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Tomorrow.Podcast 1×02: Going Sustainable: business and citizens are pushing for circular cities

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Author | M. Martínez Euklidiadas

Public opinion is capable of generating significant urban transformations. We have seen this with the acceptance and even with the momentum behind proposals to change linear production models to those focusing on recycling and reuse. There is no better example than the growing interest in circular cities, those capable of prioritizing closed-loop energy and material systems in order to significantly reduce their environmental impact.

"We have reduced our carbon emissions by about six percent and we’ve purchased more than a million tons of carbon removal from the atmosphere through a variety of projects that we just contracted with this year." — Michelle Lancaster

Michelle Lancaster, Director of Sustainability Stakeholder Engagement at Microsoft (a carbon-neutral company since 2012), discusses the importance of making use of circular resources, focusing on looking after water resources, reducing carbon emissions and reducing waste. The ecological footprint calculation is an essential tool.

Circular cities require committed individuals supported by public policies and a business sector involved in the change. But are we involved? What can the average citizen do?

"I consider myself environmentally conscious. I do try my best and I’m really aware of the little changes I’ve been doing over these last years." – Citizen’s voice

Júlia López Ventura, regional director of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a global network of 97 megacities committed to addressing climate change, explains how our actions today can affect the world our children will live in tomorrow. COVID-19 has given us the opportunity for cities to collaborate with one another to come up with the best solutions, but it is not the only current crisis: the communities most vulnerable to climate change are precisely those that have contributed the least to it.

"Working together is the only way to achieve the principles of a green recovery. The Global Green New Deal led by the world’s greatest cities is a campaign meant to create momentum." — Júlia López Ventura

The environmental impacts resulting from our way of producing in and for cities, are not in equilibrium with nature’s capacity to assume the levels of pollution. And this imbalance is generating problems which cities cannot ignore.Follow the Tomorrow.City podcast to keep up-to-date:

Photo | Jonathan Farber

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