Release of The Wasted City – Approaches to Circular City Making
Featured project: The Waste House, Grand Parade Cmpus, University of Brighton, East Sussex
Edited by: CITIES Foundation
Published by: Trancity/Valiz
The award winning Brighton Waste House is featured in the newly released “The Wasted City – Approaches to Circular City Making”. The full article can be found in the images below.
City is an interconnected system of economic and political interactions and socio-spatial developments. Yet, conventionally, it has been characterised by a linear growth model – often referred to as ‘take-make-waste’. Through thousand years in the making, cities maintained this model. Resource depletion has gone hand-in-hand with economic growth and, consequently, the generation of incomprehensible quantities of waste became a normality and an inescapable part of our daily life. The resulting cities of the linear system principally contradict any notions of environmental sustainability and social inclusion and are the representation of what the CITIES Foundation defines as ‘The Wasted City’.
As a direct response to the primitive linear model, innovative projects the world over are embracing notions of the circular economy to pursue the realisation of the future sustainable and inclusive cities – circular cities. Placing citizens at the heart of the discussion, the CITIES Foundation’s latest publication ‘The Wasted City’ explores the growing worldwide movement towards circularity.
Fundamentally, a circular system is grounded in the realisation of two persistent ironies of our current world; we have a diminishing supply of primary resources and, we have a surplus of waste. Circularity within the urban environmental merges both of these truths by looking to reintegrate resources into the urban loop; basing itself within the familiar notion of the 3Rs:Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Structurally re-imagining waste as a resource, curricular cities aim to be restorative and regenerative by design, encompassing the social, built and natural environments. Ultimately, circularity strives to disrupt the smothering grip of the linear Wasted City.
Over the past decades, the urgency for a systemic transition to a more sustainable urban environment has become ever-more pronounced. Encouragingly, innovation emanates from the urban fabric itself. Projects designed following notions of circularity are growing in number, characterised by an ever increasing ambition to usher in our new sustainable future. The movement is alive. However, circularity still alludes mainstream recognition, and cities are still primarily ruled by linear principles.
‘The Wasted City’ aims to channel the energy and knowledge of local projects and social enterprises that are paving the path to a more circular future. Taking a wide-ranging approach of various scales, scopes and styles, this publication cuts a clear narrative of circularity through the jungle of sustainable urban transition pathways. The CITIES Foundation recognises that we are merely at the beginning of our collective journey towards ushering circular cities into the realm of reality. Through this publication, the CITIES wants to facilitate a dynamic and active dialogue between the most important pieces in this pursuit for systemic change – the people.
Two central lines of discussion are followed within the dialogue of ‘The Wasted City’. Firstly, a case-based approach is pursued by various specialised individuals working directly with CITIES’ international team, casting light on inspiring initiatives that are breaking the linear mould. In total, 16 cases are explored; spanning scales, from the hyper-local to the regional, sectors including food, energy and material waste, and locations such as Rotterdam, Seoul and Detroit. As there is no ‘one-size’ solution to make a city circular, the presented cases demonstrate the heterogeneity of approaches, all of which are critical to further the development of circular cities.