Each network of circular cities that is set up within the framework of InC2 shall operate according to the action principles defined for this instrument and focus predominantly on one of the four priority themes identified:
urban economy for circularity
Economic growth has been supported by linear processes of raw material extraction, production, manufacturing, individual consumption and deposition, with very low rates of effective use per amount of resources spent, which today face limitations in terms of the availability of raw materials and their capacity for renewal in a context of increasing global demand.
In a circular vision of the city, the promotion of well-being and the improvement of living and employment conditions are dissociated from the increase in consumption of raw materials and energy. Urban concentration of resources, capital, information, skills and consumers is leveraged to create business synergies and develop locally-based, social and collaborative economic relations. New and old business models and technical and scientific skills promote the multiplication and extension of product life cycles, processes of replacement of products with services, short production and consumption circuits and more intensive use of things, with positive impacts on the reduction of resource and energy consumption and waste production, and on the increase of effective utility and equity of access to services and goods.
From a perspective of change, the transition to the circular economy depends on a change in citizens' attitudes, behaviours and expectations, motivated by the aspiration to well-being and sustainable development. From this perspective, the enhancement of the territory and of the local scale has the potential to mobilise communities and the living forces of the territory, inducing social synergies and collaborative, co-creative and locally-based processes, making the city a living laboratory, testing innovative solutions with users and investing in the necessary and useful technical skills for the circular economy. The local level of governance, closer to the citizens, will also be better positioned to understand public needs and coordinate integrated approaches that bring together different sectors and economic agents at different scales, from local to global, on a territorial basis.