(City) Ports


Channeling collective impact to make the transition in the Delta: what will it take?


CE Monitor Ports - approach and deliverables

CE Monitor Ports


Commissioned by Circular Flanders, a research team is exploring the first steps in gradually propelling circular ambitions and performances to a higher level. The exploration results in a first framework with a baseline development of a useful starter set of indicators for port authorities, and paths for further development towards a CE MONITOR PORTS.

Download research sheet >

Why this focus on (city) ports?

We see five key assets that make ports key players in the transition


Unique location

in the natural delta, Europe and the world.



with other ports and urban economies

Logistics and infrastructure

Logistics and infrastructure

present in high volume and density

Industrial activity

Industrial activity

with clusters, technology, business and service innovation



both investment capacity and human capital

The industrial, city and inland ports all play a key role in the transition to a circular and low-carbon economy. These are the places where transitions shape the future to continue to create added economic and social value for many people.

Despite this excellent position, a successful transformation towards future-proof (city) port areas is far from a given. There’s no single way of being circular and change cannot be achieved only through regulation or market forces. It requires many steps from many actors over a longer period. It’s up to the port authorities, the (port) business community and the city and regional governments involved to turn this challenge into an opportunity.

The bottom line is this: if we want to bring about change, then the choice isn’t between competition and collaboration. We have to do both.

Take a deep dive into our documentary

Our documentary gives the floor to professionals working on circular economy in port environments.  The documentary is a journey through the different challenges, bottlenecks and boundaries that parties are facing in being first movers. Take some time to browse through the eye-opening interviews.

Discover the documentary >

Interactive documentary

8 building blocks for the future

We defined eight building blocks for (city) ports to stay the economic engines they are today. We visualized the building blocks in an imaginary port. Alongside the port a series of economic environments cohabit and establish synergies in order to work as a whole.

Learn more about the building blocks

Building Blocks

Research and publications

As a result of the Circular (City) Ports exploration, we created various publications. You can find the most important below.

Discover more resources >

Workbook 1

Workbook 1 – Circular initiatives in the Delta

A first mapping of circular innovations within 11 (city) ports in Europe.

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Lessons Learned

Circular City Ports: Lessons Learned

The main conclusions of our exploration project.

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De Lage Landen Toekomstverkenning

Workbook 2 – Building Blocks

An introduction to the eight building blocks or typical activities we recognized across the ports.

Learn more >

Working Session 4

Shaping future changes

12 action lines to develop a more structured approach to circularity in ports and beyond.

Learn more >

Stay in touch!


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