenges. Cities are growing at an alarming rate and with them the amount of waste they produce. The traditional linear economy – in which resources are extracted from the earth, used to create products, and then disposed of – is no longer sustainable. We need a new model for urban development, one that relies on the circular economy.

The circular economy is a system in which resources are reused and recycled instead of being wasted. It’s based on the idea that we can create more value by keeping products and materials in use for as long as possible. This approach is not only environmentally sustainable but also economically viable. By reducing waste and creating new opportunities for reuse and recycling, the circular economy can help cities to become more efficient and less reliant on virgin materials.

There are already a number of examples of circular economies in action around the world. The city of Amsterdam, for example, has developed a “zero waste” strategy that aims to reduce waste production by 80% by 2020. To achieve this goal, the city is focusing on waste prevention, reuse, and recycling. Amsterdam has also created a number of incentives to encourage citizens and businesses to recycle more. These include financial rewards for recyclers, as well as penalties for those who produce too much waste.

The city of San Francisco is also taking steps towards a circular economy. In 2013, the city passed the “Zero Waste” ordinance, which requires all businesses to recycle and compost. San Francisco is also working on a program to create a circular economy for textiles. The program will divert used textiles from landfills and repurpose them into new products.

The circular economy is key to sustainable urban development. By reusing and recycling resources, we can reduce waste and create a more sustainable future for our cities.


[City of Amsterdam] (n.d.). Zero Waste. Retrieved from:

[City of San Francisco] (2013, December). Zero Waste. Retrieved from:

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