The Circle City Scan takes cities through a fact-based and multi-stakeholder circular transformation process to undercover their circular potential, develop pilot projects, give policy advice and build capacity for circularity. 

TARGET USERS: Government

KEY CONSIDERATIONS: A circular economy is an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources, keeping products, equipment and infrastructure in use for longer.




    As the need for resilience in the face of global emergencies – from the current COVID-19 pandemic to climate change – becomes ever more pressing, the circular economy is increasingly gaining momentum within cities and regions as a viable strategy to achieve these goals– namely, to create cities that are liveable, thriving, and resilient. However, data and evidence of the current state of the circular economy in cities is not readily available to decision-makers, and most are struggling to get insights on what the most relevant circular solutions for their context is.



    The Circle City Scan was developed by Circle Economy to develop practical and scalable solutions in cities to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. Together with city officials, local businesses and non-governmental changemakers, the tool identifies circular opportunities based on socio-economic and material flow analyses. Considering the city’s individual context, these opportunities are translated into a visual roadmap for action.

    The tool builds on Circle Economy’s expertise helping cities and regions develop circular economy action plans over the last five years, including cities such as Amsterdam, Glasgow, Basel, Almaty, Philadelphia, and more.  

    The tool was developed in collaboration with organizations at the forefront of the circularity transition in their cities, in Switzerland, Finland, Czech Republic, Ghana, US, Canada, and Spain. 

    Circle Economy is now welcoming local governments, circularity consultants, project developers and circular solution providers to join their closed beta program and help co-create the future of the tool. Interested parties can contact them to join through the tool’s contact form.







    The City of Amsterdam, together with Circle Economy, TNO and Fabric, initiated a Circle City Scan (this initiative was independent from the Circle Economy’s tool) to identify areas in Amsterdam that can make the most significant, tangible progress in realizing a circular economy. Concluding with a vision for the future, including a roadmap and action agenda, the scan provided guidance on how the city’s value chains can be altered to stimulate innovation, business opportunities, and job creation in both established and newly created sectors.

    The project report outlines the details of the city’s system processes and identifies the construction and organic waste chains as potential drivers of the transition to circularity and long-term effects each will have on Amsterdam’s current linear economy. Findings included the following:

    Added Value of the project: The implementation of material re-use strategies has the potential to create a value of €85 million per year within the construction sector and €150 million per year with more efficient organic residual streams.

    Material Savings: Material savings could add up to nearly 900 thousand tons per year, a significant amount compared to the current annual import of 3.9 million tonnes currently utilized by the region.

    Job Creation: Increased productivity levels have the ability to add 700 additional jobs in the building sector and 1200 additional jobs in the agriculture and food processing industry.

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