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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

WSP Sweden

Project contact persons

Project leader

Fedra Vanhuyse
Head of Unit Societal Transitions - Stockholm Environment Institute

Project contact at KTH