Urban Circularity Assessment – Handbook

Welcome to the Handbook for the Urban Circularity Assessment (UCA), a combination of an urban material flow and stock accounting method and indicators that evaluate the “circularity of a city”. The UCA is a method that was developed for the EU Horizon 2020 CityLoops project and this handbook will outline it, by answering the following questions:

What you can expect

This handbook is meant to give an introduction to, an overview of and practical, hands-on description of the UCA steps. It builds on experiences and examples of cities that have already conducted the UCA. (You can find their reports at the bottom of this page: https://cityloops.metabolismofcities.org/reports/). Moreover, it gives descriptions of the various resources that are provided:

We invite you to check back regularly for correct instructions and clarifications, as this is a living document that grows with the experiences and questions of the users, as well as the development of the CityLoops Data Hub, the repository for the data and the connected dashboard, whose functionality, structure and design changes.

For this handbook, a background document exists which is called “Urban Circularity Assessment – Method”. It details the development of the UCA method and all its components.

Who this is for - the user

While the first users, those that applied the UCA method, were the cities of the CityLoops project, we imagine the users of the handbook to have a slightly different profile or additional roles. This handbook is addressed to researchers, including master students, city officials and consultants that wish to become independent experts that can apply this method to measure and visualise flows, interpret the results and propose systemic policies. A technical and scientific background can be helpful, although, we aim to make this handbook as user friendly as possible.


Last, but certainly not least, we wish to acknowledge the work, efforts and passion of those that have contributed to making all this possible. There is of course the Metabolism of Cities team and the larger community that were initially and for a long time led by Paul Hoekman. Together with the dedicated members of Aristide Athanassiadis and Carolin Bellstedt, the Metabolism of Cities Data Hub was designed and then brought to live by Paul and Guus Hoekman.

Therefore, it needs to be pointed out that the CityLoopsData Hub itself, builds on this work and the general Metabolism of Cities Data Hub. While it is a different subsite of Metabolism of Cities, the appearance, functionality and also the structure of the database are quite similar. (See also “Development of an Urban Material Flow and Stock Database Structure”. In fact, you will see images of the MoC Data Hub in some videos sometimes.

It also needs to be acknowledged that a lot of other content, such as courses for example, were in part brought to you, but certainly enabled by Paul, Aristide, Carolin and Guus.

Finally, over the course of the four year CityLoops project, we had a number of outstanding and dedicated contributors, who in one way or even many have left their mark on this piece of work. You can find all of those wonderful people listed on the team page. Through their initiative and drive, it enables us to provide you the method and experience to conduct circularity assessments (on the Data Hub).