Inclusive Wise Waste Cities

Currently 4 billion people live in cities, but according to recent projections in 30 years that will be almost 7 billion. That means that around the world every 5 years an amount of people equivalent to the total population of the EU will migrate to cities. This transition is driven by the fact that cities offer opportunities for improved living conditions, better access to education and more work. In other words, cities are in principle an important vehicle for increased prosperity and to lift those currently in rural areas from poverty. However, the current scale of migration towards cities also puts enormous stress on sustainable urban management and makes it ever more difficult to keep cities inclusive. In fact, the current and expected influx towards cities could aggravate the existing urban cleavage between haves and have nots and thus destabilize cities and countries as a whole. Countering this is a complex multi-faceted problem. In one of their projects, DoIP researchers focus on the adverse environmental impact of the rapid growth of cities, with special attention to management of air quality and waste.

Often the poorest inhabitants suffer most from these adverse effects and with the expected results the DoIP team aims to make cities more inclusive in this respect. Fortunately, proper waste management is increasingly recognized as an important element of more inclusive policies and a transition towards “Zero Waste Cities” is gaining momentum in China and around the world. For instance, cities like Rotterdam and Amsterdam have also pledged to work towards zero waste. In this project the team will develop analytical tools to clarify the effects of emerging waste management systems in cities, design an approach for infrastructure management that is more inclusive and will validate their results in cities in the Netherlands and in China. In this project, the DoIP team collaborates with researchers from the TU Delft and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) and with Peking University, City University Hong Kong and Tongji University in China. Together the partners analyse how in neighbourhoods of major Chinese and Dutch cities waste is currently collected, processed and recycled. They will also study the value chain for waste management in those locations, which roles organizations and social groups play in the chain and how they are affected by possible changes to the way this chain is organized. Systems dynamics modelling and agent based modelling are used to present alternative ways of organizing waste management. Workshops will be held with various stakeholders to discuss promising alternatives to current approaches and to agree on the adoption of changes. The consortium received financial support from both the Dutch Research Council and the National Science Foundation China, for a total of nearly € 2 million.

Project presentation at the icRS 2022

icRS 2022: Towards Inclusive Circular Economy - Transnational Network for Wise-Waste Cities

Prof. Martin de Jong - Rotterdam School of Management & Erasmus School of Law

  • Photo of Martin de Jong

    Martin de Jong's academic areas of interest are sustainable urban and infrastructure development in China, city branding, urban planning & governance, and institutional transplantation.
    Martin aims to highlight two topics in the coming years, of which the first is “Inclusive cities”. This theme stresses the involvement of various social groups and stakeholders in urban socio-economic development and environmental preservation. The second topic is the transfer and translation of policy and planning institutions from China to the developing countries it collaborates with. This is a demonstration of the global geopolitical power shift to the east and the features and functionalists of this alternative model: the Beijing consensus.
    The first topic connects with the agenda we are developing with the City of Rotterdam and IHS. The second corresponds with the MoU signed with the Chinese Academy of Urban Planning and Design.

Dr. Filippos Konstantinos Zisopoulos – Postdoctoral Researcher at the Rotterdam School of Management 

  • Filippos has a background on the resource-use efficient design of industrial food production chains (PhD from Wageningen University and Research), on communication and valorization activities on climate change mitigation and adaptation (former member of the Secretariat of the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security & Climate Change), and more recently, on impact analysis of humanitarian aid projects (former member of the non-governmental organization Movement on the Ground).  
    Within the Inclusive Wise Waste Cities project he will be working together with his colleagues and project partners to explore how urban waste management systems can become more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient. His work will focus on developing a theoretical framework to map the “inclusive wise-waste system”. The framework will be translated into a dynamic model to study different governance systems and the consequences of various policy interventions. 

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