Murcia (Spain)

Murcia is the capital city of the Region of Murcia, an ’autonomous community’ or self-governing region, located in the southeast of Spain, bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Murcia has over 460,000 inhabitants and is a good representation of a southern European city.

Some of the main sustainability challenges in Murcia are related to waste and water management, unsustainable consumption, ecosystem degradation and the dominance of fossil fuel energy.

Murcia’s Circular Economy Strategy, just launched on 22 November 2021, aims to address many of these concerns, while catalysing a number of circular innovations. For example, through its engagement in the European-funded VALUEWASTE project, Murcia has introduced the selective collection of the Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste, which is valorised into protein for food, feed, and biofertilisers. Murcia is considered an example for well-managed wastewater treatment and reuse. Furthermore, Murcia takes part in a large number of circular economy and stakeholder engagement initiatives.

Sustainability focus: Circular Economy and Waste

Murcia is a leader in circular economy and wastewater treatment, which it is approaching through a municipal strategy, European projects, and public-private partnerships.

Murcia City Council is implementing its newly launched Circular Economy Strategy under the umbrella of the United Nations’ Urban Agenda 2030 and the 11th Sustainable Development Goal.

The city is also currently involved in three European-funded Horizon2020 project on circular economy: CityLoops, VALUEWASTE, and HOOP:

  • CityLoops, coordinated by ICLEI Europe, is a project that aims to demonstrate a series of innovative tools and urban planning approaches that can close the loops of urban material flows, and increase their regenerative capacity:
  • VALUEWASTE is an innovation project that proposes an integrated system for valorising urban biowaste into key strategic products. Three value chains will be implemented to valorise urban biowaste into protein for food, feed and fertilisers:
  • The HOOP project supports eight cities and regions to develop large-scale urban circular bioeconomy initiatives that focus on sustainably obtaining bio-based products from urban biowaste and wastewater. The HOOP Urban Circular Bioeconomy Hub is creating an online platform to foster knowledge exchange and replication in cities across Europe:

Murcia is also a signatory to the European Circular Cities Declaration, designed to help accelerate the transition from a linear to a circular economy in Europe.

Murcia is furthermore a global example in wastewater treatment and reuse, thanks in part to its utilisation  of  public-private partnerships to manage the water cycle, such as those with: Aguas de Murcia, EMUASA,  SUEZ Group, and  LIFE ENRICH.

To showcase its successes, share lessons learnt, and continue to push forward circularity, Murcia is convening a Circular Economy Fair on 7-13 February 2022, called Loop Murcia.


The need to knows

Murcia is home to:

  • 117 km of bicycle lanes
  • 3156 public bicycle parking spots
  • More than 50,000 m2 of pedestrian areas in the city centre
  • Recreation paths created from recovered river banks, which connect the east and west of the city and were constructed via the project MURCIA RIO.
  • 54 charging points for electric vehicles and 50 more under construction
  • Winner of the 2021 Covenant of Mayors City in the Spotlight Award for a large city
  • Implementation of new containers for urban organic waste for public markets, restaurants and bars, and a municipal neighbourhood (to be completed by 2022)


    • Signatory to the Circular Cities Declaration
    • Signatory to the Green Cities Accord
    • Signatory to the Covenant of Mayors

    What the city has to say

    “It is our aim in Murcia to act as an urban bioeconomy lighthouse by sharing and replicating the so-called ‘Murcia circular experience’ with other cities of the ICLEI network.”

    Jose Antonio Serrano, Mayor of Murcia

    ICLEI and Murcia

    Murcia has been an ICLEI Member since April 2021, and is an active and inspiring signatory of the ICLEI-led Circular Cities Declaration.


    Other relevant links:



    Additional images provided by Murcia


    All images courtesy of Murcia.