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FabCity and the transition to circular cities

FabCity And The Transition To Circular Cities


‘Circular city’ is a term you have probably heard before. But what does the transition from linear to circular cities exactly mean? And what should an existing city do to become one?

The Netherlands aim to become the Circular Hotspot of the world, and ‘circular cities’ are obviously part of this ambition. Which is not as crazy as it sounds; predictions are that by 2050 around 75% of the European population will be living in cities. Therefore cities are the future, or better said: cities are “where (sh)it happens, and where it will happen in the near future”[1].

The current take-make-dump pattern that is prevalent in cities, also known as the linear economy, makes resources scarce and brings tremendous problems for our future. A transition to a new pattern is needed and for exactly this reason FabCity – a temporary self-sustaining city – will be built this April at the top of Amsterdam’s Java Island. In this ‘city’ 400 students and artists will get a place to search, experiment and conduct other types of studies to come up with answers to big social issues that cities face nowadays. FabCity is part of the EU Arts & Design program ‘Europe by People, the future of everyday living’ which takes place during the EU presidency of the Netherlands.


It turned out that a lot of people didn’t know the precise definition of a ‘circular city’. That is not too strange, because there are many definitions, but they are all a bit different. So while ‘circular’ has become a trending buzzword, it is often used without proper understanding of what it actually means. The different (mis)understandings create a situation in which it is hard to create useful changes, because there is no clear direction and vision. Therefore research is needed in order to design a practical plan with a clear direction and vision to make the existing cities more circular. That is exactly what a group of Industrial Ecology master students from the University of Leiden and TU Delft will be doing this semester, and you can follow them through

We will tell you more about our progress in a serie of blogs. Or you can keep yourself updated by subscribing here for our newsletter.

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Hopefully we will see you during the opening of FabCity on 11th of April![/pullquote]

[1] Europe by People (2016)
[2] Lys i Mørchet (2015). “The circular economy is gaining momentum”.

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