* Apologies for cross-posting *
RGS-IBG Annual conference 2019
Geographies of trouble / geographies of hope
PhD student, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, COSMOPOLIS Centre for Urban Research, Brussels, Belgium, [log in to unmask]
Post-Doctoral Researcher, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, COSMOPOLIS Centre for Urban Research, Brussels, Belgium & Université Libre de Bruxelles, Institut de Gestion de l'Environnement et d'Aménagement du Territoire, [log in to unmask]
Associate Professor, COSMOPOLIS Centre for Urban Research, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
Circular cities: urban fixes or spaces of hope?
Urban strategies carrying “sustainable” and “green” labels have become customary tools adopted by policy makers, advocated by consultants and analysed by researchers. A plethora of urban practices embrace the rhetoric of “smartness”, “resilience” and “transition”, and imagine cities as central to technological innovation and fundamental socio-political transformation.
Within this trend, the slogan of “circular cities”—inspired by the notion of the circular economy—appears to be particular resounding and influential. First implemented by national authorities in Germany and Japan, “circularity” has become mobilised by intermediaries such as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and consequently acknowledged by global corporations and consultancy firms, as well as the European Union and the Chinese government. Moreover, the circular economy has “come to town”, as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Glasgow, London and Paris have developed circular strategies and roadmaps, announcing the ambition of becoming circular “as quickly as possible” (1) .
By convening this session, we want to bring together critical research on “circular agendas” and their undergirding economic, social and political geographies. As the debate on “circular cities” could be luring researchers and practitioners into the cacophony of stretched policy concepts and confusion (2) (Kirchherr et al. 2017), we also urgently need to understand the place of the circular economy in a broader context and history of environmental and sustainable urban strategies.
We invite contributors to share their theoretical and/or empirical research on the circular economy in cities. Contributions can address, but should not necessarily limit themselves to the following themes:
- Empirical single-case research on specific histories, actors, policies and practices of circularity, in sectors including construction, food, transport, energy, and waste.
- Empirical comparative research gathering insights across localities and/or economic sectors
- The (post-)politics of conceiving and implementing circular strategies in cities
- Economic, social and political geographies of circular policies and practices in cities
- Urban governance of circular economy: “circular” stakeholders and their interests
- Labour conditions and resistances around circular economy
- The involvement/exclusion of urban inhabitants and the (dis)embeddedness of circular economy in cities
- Circular economy as a way of resisting and/or re-organising capitalist relations at the urban scale
- Circular economy as urban utopia of fostering democracy, advocating social justice, practicing the commons and claiming the ‘right to the city’
Instructions for authors
Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words by 25st January 2019 to [log in to unmask] and [log in to unmask]
(2) Kirchherr, J., Reike, D., and Hekkert, M. 2017. Conceptualizing the circular economy: An analysis of 114 definitions. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 127: 221–232.
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