Regional governance challenges for the transition towards circular economy – RSA18

Circular economy, the new ‘buzzword’ in urban and regional studies and policy debates, is about shifting from linear production process towards a circular in which the generation of waste is minimised, materials circulate in ‘closed loops’ and waste is not considered a burden but rather a resource that brings new economic and spatial opportunities.

Transitions towards circular economy, concern a range of policy areas, from waste management, mobility, land use, to agriculture and innovation support, thus calling for collaboration across policy sectors and stakeholder groups. It also requires working across geographical scales and levels of government, as the flows of materials are seldom contained within the borders of a municipality. Hence, new strategies, policies and platforms are needed to explore and connect them in innovative ways. Against this background, one can ask what challenges and barriers need to be overcome to support transitions towards circular economy in an urban region.

Drawing on the H2020 REPAiR project (grant agreement No 688920) and the case of Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, one of the leading urban regions on the path towards circular economy, the paper seeks to better understand the governance barriers that obstruct this transition. It explores and classifies those barriers and proposes policy solutions for overcoming them. By doing so, the paper contributes to the emerging literature on circular economy transitions in the built environment.

Dąbrowski, M., & Heurkens, E. (2018). Regional governance challenges for the transition towards circular economy. In: Regional Studies Association Annual Conference, RSA 2018, 3-6 June, Lugano, Switzerland.https://www.regionalstudies.org/sessions/special-sessions-rsa-annual-conference-lugano-2018/

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