Floriade Dialogue Webinar #11

Circular Economy and Urban Metabolism: Value from Waste in Resilient Cities


Webinar Floriade Dialogue Webinar #11 ‘Circular Economy and Urban Metabolism’ took place on 5 February 2021. Theme: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (SDG11).


Floriade Dialogues is the knowledge exchange programme of the Floriade on the central theme: ‘Growing Green Cities’. Floriade Dialogues is a series of presentations and events aimed at sharing knowledge and accelerating green innovation. It is an inspiring, international programme in which contemporary issues are combined with practical examples.


This Floriade Dialogue edition was all about ‘Analysing and understanding the value of Urban and Regional Waste’. We discussed the importance of data in Sustainable Resource Management and City Material Flow Mapping. Understanding the City and Regional Material Flows means understanding the value, economic benefits and incentives for growing green cities.

Waste with benefits

As our cities grow and our production and consumption is in full swing, utilising waste will be a key factor for sustainability and even prosperity. It may sound illogical, but we actually are throwing away valuable resources ‘en masse’! Last year the Japanese government recycled gold from over six million devices to help make over 5,000 Olympic medals for the Tokyo Olympic Games. If we recycle aluminium, it will only use 5% of the energy used to make aluminium from new materials and each ton of recycled paper can save 17 mature trees. Bottomline: “waste has an important potential economic and ecological benefit…”

Circular urban metabolism

Knowing waste has a value has political consequences worldwide and requires higher priority through clear objectives. The gradual progression anticipated by the EU means that recycling will grow to at least 65% and landfilling decrease to less than 10% of municipal waste by 2035. In order to set priorities in growth of recycling we need to know which waste to tackle first! To answer this question we need a new urban framework for understanding the main flows (e.g., materials and energy) that enter in city that are used or stored, and then leave the city. This insight is gained via a model that describes and quantifies the main flows and the sum of processes that occur in cities, resulting in growth, production of energy, and elimination of waste called: “circular urban metabolism”.


  • Download the presentation | Data analysis: mapping and identifying City Region material waste | Speaker: Arnout Sabbe, Founder and Director, GeoFluxus, The Netherlands
  • Download the presentation | Managing Waste for the Second Largest Population in The World: The Ghazipur Landfill Delhi | Speaker: Yashasvi Aggarwal, Faculty Earth Sciences Delhi, India
  • Download the presentation | Seenons: An intelligent platform for Zero Urban Waste | Speaker: Joost Kamermans, Co-Founder Seenons, The Netherlands

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