Create and support online platforms and physical spaces for sale, sharing and exchange of spaces, items and materials.
🍏 Redistribute food surplus
When edible food is wasted, this wastes not only the food product itself, but also all of the energy, resources and emissions that were required to produce the food.
Surplus food from food services, manufacturing, and retail operations should be used at its highest and best value. Platforms (both on- and offline) can help to connect surplus food between, for example, households, retail, food services and manufacturing. This may result in increased revenues for businesses, and lower landfill costs.
Redistributing food surplus is not a solution to address the root causes of food insecurity, and establishing reliance on this stream by vulnerable communities can bring problems in the future. Nevertheless, food surplus may in some instances be appropriately redirected to social enterprises, for example, food banks.
Local governments may work with local businesses who link surplus food from restaurants and supermarkets to edible reuse by citizens. Other businesses may process and redirect food streams to animals who can in turn feed on it. Awareness raising, platforms, and dedicated space in the city can support these operations.
👕📱 Reuse centres and networks
Recent years have witnessed a shrinking of the lifespans of consumer goods, following trends in fast-fashion and planned obsolescence in consumer electronics. These patterns of unsustainable consumption lead to many consumer goods being thrown away after only a small amount of time, while perfectly usable.
Reuse hubs and networks can present a tangible solution to support the reuse of consumer goods. Reuse hubs provide a physical location to collect and offer consumer goods that are repaired, repurposed, reused. Consumer goods could range from furniture, to electronics, to clothing, and other consumer goods. Reuse hubs could even go as far as becoming a fully circular shopping centre, offering access to all different types of consumer goods. What is more, reuse hubs and supporting repair activities can be connected throughout a city to form a network to enable access to such goods and services throughout the entirety of a city.
Local governments can support the development of reuse hubs by providing both financial and in-kind support, zoning particular areas for experimentation and reuse. Local governments can also play a key role in connecting existing activities throughout the city. What’s more, local governments can play a key role in promoting reuse and repair activities throughout a city to reduce marketing costs of these businesses and raise awareness for residents. Local governments may also stimulate skills development and make training available to repair and reuse organisations.
🚌 Low-carbon and shared mobility systems
On average, mobility is responsible for around half of the energy that is consumed in cities (excluding industry), and with it, a large share of the greenhouse gas emissions that are generated in cities. At the same time, many mobility assets, such as private cars can remain parked for up to 92% of the day (<a href="https://ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy-opportunity-and-benefit-factsheets">Ellen MacArthur Foundation).
A combination of shared mobility options (such as public transport, bike and car sharing) and low-carbon mobility systems (such as walking and cycling) can significantly reduce the energy demand and associated emissions of moving people and goods in cities. If implemented effectively, these solutions can reduce the overall demand for vehicles by alleviating the need for personal car ownership, and consequently also reducing the extraction of virgin materials required for the production and fuelling of private vehicles.
Local governments can make low-carbon and shared mobility options a viable and preferred alternative to private vehicle use. They can improve the availability and accessibility of electric charging infrastructure for private electric vehicles. Moreover, cities can play a role in the connection and integration of different forms of shared mobility (such as bike sharing, public transport, and car sharing) through a city-wide or national online platform. Then, to discourage private car use, parking bays can be replaced with pocket parks, parking costs can be increased (in certain parts of the city), cycling lanes can be expanded, and car free zones or congestion charges introduced.