Camiel Weijenberg attends World Cities Summit 2016 Roundtable on Circular Economy / by camiel weijenberg

Last week WEIJENBERG was invited to participate by the Embassy of the Netherlands in a roundtable workshop on Circular Economy. Circular Economy is an economic model which can result in reduced use of resources, reduced energy consumption and job creation. There is a growing recognition that in order to combat climate change, a holistic approach is needed and that Circular Economy provides a framework for us to think about sustainable development and to structure our actions in a holistic way.

Circular business models tend to be supported by three types of key technologies; digital, engineering and hybrid. A good example of this is airbnb whereby the use of machine-to-machine communication, cloud and data analytics is revolutionizing the hotel industry, reducing real-estate development, which in turn is helping to lower our environmental impact on the world.

At the Summit, the discussion was led by Accenture Strategy where a great many examples were shared as alternatives to the linear economy and traditional approach of take – make - waste. One of the most distinct examples, because of the sizeable impact it would have, was the phone upcycling industry. The possibility to recycle a phone and its material would be worth perhaps $5, while an upcycled phone can sell for $200, saving resources needed to create a new one.

WEIJENBERG contributed towards the roundtable sharing thoughts on how architecture through engineering and hybrid technology can play its part. Joining a presentation given by DGMR’s Director Paul van Bergen, attendees were shown how buildings can be upcycled and DGMR’s inspiring long term strategy to convert buildings into energy efficient forms. Their approach will make it possible to preserve a larger building and make it ready for the next 25 years.