Urban areas are ecosystems made of material flows. Each activity taking place in the city produces waste that can be turned into material for new activities. From the disposing of plastic to the re-use of heat from industry, from the human metabolic functions to the residual of food production.

How can these multiple flows be organized to the dream of the ZERO waste urban society? We were inspired by Amsterdam’s Pakhuis De Zwijger event, and decided to share here some ideas from the discussion that they organized. Brussels also deserves to have broader discussion about circular economy and our platform will continue to share ideas and innovations which can inspire local community and decision-makers to make more steps in the right direction.

The circular economy will have a deep impact on the way we understand the notion of growth and the way we organize the democratic process of urban change. These changes and challenges generated by the circular economy for urban democracy, urban regeneration and economic growth must be addressed by policy-makers.

The changing meaning of waste inevitably shifts the way governments, citizens and providers relate to each other. All waste is a resource: this is the key principle of a circular economy of cities in time of environmental degradation and scarcity.