CLIC at the 18th Annual STS Conference Graz 2019

Is the Circular Economy able to transform the built environment in cities?

CLIC will be present at the 18th Annual STS Conference Graz 2019 “Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies”. Session 18, organized by Gillian Foster and Sigrid Stagl (Vienna University of Economics and Business), focuses on new researches exploring Circular Economy concepts that transform the urban built environment to be more sustainable, inclusive, and future-ready.

Circular Economy concepts are well suited to the building and construction sector in cities. For example, refurbishing and adaptively reusing underutilized or abandoned buildings can revitalize neighborhoods whilst achieving environmental benefits. New business models promote building materials sourced from biomass or recovered construction wastes in order to replace fossil-fuel-intensive building materials. In addition, cultural heritage buildings are modified to reflect the new needs of communities whilst increasing public access to icons of unique local cultures. Nevertheless, today these examples are primarily niche interventions.

The research challenges, both theoretical and practical, are how to apply and scale-up circular economy models for the urban landscape. With an STS perspective on the issue, we look beyond the barriers and drivers of certain technological solutions to a broader societal concept. We ask the overarching question “Is the Circular Economy able to transform the built environment in cities?”

The full programme description can be found at the conference website.