Urban areas of all sizes can be engines of the economy that stimulate growth, create jobs for their citizens and improve Europe`s competitiveness in a globalised economy. Currently, 73% of all jobs and 80% of 25-64 year olds with higher education live in European cities, cities and suburbs. However, urban areas are also places where challenges such as segregation, unemployment and poverty are concentrated. The exponential growth of digital connectivity has had a significant impact on our society over the past decade. It is common knowledge that this increase in connectivity – and the technological innovation that drives them between people, products and systems – can create important new sources of value for citizens and economies, while creating new challenges for regulators and policy makers. Understanding and harnessing the potential of this „fourth industrial revolution“ for society, the economy and the environment is the theme of the 2016 World Economic Forum annual meeting. This report on smart assets – a key feature of the fourth industrial revolution – and how to link them to the principles of the circular economy is therefore both important and timely to contribute to the new economic agenda. „The transition to a truly circular economy will not be a one-step process. However, this report represents tangible progress towards a more sustainable, efficient and resilient future. Arup is long-term, because even if it takes a generational change to get there, the direction of travel represents a much better future for our common society.
The action plan for a circular economy for a cleaner and more competitive Europe, which is at the heart of the European Green Agreement, aims to ensure that the economy is ready for a green future and to strengthen competitiveness while protecting the environment. It introduces legislative and non-legislative measures and focuses on areas where action at EU level brings added value. help European businesses and consumers move to a stronger, more circular economy, in which resources are used more sustainably. This requires Europe and the rest of the world to move from the current linear economic model of the Consumer Offering in Sight, based on large quantities of easily accessible resources and energy, to a circular model that respects global limits through the preservation of resources and the maximization of the use of resources already available in the economy.