Territorialising Circularity

Year 2022 (February)
Author(s) Cecilia Furlan , Alexander Wandl (TUDelft), Chiara Cavalieri (UCLouvain), Pablo Muñoz Unceta (IAAC)


Nowadays, the circularity concept dominates the debate on resource management in cities and territories. The idea is often used as a vehicle towards a more sustainable socio-ecological transition, based on the circular economy (CE) framework. Unlike other sustainability frameworks, CE originates in ecological and environmental economics and industrial ecology. It focuses on developing an alternative economic and technological model for production and consumption, avoiding natural resource depletion and redesigning processes and cycles of materials (closed-loops). However, when CE is translated to cities and territories, its environmental, economic and design agency is often neglected. On the one hand, it demands to acknowledge the need for a relational understanding of space, place and actors involved and, on the other, to explore the spatial specificity of CE. Therefore, there is a need for a broader theoretical discourse on the CE’s territoriality as the predominant. Research on circular urban and territorial development demands more than merely upscaling industrial ecosystems diagrams and generating circular businesses. Consequently, what is the role of territory in the CE conceptualisation in the urbanism literature? How to interpret territories through the lens of circularity, which tools, methods are needed?
Therefore, territory, its role and meaning in the CE contribution to urban regeneration is the key focus of this text.

Cite as: Furlan, C., Wandl, A., Cavalieri, C., Unceta, P.M. (2022). Territorialising Circularity. In: Amenta, L., Russo, M., van Timmeren, A. (eds) Regenerative Territories. GeoJournal Library, vol 128. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-78536-9_2



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CitiesSpatial transformationTerritorial developmentUrban developmentUrban metabolism