About the Circular Built Environment

The Circular Environment

Harbour cities and regions within the Eurodelta, a historically strong economically-related area that covers the Rhine, Scheldt and Meuse delta conurbations (including the Randstad, Brussels and Rhine-Ruhr area) have come together to explore if collaboration can help to accelerate the transition to a circular economy; an economy that promotes value maintenance and sustainable development, creating environmental quality, economic development, and social equity, to the benefit of current and future generations. In a circular economy, the ‘end of life’ concept has been replaced with new concepts like reducing, reusing, recycling, and recovering of materials throughout the supply chain. 

Spatial implications – how we use land

This economic shift has spatial implications e.g. for storage, production areas for bio-based materials, building hubs, logistic hubs, new industrial sites, etc. A circular built environment (CBE) is a system designed for narrowing, slowing, and closing resource loops at different spatial-temporal levels by transitioning cultural, environmental, economic and social values towards a sustainable way of living. The change to a CBE can result in increased demand for space at one location and less at another; therefore, it requires strong involvement of the economic and social sector in planning and different design principles. 

However, the so-called ‘spatial requirements’ – how much land and where it is located – is largely unknown territory. Policymakers are only beginning to realize the far-reaching spatial implications of a truly circular built environment. 

Project objectives

The objective of ASSET is to develop a strategy and action plan to understand the spatial implications of the circular transition of the built environment for the Eurodelta, as well as to come up with innovative solutions on different scales. 

By using the Province of South Holland's Spatial Circular strategy as the base of the research, the project partners focus on two main questions: 

  1. What is necessary to develop a spatial-economic strategy and action agenda for the circular transition of the Eurodelta? 
  2. Can cooperation between cities and regions in this area help to solve local spatial problems? 

By focusing on the construction sector, which is responsible for 40% of the CO2 emission within the Eurodelta, the project partners build on forming an alliance of experts and students on circularity, economics, planning and mobility from the public and private sectors throughout the Eurodelta to gather information, raise awareness, create additional capacity and to discover technological innovations and capabilities within the region.


ASSET comes from a collaboration of Partners across the Eurodelta region

The ASSET project is delivered by consortium of Partners that are brought together in the SURE (Strategic Urban Region Eurodelta) Network. SURE provides a platform for the exchange of knowledge, expertise and experience among practitioners in the field of economics, sustainability and spatial planning.

The SURE Network is a collaboration between small and medium-sized cities and greater metropolitan areas in the river delta from the Rhine, Scheldt and Meuse.

Through this network, we explore new ways to achieve harmonious economic, social, and territorial development.

More information on the SURE Network