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Module 7: Circular Cities

ADBI Circular Economy E-learning Course

Module 7: Circular Cities

About this module

Cities are centers of human and economic activity but also of resource use and waste. This gives cities both a critical and a promising role to support the transition to a circular economy by keeping incoming products and resources in the loop. A circular city is a place, where people share the resources they have, facilitated through business models that avoid losses and build on maximizing resource productivity. This requires a redesign of biological and technical material cycles in a way that their value can be maintained at the highest possible level for as long as possible. This module addresses questions such as: What could a circular city look like? What does this mean in practice? Where can we already see a transition? And what can urban policymakers and other actors do to realize circular cities?

In this module, we will explore the resource streams flowing into cities, their main challenges and opportunities, solutions to close biological and technical cycles, the ways to measure progress, the actors and their roles within the circular city fabrics, and finally, a case comparison of circular city practices.


20 min

Learning Objective

    • Cities are currently major resource sinks within the open-ended linear economy.
    • Cities can use their human and economic force to become resource turntables.
    • By recirculating resources within cities and city-regions.
    • Cities can drive forward circular economy as a whole.
    • Circular cities can be inspired by natural processes.


    1. What are the advantages for cities to adopt a circular economy?
    a. Increase in resource productivity
    b. Improve supply security such as food security
    c. Mitigate waste and reduce GHG emissions
    d. All of the above

    2. Which one of the following is true regarding a circular city?
    a. Commodities are reused, repaired and refurbished
    b. Single use items exist
    c. Both a & d.
    d. Companies provide products to users and promote user ownership

    3. Which of the following can nature-based solutions achieve?
    a. Resource recovery and wastewater treatment
    b. Ecosystem services
    c. Improvement of air/water quality and CO2 conversion into biomass
    d. All of the above


Module 7: Circular Cities
Project Manager & Researcher
alchemia-nova GmbH
Module 7: Circular Cities

Module 1: Fundamentals of Circular Economy

Module 2: Plastic Waste Global Policies

Module 4: Circular Business Models, Barriers & Enablers for Circular Economy

Module 5: Policy Implementation Mechanisms & Challenges and Consumer Behavior

Module 1: Introduction to the Plastics Circularity

Module 3: Circular Economy Workforce Building

Module 4: Circular design, technology and innovation

Module 6: Circular Economy Policy and Standards

Module 2: Financing the transition to Circular Economy

Module 3: Plastics Life Cycle, Value & Supply Chain, and Impact

Module 5: Circular Supply Chain Management

Module 6: Public-Private Partnerships and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Building

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