The City of Umeå has a strong engagement in sustainable development. As early as the 1960’s Umeå started investing in district heating, which today warms 80 % of the city. Now Umeå is furhter stepping up its priorities, stating in its Strategic Plan 2016-2028 that it shall become a frontrunner in circular economy. Its  well-developed technical solutions and one of Europe’s most environmentally friendly citizenry will help it reach that goal. 

Innovative initiatives

As one the of the fastest growing cities in Europe, Umeå is well aware of the challenges as well as the opportunities of growing and building circular. Many initiatives are already in place; such as a successful inclusive library for sports gear and outdoor life (Fritidsbanken), a sharing platform for electric bikes (U-bike), The Circular Economy Business Accelerator North Sweden, a circular fashion project (F/act movement), and a strategic initiative targeted at citizens mobility patterns, knowing that if men started using public transport like women, it would have a larger effect on the City’s Co2-emissions than transforming all buses into electric buses.

Mapping circularity

Following the recommendations from the OECD program Circular Economy in cities and regions 2019-2020, Umeå has both hired a Project Manager and Coordinator for Circular economy, as well as a Project Manager for the Municipality’s circular procurement who will also initiate mapping of circular activities. The priorities in the European Circular Cities Declaration agree well with Umeå’s ambitions and will strengthen its work and transformation.