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Circularity Cohort

A circular community is one that promotes the transition from a linear to a circular economy in an integrated way across the public and private space and in all local government functions in collaboration with residents, businesses, community-based organizations, and the research community. In practice, this means shifting away from the linear economy’s “take, make, waste” model and moving to an economic system where the value and utility of infrastructure, products, components, materials, and nutrients is maintained for as long as possible.

Did you know two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in urban areas by 2050? According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, despite taking up just two percent of the global landmass, cities consume more than 75 percent of natural resources, are responsible for over 50 percent of solid waste and emit up to 60 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

This introductory level cohort will provide participants with the foundations of circularity so they can act across sectors and value chains to shift away from the “take-make-waste” model by implementing the Circular City Actions Framework (applicable to towns, counties, regions as well!), which is composed of five interconnected strategies from resource extraction to waste management: Rethink, Regenerate, Reuse, Reduce, Recover.

Sessions will focus on the sectors, policy instruments and interventions at the local level that can bring the biggest change towards a more circular economy. Join this cohort and learn how to integrate circularity within your climate and sustainability action to improve resource access, lower emissions, protect and enhance biodiversity, and reduce social inequities in communities.

ICLEI will provide participants with:

  • Live, 1-hour web-based presentations every two weeks for five months
  • Peer exchange and learning, including circular solutions from cities throughout the U.S. and internationally
  • ICLEI’s Circular Strategies Matrix, templates, and other resources
  • 1:1 calls with ICLEI advisors to discuss your community’s goals needs

At a Glance

Open To:

ICLEI Members, Regional Affiliates

# Participants:



July 2023 through November 2023


100 - Introductory




Low Emissions, Circular



Open to ICLEI members only.

Who Will Participate

Up to 15 ICLEI members will participate.

Effort Level

Participants will attend live virtual training sessions that will include presentations, as well as discussion-based elements. Each participant will complete a Circular City Assessment to be presented during the final session and will contribute to a group-wide Circular Strategies Matrix throughout the course of the cohort. ICLEI technical experts will provide individual coaching sessions. Expect 20-30 hours of effort during the cohort duration.


Exact sessions and dates TBC.

Session 1: Introduction to the Circular Economy

Session 2: Introduction to the Circular City Action Framework and the 5 R’s

Session 3: 5 R’s (Rethink & Regenerate)

Session 4: 5 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, & Recover)

Session 5: Food Systems

Session 6: Plastics

Session 7: Built Environment – Water and Embodied Carbon

Session 8: Built Environment – Construction and Demolition Waste

Session 9: Circular City Assessment Reporting and Wrap-up


Contact the cohort leads Alyssa Wilbur and Caroline Dickey at and