11 September 2023

New handbook helps local and regional governments develop circular construction

A recently published handbook can aid local and regional governments as they look to implement circular economy practices into their construction sectors. The handbook, “Circular construction in Europe: handbook for local and regional governments”, shows in-depth circular activities and instruments that Apeldoorn (the Netherlands), Bodø (Norway), Mikkeli (Finland), Seville (Spain) and Høje-Taastrup and Roskilde (Denmark) have implemented during the four years they participated in CityLoops, an ICLEI-coordinated and EU-funded project, and provides other cities and regions with a step-by-step overview of how they can replicate these activities within their own context.

The handbook also shows how these activities fit into the broader context of the European circular transition. It highlights that circular construction is a flourishing topic with increasing uptake across Europe, while emphasising that the construction sector is still only at the beginning of its circular transition. This is one of the most important and resource-intensive sectors, both from an economic and environmental standpoint. It accounts for roughly half of all material extraction, half of energy consumption, a third of water consumption and 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions.

By changing this unsustainable and harmful linear pattern of ‘take-make-dispose’ , implementing circular economies can reduce the negative impacts that the construction sector has on the environment while retaining and enhancing economic value. This was the intent behind the tools, instruments and study cases that have been developed over the project’s four years. The handbook features practical examples outlining how cities implemented these developed tools, why they made certain decisions, what they could have done differently, and how all this fits into broader European circular strategies and policies.

The handbook will be introduced during CityLoops’ final webinar on Construction and Demolition Waste on 27 September (13-16h CET). The webinar will present in depth the main results from the project's work with Construction and Demolition Waste, giving an overview of how they could be replicated in other cities. As replicators in CityLoops, ICLEI Members Espoo (Finland), Ghent (Belgium), Murcia (Spain) and Vienna (Austria) have already developed implementation strategies and plans for strategies and plans for circular economy actions in their city, based on the lessons learnt from following the CityLoops activities.

If you want to follow their example, the handbook can be downloaded here.

More information on the webinar can be found here and those interested in attending can access it directly here.