A Complexity approach modelling for decision support towards Circular Cities.
Faced with the current global challenges of sustainable development and the mitigation of climate change, there is an urgent need for a transition from the currently dominant linear economy towards a circular economy (CE). Among the international legislative initiatives which are favouring the implementation of the CE the European Union Action Plan for the Circular Economy of 2015 stands out.
- It defines a mandate to implement a CE in Europe that includes governmental collaboration and commitment on a national, regional and local scale, with the contribution of all interested parties. Cities play an essential role in tackling sustainability, and the understanding of local contexts is important to develop efficient political interventions, which makes it necessary to approximate the CE from an urban perspective. The implementation of the CE in cities is understood ambiguously and, although various models and frameworks of the CE have been identified, their extension is specific, they are in large part conceptual and they lack transferability to a city context. There exists a lack of consensus regarding what constitutes a “circular city”, and also the need to determine yet further the rationales and the ways forward how to transform cities towards circular models. With the aim of helping to meet this need, our research will precisely explore these issues by conducting research at three different but interconnected areas:
Field Research. The project involves the need to gather new data from relevant public urban institutions and corporate stakeholders by means of a field survey, meetings and interviews. It is also purposefully designed to connect an extensive network of participants and practitioners, whose involvement would help leverage the impact of the ideas and results of the project.
- Modelling and Analysis. Upon gathering the data from the field research, our team of researchers will conduct a comprehensive analysis and diagnosis of the inputs, in particular by using complexity analysis methodologies like agent-based simulation, along with network analysis and processing of large databases.
- Guidelines and Decision Support. Findings of the field research, modelling and analysis are brought to the scrutiny of the representatives of public and private organizations. Such forward-looking and inter-active stakeholder processes lead to the formulation of guidelines that make it possible to tackle complexity of urban governance for sustainability, through transition to a circular city in a programmatic and efficient way.
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