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Including the social in the circular: A mapping of the consequences of a circular economy transition in the city of Umeå, Sweden
Stockholm Environment Institute, Linnégatan 87D, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9283-1914
Stockholm Environment Institute, Linnégatan 87D, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1987-3712
Stockholm Environment Institute, Linnégatan 87D, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9765-7943
Stockholm Environment Institute, Linnégatan 87D, Stockholm, Sweden.
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2022 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 380, article id 134893Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The circular economy (CE) model, where resources are kept "in the loop" for as long as possible through a series of reusing, remanufacturing, recycling, and recovery strategies, has been acclaimed for reducing the environmental impacts of our current economic model substantially and has therefore been supported by a wide range of policymakers as one solution to tackling climate change. However, how circular transitions in cities impact people has been rarely researched, and even less attention has been paid to the negative consequences of CE transitions.

This paper presents the findings from a social impact assessment conducted in the city of Umeå, Sweden. We identified several negative impacts of a CE transition across seven social impact categories and explored three areas in depth with stakeholders in the city: employment, access to services and participation. We found that the negative impacts of the CE are perceived to be limited and that the CE interventions are mainly viewed as a win-win-win outcome, i.e., a win for the environment, the economy and people. This raises questions about the level to which societal consequences have been considered and whether all relevant stakeholders, in particular civil society, have participated in the design of the city's CE strategy. Our findings can inform other cities about possible negative consequences of CE transitions and provide insights into how to incorporate different stakeholders in the CE transition process to ensure that no one is left behind.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier BV , 2022. Vol. 380, article id 134893
Keywords [en]
Circular economy, Urban transitions, Employment conditions, Participation, Intersectionality
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-320950DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.134893ISI: 000883802400006Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85141278327OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-320950DiVA, id: diva2:1708204
Projects
Urban Circularity Assessment Framework
Funder
Vinnova, 2019–03237
Note

QC 20221206

Available from: 2022-11-03 Created: 2022-11-03 Last updated: 2022-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Henrysson, Maryna

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