The Mayor of London has set out his vision of London transitioning to a circular economy in the draft London Plan and his Environment Strategy. The ‘Designing for Circularity Primer’ has been written to help support organisations in the built environment sector to understand how they can embed circular economy principles into their projects and design processes.

“We can no longer ignore the impact our individual and collective behaviours have on our environment or society. We are now seeing the consequences of our economic system, whether that is record high temperatures, fuel poverty, or air pollution in our city. This is a call to action to everyone in the design, construction and property sectors to start embracing circular economy principles as standard practice. The built environment sector uses more resources and throws away more waste than any other. But where is ‘away’? We only have this one earth. The developed world has prospered through using the take, make and throw away economy – a linear economy, blind to its harmful consequences… In contrast to a linear economy, the circular economy creates and maintains value by using materials for much longer and then reusing, repurposing or recycling them, just as nature does. There is no real waste in nature because waste products become the basis of new materials and life.”

Sunand Prasad, Mayor’s Design Advocate, Chair of the Circular Economy Sounding Board

As part of the Mayor’s Good Growth by Design Programme, the GLA Regeneration, Environment and Planning teams have been working with Mayor’s Design Advocates and London Waste and Recycling Board to conduct a research inquiry. This has supported the development of technical guidance for the draft London Plan policy SI7, ‘Reducing waste and supporting the circular economy’. The Primer outlines the direction of the technical guidance to follow, and is a showcase of exemplar projects.

Read the full Primer here.