Urban symbiosis and the nature-based economy

Planning a city or town to maximise symbiotic relationships between major flows of bio-material, water, heat and energy offers a way forward to living without fossil fuels. This video explains how it all hangs together.

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Industrial system disconnect #1. The car

A recent post outlined a system map of the industrial society. One reason to map things out is to give you helicopter perspective where you might be able to better see where the system is not working. This post takes on one of the obvious reasons the industrial society is still not on track for the Paris agreement: the car.

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Industrial society system map

Highest level system map. Click to enlarge.

Above is the latest version of my system map, done in KUMU.IO.

The basic elements of the map

  • 11 elements (e.g. government, natural capital stocks, built capital, etc)
  • 31 connections (e.g. flow of resources to firms, waste to local authority)
  • 3 types of flow: work, money, resources
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A Circular Strategy for Sweden

This 15-minute video sets out a strategy for Sweden to go full circular economy – at a high level. It identifies challenges with major industry groups, along with strategies to meet the challenges and finishes with a checklist that can be applied to all infrastructure. Maybe I am making it too simple, or is it that it is hard to get a full picture?

Real Capital: needs regenerating not depleting for profit

This E-book, produced from earlier writings, attempts to explain how Real
Capital – a cornerstone of the means of production – gets depleted by the
current system. Rather the creating a platform for future prosperity, the
system is removing the very things that coming generations need to be able
to provide for themselves.

The hope is that this short paper will clarify for policy makers where systemic
changes need to be made, and where the changes need to be put in place
to drive an industry-led transition to the circular economy.

Download the report here.

Multi capital scoring: measure what matters in the circular doughnut

Circular economy thinking, taking hold among policy makers, civil servants and scientists alike could be the answer to reducing material load, de fossilising and creating green jobs. Doughnut economic frames a reasonable operating space for this new economy. This article explores the possibilities to create metrics for the circular economy doughnut at a national or regional level.

Circular economy thinking is taking hold among policy makers, civil servants and scientists alike. For example, the Swedish Government formed its own Circular Economy Delegation last year and recently announced its national strategy for the Circular Economy. Facing reduced material availability and rapidly reducing use of fossil fuels to align with the Paris accord, Sweden hopes that its production system will continue to deliver and indeed grow economically, but with far less material and fossil energy intensity.

A reasonable operating space for the circular economy has been developed by economist Kate Raworth in the Doughnut Economy. The Doughnut model proposes a social floor below which the economic system shall not let citizens fall, and an ecological ceiling, through which social activities shall not exceed. This article explores the possibilities to create metrics for the circular economy doughnut at a national or regional level.

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The circular economy neighbourhood

Sweden, like many countries, is pursuing the circular economy as a path to decarbonization, to the bio-economy and to ensure their economy has enough material resources. Apart from the climate emergency, pressure from population increases and rising standards are about to create inevitable material shortages. Still developing, the idea of circular economy begs us to envision a circular home, a circular neighbourhood and circular municipality. This article explores what a circular economy neighbourhood might look like, and how a cooperative model might help accelerate the transition in Sweden. The ideas may, of course, apply to other countries.

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146 clubs use neighbour power to force businesses to be planet friendly

Pivot Projects is a global project set up to bring actionable insights to COP26. Working with some colleagues from Pivot Projects we asked ourselves what the smallest unit could be of individuals working from the bottom up to bring societal functioning inside the doughnut framework.

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Concerns inventory: land and water management

  1. Cloud seeding from forest. Clear felling affects rainfall and cooling
  2. Poor soil water evaporation due to soil water content loss affects climate
  3. Air pollution
  4. Poor soil infiltration.
  5. Extracted water  exceeds replenishment
  6. Equity in Drinking water   
  7. Polluted Drinking water. 
  8. P and N are not recycled to agriculture, but emitted to surface water or stored on land as waste.
  9. Waste water plants do not recycle P and N.  
  10. P N emitted from waste-water treatment plant.  
  11. Impaired water with pollutants emitted to surface water
  12. P,N in runoff from agriculture
  13. P,N in runoff from forestry and other non-agricultural management practices
  14. CO2 emissions from water provision  
  15. Challenge to find sufficient water for agriculture, industry and households. 
  16. Water export via agriculture