ECLAC participates in the launching event of the study "Circular Cities in Latin America and the Caribbean. Towards a new paradigm for sustainable urban development"

Panel representantes de ciudades

Panel representantes de ciudades

The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), together with the Universidad del Desarrollo, Enel and local government representatives from Chile, Ecuador and Colombia, participated in the presentation of the study "Circular Cities in Latin America and the Caribbean. Towards a new paradigm for sustainable urban development".

The event presented the views of academia, private enterprise and institutions on the progress and proposals for moving towards a new model of sustainable urban development. The recently published study that proposes sixteen (16) steps to move towards urban circularity in cities of the region was shared. In addition, a panel discussion was held with representatives and authorities from Bogota (Colombia), the Canton of Mejia (Province of Pichincha, Ecuador) and Quillota (Valparaiso Region, Chile). ECLAC presented an integrated analysis of the strategies or roadmaps already published in eight cities in the region. Finally, the Circular Economy Coalition of Latin America and the Caribbean added the importance of strategic alliances to advance circularity.

The opening session of the event was attended by various actors from academia and private enterprise. Ernesto Silva, President of Universidad del Desarrollo added that "when we look at the role of universities in the future, we understand that universities must not only be a source of knowledge and training, but also a meeting place. Civil society requires meeting spaces for exploration, collaboration and joint reflection". Fabrizio Barderi, General Manager of Enel Chile, added that "as Enel we have pushed for the development of this study because we are a company very committed to sustainability, and for almost 10 years we have placed sustainability at the heart of our strategy as a company".

Francisca Astaburuaga, CEO of the UDD Center for Innovation in Cities, commented that "the objective of the study is to provide a frame of reference for the municipal teams of the signatory cities of the Declaration of Circular Cities of Latin America and the Caribbean. The idea is to have these elements of knowledge available to all, to make cases of implementation visible and to identify the steps for a major or minor city government to implement a strategy". Felipe Artiaga, Associate Researcher at the UDD Center for Innovation in Cities, and coordinator of the study, added that the importance of generating a shared vision that links the different actors would be the most sustainable possibility to advance towards development in the case of the circular cities agenda.

The panel discussion was attended by the Mayor of Quillota, Mr. Oscar Calderón, and we were joined virtually by the Mayor of Cantón de Mejía, Mr. Roberto Hidalgo, and from the Mayor's Office of Bogotá, Mr. Oscar Vargas, a professional from the District Secretariat of the Environment. The experiences of each city in the implementation of circular economy actions in their different productive sectors, serve as an example and leadership for the transition towards a more sustainable development model.

On behalf of ECLAC, Estefani Rondón, Research Assistant in the Sustainable Development and Human Settlements Division, shared the main findings of the "Overview of Circular Economy Roadmaps in Latin America and the Caribbean", published in December last year, and pointed out that in this text a methodology was developed to analyze Circular Economy strategies or roadmaps, based on a sample of eight (8) countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region, based on a proposed taxonomy of axes and sub-axes of action, with the aim of identifying trends and opportunities for the development of key sectors in the region. The two axes with the most actions were related to the axis of public policies, financing and governance, and the axis of innovation in circular economy. Based on these results, Chapter III of this study was devoted to developing the role of innovation and the circular economy in the region, the gaps and opportunities, as well as the enabling aspects needed to promote it in the region.