Ms. Eva Gladek, CEO of Metabolic, Netherlands
Ms. Gladek explored how circular cities create pathways to sustainable urban food systems and resource management, leading to green, healthy, resilient cities. Global
renewable energy consumption has been growing exponentially, and some countries are well on their way to building a circular economy and are 40 years ahead of the forecast for the adoption of renewables. Traditionally, countries followed a linear economy of take, make, and dispose. The circular economy aims to retain the value in a product for as longas possible. Value must be captured in value chains, as estimates show that 6 billion euros of value is currently being thrown away in the linear economy. A circular economy retains materials, and focuses on health, energy, biodiversity, equity, and resilience. The key intervention areas are agriculture and cities considering they are responsible for a large percentage of the consumption of global resources and production of greenhouse gases. Cities are real leverage points, as they contribute to 60-80% of greenhouse gases while occupying only 3% of land surface. There are three strategies for this transition: tackling food waste, closing resource cycles, and integrated urban-agri design.cities are drains of resources and there are opportunities for reusing and recycling that currently are not utilised as they could be. Integration can be taken even further with symbio-culture, where the production of many different species are gathered in one production cycle and put inside a city to create more products. For example, using waste water from fish going to plants it is possible to create a closed system. Cities can go from resource drains to centres of circular production, creating value within city walls whilst becoming greener, healthier, and shortening the distance that food needs to travel.