The idea of a circular city is that of a city that produces no waste. Or, better said, all waste products are recycled or re-used. This concept stems from nature itself where there is no waste. Plants and animals are consumed by animals and dead animal- or plant material are converted by a whole range of organisms whose wastes serves as fertilizer for plants. Our current system is linear and goes from limited resources to a product and then to waste. The beginning as well as the end of the chain come with big societal problems especially with our growing global population. The only option to survive for mankind is to develop our own circular cities.
Small initiatives are taking place at the moment, such as an eco-villages (in Culemborg for example) and so-called earth ships. Earth ships are self-sustaining buildings, see: http://earthship.com/ Our present, and certainly future problem, is that resources are running out, the demand for food increases and the amount of waste increases subsequently. We need to create a circular chain such as nature does. Thus, using waste products as new resources.
The Heineken Music Hall has adapted its urinals to collect phosphate from urine which could then be used as a fertilizer. Cow dung is another form of a natural fertilizer and the methane gas cows produce can be used for heating. In the Middle Ages people were actually paid for their feces. This could happen again but fortunately we won’t have to walk around with a bucket of our own ‘waste’. This could be collected through our sewage system.
A recent development presented by BioArt Laboratories is Mestic®: plastic derived from manure. This fits nicely into the concept of circular city. This offers a solution for the problems around manure we are facing today while obtaining new materials for the make industry and minerals for agriculture
We would like to invite you to our Open Stadslab about Circular Cities on the 6th of July. That evening (name) can tell you a lot more about developing circular cities and the need for that. Hope to see you all then! Please register via our site.