Complex challenges
Circular solutions

For the October 1, 2020
webinar launch event

Register here

What is the New York Circular City Initiative?

The New York Circular City Initiative brings together representatives from the mayor’s office, city agencies, multinational corporations, foundations and academic institutions to reimagine New York’s economic systems by proposing sustainable solutions that transcend industry sectors and the public/private divide in the long-term while supporting COVID-19 recovery efforts in the short term.

The vision of the New York Circular City Initiative is to help create a city where no waste is sent to landfill, environmental pollution is minimized, and thousands of good jobs are created through the intelligent use of products and raw materials.

The members of the New York Circular City Initiative are:

Why creating a circular New York economy could be transformational

Shifting from a linear to a circular economic model requires obsolescence to be designed out of goods and the traditional producer/consumer relationship to be replaced by one of service provision and use. While this is a significant undertaking, the size of the prize is enormous. Today, cities consume 78 percent of the world’s energy and produce 60 percent of its emissions. Two-thirds of people globally are expected to live in urban areas by 2050 (up from just 14 percent in 1990), meaning that unless we act now their impact will only intensify.

Achieving circularity in one of the great cities of the world has the potential to be transformational. The case for action is strong: research from across the globe shows that a circular New York economy could deliver economic benefits, jobs and a significant reduction in waste to landfill. Together, the initiative partners have identified the measures that will have the greatest positive impact on job creation, economic growth and the environment.

Circularity can help tackle the city’s biggest challenges

At the forefront of concerns for many New Yorkers today is how the city will recover from the economic impact of COVID-19. The circular economy can provide some of the answers to this critical question while also addressing some of the long-standing challenges facing New York. First, the impacts of climate change, which are putting the city’s physical infrastructure, public health and future growth at risk. Second, waste disposal, which despite great strides in recycling, costs the municipal government billions of dollars a year and sees most garbage buried in the ground. And, third, income inequality, which tears at New York’s social fabric through the lack of well-paid jobs across a wide range of skill levels.

The initiative aims to:

  • define the case for circularity for NYC;

  • identify levers for change that have the potential to transform New York into a circular city; and

  • define actions that the city, businesses and financial institutions can take to support the transition to circularity.

The initiative researched the above topics over the last year and since the COVID-19 crisis is expanding this to identify the role that a circular New York City can have in supporting the city’s recovery from COVID.

We are launching the report on October 1, 2020. Register for the webinar launch event

Please contact the team if you need any further information.