Growing in circles cover photo

Growing in Circles

Climate-Ready, Resilient, Resource-Efficient, and Equitable Cities

This report identifies ways for cities to transition to a circular economy to increase resource efficiency and address climate change.


According to the International Resource Panel, the amount of primary materials extracted from the Earth each year rose from 22 billion tonnes in 1970 to 70 billion tonnes in 2010, and is expected to reach 90 billion tonnes by 2050. Without significant changes, the demand for resources will only increase, along with the growing urban population. City governments face a pressing set of challenges as they manage competing demands, changing consumption patterns and priorities, and seek to improve public services for an increasing number of urban residents while reducing emissions and resource use and at the same time ensuring equitable distribution of these resources.

By looking at cities from a systems perspective, this report identifies pathways to resource efficiency and waste management for cities transitioning from a linear to a circular economy, outlining inspiring examples to initiate change in the way cities are planned and managed. This report was produced by UNEP.