Transition to a Regional Circular Society: the case of Haarlemmermeer
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The circular economy concept is increasingly being discussed around the world. Haarlemmermeer, one of the leading municipalities in the Netherlands on the circular economy, aims to work towards a regional circular society. Such a regional circular society should be able to move beyond individual activities and projects towards a structured system in which material re-use is optimized and material, energy and water cycles are closed locally as far as possible and desirable. A study of present-day circular economy reporting presents various sets of recommendations to initiate and accelerate the transition to a circular economy. Analyses from system perspectives, a transition framework and an innovation framework conclude that present-day recommendations provide a variety of insights and directions for action, but that additional recommendations are required on high-level system intervention and on supporting innovation. A set of nine tailor-made activities is developed to start the transition towards a regional circular society in Haarlemmermeer, based on both present-day recommendations by reporting and additional recommendations from literature. This set is shown in figure A.1. The most important recommendation is to initiate the design lab: commonly developing a local meaning behind the regional circular society. The ownership of the concept and its related challenges that such a process creates, can significantly support the development of additional activities. Most other activities can be initiated in parallel, as they are interconnected and strengthen each other. Far more important than the recommendations is the culture that is required to enable a real transition. Such a new mode of governance, which includes mutual interaction, trust and shared responsibilities among stakeholders, is required to increase and accelerate learning and thereby further enhance the transition process. Future research is recommended on the definition of a circular economy and the role and possibilities of regions to apply circular economy principles in an increasingly globalizing world.