First meeting for the circular cities declaration

Published on Monday, 24 October 2022

In September, the first operations meeting was held with the cities that have signed the Circular Cities Declaration of Latin America and the Caribbean, organized by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

This initiative is inspired by a similar project launched in Europe with the European Circular Cities Declaration for the purpose of accelerating the transition to circularity in Latin American and Caribbean cities by defining a shared vision, collaboration, and the development of synergies.

The Declaration proposes that the signing members work together to analyze the current situation and rethink the urban development model. The goal for 2022 is based on consolidating a task force with the signatory cities to simultaneously analyze the current situation with respect to circular economy and the potential sectors to be developed. One of the products projected for this year within the Declaration’s framework is a document containing the key guidelines on how to transform our cities. To be truly representative, the document must include a broad participatory process and allow for the definition of a short-, medium-, and long-term perspective for the development of this transition.

ECLAC, along with Universidad del Desarrollo de Chile (UDD) and ENEL, is carrying out a study entitled “Circular Cities of Latin America and the Caribbean,” to define the framework of action for the signatory cities. Within this context, the technical experts working within the Declaration met for the first time to report on the progress and transition gaps in their cities.

The meeting included the participation of experts representing the Declaration's member cities, who shared their experiences and highlighted best practices in each area/sector in order to promote cooperation, the exchange of experiences, and support among the signatory cities. The task force gave experts the chance to validate the general contents of the current study, identifying priorities and key lines of action.

To date, some important cities in Latin America and the Caribbean that have already signed the Declaration, include Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Curridabat, Lima, Cantón de Mejía, Pichincha (Ecuador), Santiago, Quillota, and Valparaiso (Chile), while other cities are still in the process of signing, making this an unprecedented agreement in the region on the topic of circular economy. 

The declaration itself is not the final goal, but rather, proponents hope it will offer a work space in which cities can accelerate their commitment to circular economy.