Resilient and Sustainable Cities

The need to change the mechanisms of operation and functionality in urban systems is due to multiple factors. Among them, overpopulation, excessive use of resources, the loss and deterioration of the environment, and current economic and political systems (price volatility and public governance issues, for instance). However, more cities are finding it difficult to be environmentally, socially, and economically viable at the same time. Cities are operating within a global economic system based on the linear take-make-dispose model, and the urban economy mirrors and amplifies the challenges of this model.

The role of the urban systems can be of great value in the transition of sustainable and resilient societies, which seek to address the current challenges that have been accelerating since the current pandemic caused by Covid-19, and also, in meeting the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (United Nations, 2020).

Therefore, it is proposed that actions at the city-level are considered essential to encourage governments, companies, and citizens to adopt sustainable and resilient ways of thinking and action. Among the most important actions, cities are expected to reach 0-residues status. Everything that enters is produced or generated in the city, must be kept and revalued in the same city through circular transformation models.

The proposal for this line of research is the following:

  • Identification of the characteristics (benefits) of a sustainable and resilient city. Why is the transition to a circular city essential?
  • Identification of the conditions (target settings, enabling drivers, and capabilities) to transition to a circular city.
  • Development of indicators and metrics to measure the benefits and positive impact of the transition to a circular city.
  • Elizondo, T., and Scheel, C. (2020). Roadmap for the creation of circular city building blocks. Guide: How to start a circular city (CC). SWIT Group.