Smart And Circular City..It’s A Bumpy Ride!

Hi everyone,

I am discussing the positive opportunities and learnings that we should consider reviving the economy post-COVID, future planning, and the implementation.

We should accept the fact that CIRCULAR ECONOMY and SUSTAINABILITY go hand in hand. These are like the wheels of a Bicycle. Now the SUCCESS depends on the DRIVER and the MINDSET. 

The reason I keep emphasizing on MINDSET is, the transition from LINEAR to CIRCULAR, and adapting SUSTAINABLE choices needs the restructuring mind at the individual level.

Once decided, you can then adjust to any changing circumstances. I love Darwin for his survival of the fittest theory, which emphasizes that the survivor is one who adapts to the changing environment. We are going through the similar phase.

Here are few facts before we gear up the engine. 

  • IN 2019, 34.47% of the Indian population was living in an urban area.
  • The total number of 100 smart cities divided among the States and UTs based on an equitable criterion. The formula gives equal weightage (50:50) to the urban population of the State/UT and the number of statutory towns in the State/UT.
  • 12 Indian elected cities in the CITIIS program would receive a grant of €100 million from AFD as well as €6 million of additional funding from the European Union to mobilize the expertise they required.
  • Over 377 million urban people live in 7,935 towns and cities and generate 62 million tonnes of municipal solid waste per annum. Only 43 million tonnes (MT) of the waste is collected, 11.9 MT gets treated, and 31 MT gets dumped in landfill sites. 
  • Ellen McArthur Foundation report estimates that a circular economy path to development could bring India annual benefits of $624 billion by 2050, along with reducing negative impacts – greenhouse gas emissions, for example, could be 44 per cent lower by 2050.


I was reading out the Municipality Led Circular Economy Case Studies and amused by the efforts these people have taken for the implementation. If you go through the link, you will understand the level of research, determination, dedication required for such projects. In India why we can not work together for a single goal in mind? We should learn from these case studies.

The circular economy in the city refers to using resources as long as possible, extract maximum value when in use, recover and regenerate products and materials at the end. 

UN environmental statistics state that a fully circular economy would cut down resource use by 28% and reduce carbon emissions by 72%. Amazing! 

Achieving this requires a robust and collaborative effort for achieving one single goal by multiple stakeholders. This one is the first bump! Oops!

Here are stakeholders that need to come together to save everything! And a short presentation of the idea.

Challenges, vision, mapping solutions, road maps, and points of the action plan are the bumps that wait for us. Are we ready for this journey?

I am trying to cover as many things as possible, but the last bump is citizens and MINDSET. I still believe that India’s Development With 2Cs And 15Rs Approach will be promising. (Some are using the 4C version!). I have also mentioned the role of SMART CITIZENS in development of the cities in my earlier post.

Together YES! It is possible. 

COLLABORATION is the key to success.

Stay Safe!


PS- For those who are really interested in reading more here are some light reading references! Review all those and think about how we can re-shape our business to adapt changing circumstances.

  1. Municipality-led circular economy case studies PDF
  2. Moving Towards Circular Economy/ City Model
  3. Circular Economy in the Cities– Evolving the model for sustainable urban future
  4. Circularity Cities- Shaping Urban Future
  7. The 15 Circular steps for cities
  8. A Guide to Circular Cities
  9. Circular Cities -A practical approach to develop a city road map focusing on utilities
  10. Interpreting Circularity. Circular City Representations Concealing Transition Drivers

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