15 October 2021

Barcelona Circular City 2021

Before Barcelona Circular City 2021 comes, on the upcoming October 26th and 28th, let us refresh the learnings from the previous edition

Barcelona Circular City is an event in which professionals and organizations like ours meet each other in order to promote circular economy in the city. It is a project by the Circular Economy Club, a non-profit organization that works to implement circularity around the world. 

Scholars, representatives from companies, non-governmental organizations and public administration shall meet in this event to identify the next challenges and strategies to ease Barcelona’s transition into a circular economy. 

In this occasion, some factors related to most recent events will be also taken into account. Some of these points when re-thinking our urban model are the pandemic, along with its social and economic impact, the energy price, the lack of supplying… We have an excellent opportunity before us.


The previous edition

The first edition of the Barcelona Circular City, held only two months before the worldwide expansion of Covid-19, was organized in four workshops: buildings, mobility, food & beverages and fashion. Each of these was led by a knowledge partner. From Eco Intelligent Growth we managed the Buildings and Fashion groups. 

Barcelona Circular City 2021  is working with the same structure, but this time we are focusing on urbanism and real estate.



Although each sector has its own specificities, all areas have several issues in common. These challenges are all consequence of a linear economy. Some of them, defined In the previous Barcelona Circular City, are intensive consumption of raw materials, waste generation and pollution. 

All solutions come across a change of framework, setting the mindset in circularity and removing the waste concept from the equation. All means and products must be designed to maintain its value and safely reintegrate in the productive circle, becoming nutrient for the forthcoming processes. 

As strategies to progress towards a circular model, the participating members pointed suggestions such as: 

  • the education of citizens (including the professionals in production sectors), 
  • the implementation of a legal framework promoting appropriate behaviours and transparency in the value chain,
  • financial support to trigger investment in R+D+I and launch circular options
  • stimulate collaboration among organizations of different sizes, both private and public.

Building environment

In the real estate sector, besides water, energy and materials consumption, there are some other critical issues, such as solid waste generation, water and air pollution, toxic materials use and the consequences of all theses in climate change. 

Some of the suggested measures to solve this are the rehabilitation of existing buildings to make them resilient to climate change, the promotion of cooperative communities and the training of industry managers and providers. In order to set it up, it would be necessary to work with organizations like the housing agency from Catalonia, the waste agency from Catalonia, banks, trade unions and more.


Fashion & Textiles

The main challenges in the fashion sector are waste management (from the product itself, the production process and the packaging) plus water and air pollution. To all that we have to add the previously mentioned intensive consumption of water, energy and chemical products.

Among the suggested actions in the last Barcelona Circular City, there are measures such as a regulation for synthetic fibers, the arrangement of washing machines to prevent the release of microplastics, the promotion of alternatives to chemical products, some incentives to innovate with functionalities like self cleaning, the publicity of local production or the foundation of networks to facilitate material circularity. 

Besides textiles manufacturers, logistics companies, innovation departments and waste managers should also take action. 

The challenges of Barcelona Circular City 2021

As of this year, we will check the learnings from last year’s edition under the new context, analyzing the recently emerged challenges, the needs in times of a pandemic and climate change, the role of the industry and the mechanisms to make this transformation possible. 

Along with the invited experts and the other partners of Barcelona Circular City 2021 (The circular economy and sustainability chair of the Pompeu Fabra University, Factual, Inèdit and Barcelona Activa), we will work on the proposal of specific actions that help Barcelona’s government face these challenges. 

Barcelona Circular City 2021 will span two sessions: the digital meeting (aired online, open to everyone, next October 26th) and sectorial workshops (in-person, with reduced groups of professionals, next October 28th). 

We at EIG and fellow participating organizations are determined to accelerate circular economy in the city. We are offering our know-how to decisively contribute in the search for improvement actions in this year’s edition. Remain up to date through our website and the event’s