Circulars Journey

Five steps to kick-start your circular economy

The Circulars Journey

As critical economic and industrial hubs that are home to over 50 percent of the global population, cities drive 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. With urban populations climbing and massive infrastructure investments expected in developing countries in the coming decades, ICLEI has identified circular development as one of five key pathways to sustainable urban development. From raising awareness to supporting implementation and facilitating scaling, we are committed to accompanying local governments along their circular development journey, regardless of their starting point.  

1. Advocate: Knowledge development and capacity building

Developing and disseminating new knowledge and building stakeholder capacity are critical enablers of circular transitions. Working alongside our partners, ICLEI leverages best practice learnings to get circular development on urban agendas around the world. Our projects bring stakeholders together on a variety of platforms to facilitate knowledge transfer, scale up innovations, and promote collective action. 

Explore related projects

2. Assess: Setting a baseline and guiding sectoral prioritization

Since circular development is a new concept for many local governments, it is not always easy to link it to city functions and goals. ICLEI collaborates with partners to create user-friendly tools that help local governments prioritize sectors for circular development interventions based on best practices and stakeholder inputs. We set cities up for long-term success by linking circular initiatives to other strategic goals, like local economic development and climate action, and monitoring progress toward achieving these goals. 

Explore related projects

3. Plan: Laying a foundation and engaging stakeholders

Strategic planning and stakeholder engagement form the foundation of successful circular development interventions. ICLEI experts play an important role in this process at the city level by helping to build multi-stakeholder and cross-sectoral teams to develop circular economy action plans.

Explore related projects

4. Implement: Facilitating on-the-ground action

Creating a vision for change is one thing, putting that vision into practice is another. ICLEI helps make circularity a reality in cities by providing stakeholder and practice area specific technical assistance and advice to support on-the-ground demonstration actions, including pilot projects, as well as later stages of initiative rollout.

Explore related projects

5. Scale: Replicating good practices worldwide

Local governments can tap into ICLEI’s strong network of cities and partners, such as through peer city coaching or matchmaking with experts, for meaningful collaboration and technical guidance on specific themes and issues. ICLEI’s channels and platforms serve as repositories for information about events, knowledge products, and case studies while simultaneously providing opportunities for knowledge exchange and dissemination to inspire circular transitions around the world.

Explore related projects