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Urban Circularity Assessment Framework

The UCAF project aims to provide an adaptable city level circularity assessment framework that will assist cities in transitioning to a circular economy. This framework will allow cities to measure their level and potential for circularity, and can be tailored to different decision-making contexts and sector specific demands.


Cities across the European Union are taking steps to become more sustainable, and many are choosing to transition towards a circular economy. Alongside ‘Energy Union’ targets and priorities and the EU Urban Agenda, the EU introduced a Circular Economy Package in 2015 which sets out to develop a sustainable, low carbon, resource efficient and competitive economy, with among others key areas of action for waste and construction in cities.

Despite urban circularity becoming a policy priority there is currently no city level assessment framework that addresses both the technical and socio-political aspects of transitioning.

Aim and objectives

This project aims to support cities in adopting circular pathways, thereby reducing waste production, dependency on continued natural resource extraction and effectively alleviating pressures on the environment.

Through bringing together researchers, the private sector and local governments this project will:

  1. Co-develop an urban circularity assessment framework, making it possible to measure the level and potential for circularity at city level, which can be tailed to various decision-making contexts and sector specific demands;
  2. Identify opportunities for recovery of resources and energy, though the application of the assessment framework to a specific city or region;
  3. Map the impact of the transition to a circular economy for business,
    citizens and policy makers, allowing to understand the societal effects of the transition, and uncover any adverse effects of the transition.

Funded by:


Time period:

2020.01.01 - 2022.12.31

Project partners:

Stockholm Environment Institute , Municipality of Umeå , Ragn-Sells Företagen AB , Stockholm Vatten och Avfal and WSP Sweden


  1. Vanhuyse, F., Rezaie, S., Englund, M., Jokiaho, J., Henrysson, M., & André, K. (2022). Including the social in the circular: A mapping of the consequences of a circular economy transition in the city of Umeå, Sweden. Journal of Cleaner Production, 380, 134893.
  2. S Rezaie, F Vanhuyse, K André, and M Henrysson (2022). Policy brief: Governing the circular economy. SEI: Stockholm Available:
  3. Henrysson, M., Papageorgiou, A., Björklund, A., Vanhuyse, F., & Sinha, R. (2022). Monitoring progress towards a circular economy in urban areas: An application of the European Union circular economy monitoring framework in Umeå municipality. Sustainable Cities and Society, 87, 104245.
  4. Papageorgiou, A., Henrysson, M., Nuur, C., Sinha, R., Sundberg, C., & Vanhuyse, F. (2021). Mapping and assessing indicator-based frameworks for monitoring circular economy development at the city-level. Sustainable Cities and Society, 75, 103378.
  5. Henrysson, M., Papageorgiou, A., Björklund, A., Vanhuyse, F., & Sinha, R. (2022). Monitoring progress towards a circular economy in urban areas: An application of the European Union circular economy monitoring framework in Umeå municipality. Sustainable Cities and Society, 87, 104245.
  6. Vanhuyse, F., Haddaway, N.R. and Henrysson, M. (2021). Circular cities: An evidence map of research between 2010 and 2020. Discover Sustainability, 2(1), pp.1-17.
  7. Vanhuyse, F., Fejzić, E., Ddiba, D., & Henrysson, M. (2021). The lack of social impact considerations in transitioning towards urban circular economies: a scoping review. Sustainable Cities and Society, 75, 103394.

Project contact persons

Project leader

Fedra Vanhuyse Head of Unit Societal Transitions - Stockholm Environment Institute Contact information

Project contact at KTH

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