What will the cities of tomorrow be like? The circular economy is an essential part of sustainable development today: an approach that calls upon all sectors of society and the economy, going beyond simple recycling and reuse. This is particularly relevant for cities, which are home to half of the world’s population, consume two thirds of all energy and are responsible for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions.
The future therefore belongs to the “circular cities,” places that can apply the circular vision in every area, from buildings to infrastructure, from mobility to energy systems and the waste cycle. This is the central idea in Enel’s position paper, “Cities of tomorrow. Circular cities.”
Renewable energy and recyclable materials
The paper is based on a factual premise: in many parts of the world environmental pollution and general liveability have reached unsustainable levels. The Enel vision believes that it is possible to reverse this trend through the use of renewable materials and energy, by increasing the utilisation factor of assets and products (for example, extending service life, sharing, products as services) and, finally, by finding value in products at end of life.
Today the circular economy can fulfil its potential thanks to two factors. On the one hand, there is both institutional and public awareness of the critical nature of the environmental situation, while on the other, technological innovation provides disruptive instruments like Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things.
The Enel Group follows up on ideas with facts. Our solutions include renewable energy, smart management of electric networks, e-mobility, energy efficiency for residential and industrial buildings, electrification of temperature regulation systems, efficient public lighting and many other innovative solutions.
The Futur-e project is an excellent example of applied circular economy and regeneration and reuse: thermo-electric power plants that were no longer competitive and thus decommissioned now offer new development opportunities for their surrounding areas through the innovative and sustainable solutions for their future that Enel identifies by working with the local communities. It is a paradigm of creating shared value that follows our Open Power model.