MSc Thesis AMS Institute - Meeting points: Understanding assemblages of township community engagement with the circular economy in Cape Town

MADE Student Project

For many years it has felt as if global societies sought unity through the coherence of people. In recent times, difference is being acknowledged and discussions now celebrate the separate and distinct identities that make up our communities. Despite these developments in thinking, ideas of global urban agendas are still often seen, as if the problems of one city are somehow the same as another. This is particularly recognisable in global adoptions of circular economic transitions.

The circular economy concept is frequently presented as a solution to globalised issues of over consumption and environmental degradation and is often framed as being adaptive to the specific problems of a space or configuration. The newness of the concept in urban solutions means that frameworks for its deployment are still emerging and best-practices are yet to be agreed upon. Particularly between countries of different economic levels, the contextual adaptation of circular strategies is by no means well developed. Despite this, ideas of accelerating circular economic adoptions are visibly promoted in many global regions. As such, circular economic transitions are visible in cities across the world, often without proper frameworks for the analysis of contextual problems, social dynamics or system configurations. Many observers comment on a missing social component to circular economic transitions.

Instead of seeing the circular economy as a uniform or transposable model, in this study the concept is being approached as being defined by the many pluralities of the urban. I seek to locate it within complex socio-material dynamics in South-Africa as a means to explore transitions and their efficacy.

References can be found inside the document.

Want to read more about this topic?

Recently, an article was published about the history of the circular economy. 

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Afbeelding credits

Header afbeelding: Circularity in Urban Regions

Icon afbeelding: AMS Institute logo vierkant rood