A Circularity Mapping Framework for Urban Policymaking

  •  Massimo Beccarello    
  •  Giacomo Di Foggia    


In the context of urban policies, the circular economy can represent a virtuous model of sustainable and efficient management of resources and services for citizens, generating value for the community. Local policymakers play a central role in accelerating the circular economy transition, given that they organize and manage services that can significantly contribute to urban resilience. For policies to be properly designed, tools aimed at supporting territorial planning are needed to direct local policy towards choices that favor the circular economy and the resilience of cities. Among these urban planning tools, it is particularly important to have dashboards of comparative data on the degree of implementation of the circular economy. This paper provides a circularity mapping framework to map the degree of circularity and identify cities' strengths and weaknesses to design policies accordingly using a data-driven approach. Using a circular economy model based on 5 circular economy pillars, we identified 28 variables and assigned them to each of the pillars according to the variable's scope: sustainable inputs, social sharing, Product as a service, environmental policies, and resource efficiency. Both partial scores based on the five circular economy pillars, and a circularity index are provided for benchmarking and positioning analysis. Since urban life's environmental, economic, and social aspects are intertwined, only an integrated strategy can result in successful urban sustainable development. The paper supports policymakers in creating the conditions for efficient production and consumption markets and resource management systems while designing incentives and communications to citizens to support bottom-up initiatives and encourage virtuous behavior.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.