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Building Healthy Cities Resource Bin

Special Edition: The Circular Economy

Week of May 11, 2021

This email provides a weekly summary of collected resources that are relevant to BHC's activities. The full content can be found at the individual links below or upon request. If there are resources you would like to share with the BHC team, please send them to Lauren Azmon at

New Resource Bin Content

According to The World Bank, the world generates 2.01 billion tons of municipal solid waste annually. This is not sustainable. A solution to this is implementing a circular economy. What is a circular economy? A circular economy is a systemic approach to economic development designed to benefit businesses, society, and the environment. In contrast to the ‘take-make-waste’ linear model, a circular economy is regenerative by design and aims to gradually decouple growth from the consumption of finite resources.

Next week the BHC city teams will meet for a cross city learning meeting on the circular economy model. They will share specific initiatives in their cities and discuss new ways BHC can support building sustainable cities. 


Title:  Is a world without trash possible? 
Source:  National Geographic
Author: Robert Kunzig
Publication Date: 18 February 2020
Summary and content relevant to BHC:
The vision of a “circular economy”—where we use resources sparingly and recycle endlessly—is inspiring businesses and environmentalists alike. Robert Kunzig went on a journey documenting the evidence of possible existence he could find for the circular economy. He focuses on metals, clothes, and food. 

Title: Circular economy symposium in Da Nang
Source: Da Nang Today
Author: Phong Lan
Publication Date: 21 January, 2021 
Summary and content relevant to BHC:
A circular economy (also referred to as circularity) is an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. Circular systems employ reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling to create a closed-loop system, minimizing the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions.

Title: Municipality-led circular economy case studies
Source: Climate KIC 
Publication Date: December 2018
Summary and content relevant to BHC:
This reports highlights the growing number of cities taking action. It provides examples of many different and novel approaches that municipalities are beginning to take to move to a more circular economy. Notably, cities are taking the new approach of facilitating innovation, such as initiating living laboratories to test new concepts in regeneration districts and renting rather than purchasing goods through public procurement to uncover operational savings and promote new business models by contractors.

Title: Steps toward a resilient circular economy in India
Source: Clean Technology Environment Policy
Author: Fiksel, J., Sanjay, P. & Raman, K.
Publication Date: 11 November 2020 
Summary and content relevant to BHC:
An international conference on Waste Management Innovation, held in 2017 in Mumbai with funding from the US Consulate General, resulted in the award of seed grants to two Indian non-profits that sought to apply circular economy principles to regional communities—one urban and one rural. These initiatives provide case studies of circular economy implementation. The World Institute of Sustainable Energy has developed an action plan to capture at least 60 percent of the electronic waste generated in the city of Pune, one of the largest metropolitan areas in India. Their approach is based on circular economy principles, and has been embraced in stakeholder meetings with city officials as well as local residents and non-governmental organizations. Barefoot College has established and demonstrated a low-cost, end-to-end solid waste management model for rural villages that is designed by the local community. This paper presents the results of these two efforts, and suggests what lessons were learned. One overarching insight is that an integrated systems view is necessary to understand the interplay of economic, environmental, and social forces.
BHC is a five-year cooperative agreement funded by the United States Agency for International Development under Agreement No. AID-OAA-A-17-00028, beginning September 30, 2017. BHC is implemented by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI) with partners International Organization for Migration, Thrive Networks Global, and Urban Institute, and with support from Engaging Inquiry, LLC.
For up-to-date project news, visit our website or search #BuildingHealthyCities on Twitter. All platforms are linked below.
Copyright © 2021 JSI Research & Training, Inc., All rights reserved.

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