A Policy Coherence Framework for Circular Built Environment Implementation: the Case of a Campus Development

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Dozens of cities around the world have already envisioned a circular built environment by establishing a variety of sectorial policies, strategies, and roadmaps, among other policy documents. As circularity is introduced in the making and operation of the built environment, caveats have been raised upon the governance of circular transitions. Policy coherence – or the extent to which policies are well-aligned and create synergies for implementation – in circular built environment research remains an unaddressed aspect of policymaking that, when lacking, may affect the transition’s effectiveness. This article aims to synthesize what policy coherence entails and how can it be assessed particularly in the transition towards a circular built environment. To do so, we developed a two-step approach. Firstly, resorting to academic literature we developed a framework for policy coherence and combined it with an existing framework for circular city development. The resulting framework combines four elements: policy levels, dimensions of coherence, actions for circular city developments, and levers for circular development. Secondly, we tested our framework for the transition of Delft University of Technology’s campus, in the Netherlands, towards a circular and carbon-neutral campus by 2030. Results show that the campus transition policy is increasingly improving its coherence, however, a narrow focus on looping actions over ecologically regenerating and adaptation ones may hinder a more integral campus development in the coming years. A circular city development perspective offers the opportunity to embrace more holistic goals, instruments, and implementation measures. Valuing policy coherence as desirable, our framework highlights the benefits and difficulties towards improving coherence. It also shows the importance of understanding the circularity imperative embedded in policy documents by policy makers formulating and implementing the policies for more coherent transitions in the built environment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe state of circularity
Subtitle of host publicationThe content of "the 2nd International Conference on Circular Systems for the Built Environment"
EditorsShore Shahnoori, Masi Mohammadi
PublisherTechnische Universiteit Eindhoven
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)978-90-386-5486-7
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event2nd International Conference on Circular Systems for the Built Environment, ICSBE 2 (Hybrid/Online): Advanced Technological and Social solutions for Transitions - Eindhoven, Netherlands
Duration: 9 Dec 20219 Dec 2021


Conference2nd International Conference on Circular Systems for the Built Environment, ICSBE 2 (Hybrid/Online)

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright older of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • circular built environment
  • circular city
  • policy coherence analysis
  • urban governance
  • urban development
  • campus?


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