Opportunities and limits of circular economy as policy framework for urban metabolism

There is a need to put the relatively recent pro-business brand of circular economy into a broader perspective and to bring alternative interpretations of circular economy back into the debate. This chapter offers two contributions to the literature. Firstly, we provide the first comprehensive overview of policy interventions that aim for circularity and show how these policies are grounded in different branches of the circular economy literature (Section 2). Secondly, by comparing recent circular economy policies in London (UK), Paris (France) and Brussels (Belgium), we show how circular economy policy interventions are contextualised and adapted at the territorial scale (Section 3). This fills an important gap in the literature as almost no attention has been paid to how circular economy policies differ across local contexts. The final section discusses our findings and concludes with observations on the opportunities and limits of circular economy as a governance approach for urban metabolism.

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Brussels , London , Paris