The Little Book of Circular Economy in cities: A Short Guide to Urban Metabolism and Resource Flows.

G. Palafox, Susan Lee, Christopher J. Bouch, Dexter V.L. Hunt, Christopher D.F. Rogers

    Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


    Cities are complex systems whose quality, efficiency and resilience cannot be addressed solely as economic issues.This little book has arisen out of work carried out as part of the Liveable Cities research programme. To help in understanding more fully how a large UK city operates, data were collected on Birmingham city’s resource flows and waste from 2012/13. This case study of a major city will help to ilustrate the following core ideas in the book, which include the following:
    • Problems in cities related to resources and waste.
    • Urban Metabolism (UM) is a useful decision-making tool that has both benefits and shortcomings.
    • The current consumption system has a few failures that need fixing.
    • Research on UM in Birmingham gave us an insight into what flows in, out and around the city.
    • The Circular Economy (CE) and its framework might be a way to improve upon the current consumption system.
    • Two industry examples – mobile phones and beer – give us some good ideas about business models that work well in terms of implementing CE principles.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherImaginationLancaster, Lancaster University
    Commissioning bodyEngineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
    Number of pages36
    ISBN (Print)978-0-70442-950-5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017

    Publication series

    NameLittle Book Series
    PublisherImaginationLancaster, Lancaster University


    • urban metabolism, Birmingham, civil engineering


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