The entirety of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s work is focused around three principles: designing out waste and pollution; keeping products and materials in use for as long as possible; and regenerating natural systems. All of these approaches apply when designing cities for the future, says O’Carroll.
The Foundation is also behind the Circular Economy 100, a network of organisations working together to share ideas around building a new system. The group involves companies such as Google and Ikea, as well as cities such as Toronto and London. Milan is one of the most recent to join.
Before this, Milan was already implementing circular-economy practices to eliminate food waste and, with its Green Carpet awards, increase awareness around sustainability in the fashion industry.
The city has already set some priorities – planting three million trees by 2030, for example – as well as a pilot scheme for Milan’s covered market to make its entire supply chain and systems more circular.
“Of course, there is so much to do, but we believe working in partnership with organisations in the city will really make the difference,” says Lucia Scopelliti, head of the economic planning unit for the city of Milan.