Role of the circular city, by Circular Turku
Turku in 2029
Resource wisdom means sustainable use of natural resources, zero waste and zero emissions. Achieving these goals is a prerequisite for sustainable well-being in the Turku region. The circular economy provides a framework for concrete interventions that will lead the Turku region toward resource wisdom.
Our current economy is linear. Under a linear economic model, primary resources are continually extracted, used and discarded, often after a single use. This “take, make, waste” approach contributes to the acceleration of climate change, natural resource depletion, ecosystem degradation and waste disposal challenges. In contrast, the circular economy is an operating model that promotes wiser use of resources across all stages of product and infrastructure lifecycles.
In accordance with its city strategy, Turku aims to mark its 800-year anniversary by becoming carbon neutral by 2029; resource wisdom will follow, with achievement by 2040 at the latest. Though the city’s resource wisdom goal has a longer timeline, this roadmap sets 2029 as a target year for reaching important resource wisdom milestones through the circular economy.
The roadmap is based on the circular economy approach and methods developed by ICLEI and other world-leading expert organizations to strengthen the systemic transformation from a linear to a circular economy.
The approach covers the entire value chain of economic activity through five interconnected strategies, termed the “five R” strategies: Rethink – Regenerate – Reduce – Reuse – Recover.
RETHINK – Redesign the system Lay the foundation for circular activities and enable the transition to a circular economy.
REGENERATE – Harmonize with nature Promote infrastructure, production systems and sourcing that allow natural ecosystems to thrive.
REDUCE – Do better with less Design infrastructure, processes and products to minimize material, water and energy use and waste generation from production to end of use.
REUSE – Use longer Extend and intensify use of existing resources, products, spaces and infrastructure.
RECOVER – Make waste history Maximize the recovery of resources at the end of the use phase and reintroduce them into production processes
The five R model allows us to shift away from the “take, make, waste” linear model and minimize negative impacts arising across the lifespan of products and infrastructure.
The role of the city
The City of Turku will contribute to the development of a strong regional circular economy with positive global impacts. As part of the transformation, Turku will support and encourage businesses, research organizations and residents to participate in the circular economy. In most cases, the interventions presented in this roadmap will be most successful when implemented with multi-actor collaboration. The city will steer and support the transition through different roles:
Circularity as a means to achieve other sustainability goals
In Turku, the circular economy is seen as a mean to:
- Achieve climate neutrality bv targeting consumption-based emissions, creating new clean sources of energy and protecting carbon sinks (Read more)
- Support biodiversity protection by decreasing demand for natural resources, preventing the release of pollutants and minimizing waste (Read more)
- Ensure an equitable transition by rethinking how good and services are accessed in the city, offering new means for participation and collaborative governance as well as creating employment opportunities in new sectors in the city (Read more)