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The cities and regions are committed to act as ambassadors and champion a circular economy that leads to a resource-efficient, low-carbon and socially responsible society.
Nearly 30 major cities including Ghent, Prague, Copenhagen, Tampere, Helsinki, Oslo, Budapest and Malmö have signed the European Circular Cities Declaration, recognising the need for accelerating the transition from a linear to a circular economy in Europe.
Cities and regions signing the declaration are committed to act as ambassadors and champion a circular economy that leads to a resource-efficient, low-carbon and socially responsible society, in which resource consumption is decoupled from economic growth.
The declaration has been developed by a broad group of European organisations committed to enabling the transition to a circular economy at the local level, including ICLEI, Circular Flanders, CSCP, ECERA, the European Investment Bank (EIB), Ellen McArthur Foundation, Eurocities, LWARB, UN Environment Programme, and the WCYCLE Institute.
Cities and regions are cradles of innovation and socio-economic transformation with an enormous potential to lead the transition to a circular economy. Local and regional governments manage several sectors in urban areas, such as mobility and waste management, and are ultimately responsible for controlling land use and urban planning. As such, they are ideally placed to foster a circular economy and lead the way towards a more sustainable, resilient future.
The declaration bids to provide a common, shared vision of a circular city that helps ensure cities act as a joined force on the road to circularity.
“Cooperation is essential in leading the transition: Helsinki is willing to learn more from other cities and also to share our own experiences”
The declaration was launched at the 9th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns hosted by the German city of Mannheim online. Helsinki’s deputy mayor for urban environment Anni Sinnemäki, who announced the launch, urged cities and regions from across Europe to join in and sign the declaration.
“Helsinki is ready and willing to promote circular economy,” said Sinnemäki. “Our declaration includes crucial fields for cities, such as construction work. Cooperation is essential in leading the transition: Helsinki is willing to learn more from other cities and also to share our own experiences.”
The declaration aims to reflect broader European efforts to rethink the way economies and societies are organised.
It also offers several benefits to cities and regions willing to take that lead. Signatories will have opportunities for collaboration with peers, and become part of a unified group of cities that will help raise awareness of the long-term political, societal, environmental and financial benefits of the circular economy, and contribute to the development of a supportive political framework.
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