The Bartlett School of Planning


Jo Williams wins UCL Grand Challenges fund to set up UCL Circular Cities Research Hub

9 March 2016

Circular Cities Research Hub

Dr Jo Williams, in conjunction with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, has succeeded in winning the UCL Grand Challenge bid to set up a university-wide research hub to be based in the Bartlett School of Planning. The focus of the Hub is Circular Cities.

The UCL Circular Cities research hub will be an interdisciplinary, virtual hub drawing upon existing academic and practitioner expertise. The hub will be the first of its kind internationally. It will form the centre of an international network of scholars working on all aspects of Circular Cities. It will also act as an interface between academics and key urban stakeholders, enabling cutting-edge research to impact directly on the governing, management, design and development of cities. The hub is supported by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and linked to the inter-faculty CIRCEL lab.

The Circular Cities Research Hub aims to link up with those academics (teaching, research and PhD's) working on relevant topics from across the Bartlett and, eventually, UCL as a whole. The research hub will cover the following topics:

  • Cities: circular, eco-cities, regenerative cities, self-sustaining, zero waste cities
  • Urban ecology: urban metabolism, urban symbiosis, circular metabolism
  • Urban ecosystem services: design, valuation, physical impact of nature-based solutions.
  • Land use: flexible space, urban agriculture, green infrastructure, blue infrastructure,
  • Urban regeneration:  recycling buildings and land, flexible uses and space, urban regenerative capacity, circularity to enable eco-profiled regeneration
  • Infrastructure: life-time homes, recyclable infrastructure, closed-loop systems, ecocycles, adaptable infrastructure, renewable energy, biomes.
  • Localisation – eco-localisation; bioregionalism; urban self-sufficiency.
  • Economy: circular, shared, collaborative, green
  • Lifestyles : sustainable lifestyles, recycling and re-use behaviours, sustainable consumption
  • Big data: resource flows monitoring, smart apps to encourage recycling / re-use behaviours, smart grid to encourage use of renewable energy, sustainable indicators.
  • Culture: pro-environmental, recycling, cooperative / collaborative / sharing culture, inter-cultural transferability of circular urban models.
  • Policy, governance and regulation for encouraging circular responses.

The hub will run a number of events including:

  • UCL Pecha Kucha research exchanges
  • International academic seminar
  • Cities workshop

UCL Circular Cities Research HubFor more information about the Circular Cities Research Hub, please feel free to contact Dr Jo Williams.