Hack for a Circular Economy

Jurisdiction: International

In order to build a more sustainable community, how might we redesign, rethink, repair and repurpose spaces, places, materials, and digital infrastructure, systems and policies within cities in order to progress social, natural and economic development?

Building a Circular Economy in our communities across Australia & New Zealand is essential to make our cities and regions more sustainable and digital technology will play an important role along this journey.

According to the United Nations 55% of the global population lives in urban areas and is expected to rise to 68% by 2050 (UN DESA, 2020). This density of population has a significant impact on global waste as cities are responsible for consuming 75% of the world’s natural resources. Hence, we need to build cities that are more sustainable and leveraging the approach of a Circular Economy can help address this challenge. We need to redesign, rethink, repair and repurpose the resources that contribute to a very significant i.e., 50% of global waste (Circular Cities, 2020) within our cities.

Before you begin working on this challenge it’s important to understand “What a Circular Economy is?” The Ellen MacArthur Foundation defines Circular Economy being a systemic approach to economic development designed to benefit businesses, society, and the environment. In contrast to the ‘take-make-waste’ linear model, a circular economy is regenerative by design and aims to gradually decouple growth from the consumption of finite resources. To understand the Circular Economy better you could visit this page.

While working on this challenge, participants are expected to reimagine the existing systems within cities; including buildings, spaces, mobility and transport systems, among other infrastructure and propose new solutions underpinned by circular economy principles. To make your idea part of the global agenda, consider the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Circular economy principles which aim to eliminate waste have the potential to contribute to more sustainable cities. A system that reduces waste, activates space, and promotes positive social and economic change. As part of this challenge participants are expected to develop solutions that leverage digital technology to bring the idea of a circular economy to life.

The areas participants would need to evaluate include:

• Emissions
• Water
• Waste
• Energy

Additional Information:

Additional links:

• Understanding a Circular economy: https://archive.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy/what-is-the-circular-economy

Image credit: Infosys

Eligibility: Must use at least one open dataset.

Entry: Challenge entry is available to all teams in Competition 2021.

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