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Playbook: A Design-Driven Approach to Circular and Digital Partnerships

Cities’ circular transition plays a pivotal role in a sustainable future, and data and digital solutions hold the potential to accelerate the change. This playbook offers guidelines and tools on how to get started

cicc playbook grafik

To make it easier for cities to engage with businesses and entrepreneurs around data-driven circular solutions, the Danish Business Authority, twin transition, and DDC developed this playbook. The playbook aims to inspire and guide project managers and leaders in city administrations to become facilitators of circular digital public-private partnerships and innovation processes.

The playbook uses tools, methods, and case studies and is design-driven. Design processes are inherently concerned with changing the existing into something preferred. They have an action-oriented and iterative methodology and are often based on participatory practices. This has shown effectiveness in transitioning to and innovating within a circular economy.

The playbook is divided into four iterative steps:

  1. Scoping the digital, circular solution
  2. Mapping and engagement
  3. Prototyping and testing
  4. Choosing the right path for scaling impact

Why this playbook?

Cities are uniquely positioned to accelerate the transition to a circular economy through innovation. They can drive on-the-ground sustainable transformation involving businesses, citizens, and other public organizations. As a physical space with far-reaching infrastructure, the city can also be a key driving force in establishing new partnerships and collaborations on new circular, data-driven solutions. Globally, solutions are emerging, but far too many of the challenges cities encounter are still to be solved to transition and reach their ambitious climate targets. City administrations must acquire new methods and mean that support the exploration of partnerships across stakeholder landscapes, value chains, and city ecosystems. In other words, cities need to become facilitators of public-private partnerships in circular, data-driven innovation processes.

"The circular economy transition offers wide-ranging benefits to cities and their residents. To fully realize these benefits, cities will need to make bold decisions and imaginative solutions to rethink material and information flows. This report maps out how cities can forge innovative new partnerships to get the data and solutions they need to accelerate their circular economy transitions"

Sarah O’Carroll

Cities Lead, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Who is it for?

This playbook is for project managers and city administration leaders focusing on circular transition, particularly data-driven solutions. It is also for businesses and entrepreneurs who focus on the circular, data-driven development of cities and wants to understand how cities can enter into partnerships and the barriers and opportunities currently present for city facilitators.

How should you use it?

The playbook presents an illustrative transformation journey for cities and city administrators, providing: 

  1. Guidance on how to unlock the potential of circular, data-driven public-private partnerships.
  2. A set of guidelines, tools, and checklists addressing what cities should keep in mind when entering the role of facilitators.
  3. Suggestions on where to seek further knowledge and guidance. Examples from frontrunner cities and previous projects are presented throughout the playbook, contributing to key learnings and insights.

What is it built on?

The playbook is inspired and based on the learnings and insights from the Circular Innovation City Challenge held in 2021 by the partners behind the playbook. Since then, interviews of frontrunner cities and relevant organizations within the circular, data-driven transition have been conducted. Additionally, the partners draw on their knowledge from a broad portfolio of projects with city development, public procurement, and innovation projects.

Download the playbook

Theresa Ebling Lauritsen

Urban Transition Designer

Phone +45 3172 2472
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Do you have questions about the playbook?

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