When waste isn’t waste: How a city can regenerate its resources

Excerpt from Energy Cities INFO #43

by Fiona Woo, Policy Officer – Climate and Energy, World Future Council. 
The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy-making. Together with civil society actors, parliamentarians, governments and businesses, the Council addresses challenges to our common
future and provides decision makers with effective policy solutions.

Modern cities are defined by their concentration of economic activity and intense social interaction. Despite greater efficiencies thanks to dense living space, they also tend to have voracious appetites for energy, water, food and other resources.

Regenerative urban development addresses the relationship between cities and their hinterlands that supply them with these vital resources. Cities should embrace the central role they play in re-enriching the landscapes they depend on and enhancing the capacity of ecosystems to generate goods and services.

The case of resource upcycling in Kalundborg

The town of Kalundborg, Denmark, demonstrates the benefits of regeneration by treating waste as a resource rather than a nuisance. The municipality and 20 local businesses benefit from using each other’s by-products that would otherwise be discarded. Kalundborg’s symbiotic web begins with its coal-fired power station, whose cooling water is channelled to produce ideal conditions for the local fish farm. Ash is used in the construction and cement industries. Excess lime is sold as fertiliser for farmland. Various wastes are thus turned into new products in this circular production system. […]

Read more in Energy Cities’ INFO (page 3).


Publication date

May 6, 2015