In partnership with the Province of Flemish Brabant, we hosted an event in February 2018 addressing the question: ‘How can smart technology advance the circular economy in a city?’ Pantopicon and imec presented an exploratory mapping of the potential on behalf of Circular Flanders.
In a circular city, it's all about connection. Closing loops (of materials, water, food, energy and space) is only possible if producers, processors, city services and citizens work together. Smart technology can make these connections much easier.
Circular Flanders commissioned Pantopicon and imec to investigate how smart technology can help to put circular strategies in place. A broad approach to smart technology was taken, with the research touching on technological trends such as smartphone use, sensors, blockchain and data processing, privacy and platforms. This resulted in a comprehensive picture of potential applications and Belgian companies that are already actively involved. The research will be reviewed and updated at the beginning of 2020 and made accessible via an online tool.
Mapping The Potential
In the Smart Cities study, we mapped out the potential of 'smart' technology in the circular economy. Five flows were mapped, followed up by an in-depth study of their respective potential. The study will be formatted and made available on an online tool at the beginning of 2020.
The circular economy provides an attractive framework for the effective use of resources as well as a sound economic argument for going down that road, while digital technology is vital to the embedding of circular principles and circular economy practices in the day-to-day operation of cities and regions. Digital technology as a key lever is something we want to and must continue to explore.