Circular Area development

Themes: Social Impact, Materials

TRL titel

A TRL is a measure to indicate the matureness of a developing technology. When an innovative idea is discovered it is often not directly suitable for application. Usually such novel idea is subjected to further experimentation, testing and prototyping before it can be implemented. The image below shows how to read TRL’s to categorise the innovative ideas.

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Summary of the project

Recently the concept of circularity found its way to spatial planning. Its popularity is strongly linked to the fact that circularity is seen as a next phase of sustainable development, and in particular for circular areas and circular cities. However, this upscaling from product and building to areas and cities is not straightforward. No longer, circularity primarily deals with closing material flows, but increasingly deals with the more intangible aspects of circularity, namely capturing local value. As such, circularity is increasingly being used uncritical and it has a tendency to become ‘ubiquitous’ and an ‘empty signifier’. In its turn, latter brings the question if circular (area) development has to be regulated and if so, who has to take the lead.

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Achieving circularity in the near future starts today. An area developed today for residential purposes for example will influence our built environment for decades. This means that special criteria or rules have to be developed on how we deal with such decisions and transformations. The aim of the project is to develop necessary knowledge for the transition towards a Circular Economy and how technical knowledge can best be used into the governance aspects of these developments. More specifically this project aims to test and examine circular area development for the Binckhorst (a specific area in The Hague). Within this discussion, the circular discourse is frequently used and has the potential to bring together contemporary and future area development with other important transitions as the energy transition, industry 4.0, social inclusiveness and climate change adaption.

The project itself is set up in an innovative way, namely as a co-creation project. This entails that knowledge production (cf. theory and policy) is not only done by the involved research institutions, but also with the relevant private and public stakeholders, this by organizing workshops, round tables etc.

What's next?

The next step for this research project is to get all stakeholders engaged so the Area of Binckhorst can be developed through co-creation. In a next step the project partners would like to test and analyse the different scenarios that have been developed for the Binckhorst Area.

Dr. Karel Van den Berghe


Prof. dr. Ellen van Bueren

Additional information