Declaration of Circular Cities for Latin America and the Caribbean

Published on Thursday, 24 March 2022

On October 26, 2021, during the 10th Italy-Latin America and the Caribbean Conference in Rome, the event "Global and Local Challenges: the leadership role of circular cities," organized by the energy group Enel, in which the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Italo-Latin American Institute (IILA) launched the 'Declaration of Circular Cities for Latin America and the Caribbean.'


This initiative, which follows a similar one launched in Europe two years ago, aims to accelerate the transition to circularity in Latin American and Caribbean cities through a shared vision, collaboration, and development of synergies.

-          - The document proposes analyzing the current situation and rethinking the urban development model. The traditional city concept has been insufficient to deal with an increasingly complex urban phenomenon and promote equitable and sustainable development.

-          The pandemic has promoted this awareness, stressing the need to rethink economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability, social inclusion, quality of life, health, and resilience.

-          A new city model should promote the transition toward a circular economy scheme based on renewable material and energy inputs, extending the life of goods, sharing, and closing cycles.


The first steps to be taken:

-          In 2022, a cross-cutting working table will be launched at the city level to define priorities and main lines of action on a circular economy involving leading departments of municipal administrations.

-          - Each city will include the stakeholders to develop a shared vision of making this circular transition.


Important cities in Latin America and the Caribbean have already joined the Declaration, such as Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Curridabat, Lima, Santiago de Chile. Other cities are in the process of joining, making this circular economy agreement an unprecedented event in the region. Our goal goes beyond an intention. We want to transform it into a working space where cities can advance their pledge. All joining cities have already made a solid commitment to the issue. For example, in Mexico City, with the focus on city Legislation (;

In July 2021,  Lima launched Ordinance N° 2367-2021, the measure contains the principles of CE in local management, promoting sustainable and resilient development within the Lima province.


On the other hand, Santiago de Chile ratifies its pledge to sustainability. It is one of the world's C40 member cities, and in 2021 the city's new regional government vowed to join the Race to Zero initiative of the Under2 Coalition. In this context, Santiago is developing a Climate Action Plan, which includes a circular economy public-private roundtable, and is committed to zero emissions by 2050.


Buenos Aires launched the Circular Economy Network to establish an articulated workspace among different social actors to work on the city's strategy design and circular economy law regulation  (

On this subject, José Luis Samaniego, ECLAC's Director of Sustainable Development and Human Settlements said, "Our cities must take advantage of designing policies, products, and technologies. To keep materials in quasi-permanent circulation in the economy and at the same time solve the current waste management problem. With the Declaration, cities working together and sharing exemplary practices, the time will come when waste will be a thing of the past. And in this scenario, cities are key players".