Conference & Workshop | Circular Resources for our Common Future: Cities as Drivers

A G20 | U20 India side event in New Delhi, India

Tue, Feb 28 - Thu, Mar 2 2023
Asia/Delhi: All day
India Habitat Center - New Delhi
New Delhi, India

Laurentiu Morariu via Unsplash


The concept of Circular Economy (CE) is not novel but gained increased traction at the global stage and regionally, as cascading disruptions occurred in critical supply chains (food, energy, electronic components…) after the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. These events triggered a shift, especially in cities that were forced to adapt rapidly to a new reality.

However, while the initial transformation in cities was triggered by the pandemic, local action has since been sustained because of the co-benefits of a more localized economy and supply chain including:

  • autonomy from global constraints and lower risk of supply chain disruption,
  • public support for a sustainable alternative to carbon-intensive growth/supply chain models, 
  • increase in local employment and business opportunities, and 
  • improvement in socio-economic conditions linked to small business growth

Local governments are, however, finding it difficult to take their actions to scale, with a critical issue being a disconnect between global and national responses to the issues raised around circularity, and sustainability of critical supply chains at the height of pandemic-related disruptions.

In the past 18 months, INTERSECTING, the foresight publication series of the Global Solutions Initiative (GSI) explored possible solutions to this global/local disconnect, particularly around the topic of plastics, global value chains, and urban metabolism. The results of these publications provide ways to address the complexity of circular economy at scale.

Building on the ‘Intersecting’ rationale and the work of CEEW, GIZ, GSI, NIUA and UNEP with a focus on environmental protection and resource efficiency within cities and urban areas as drivers and implementers of circular economy, the event will bring together stakeholders from local governments, city commissioners, businesses, think tanks and international organizations to answer the following questions:

  • What are global demands (G20 | U20)?
  • What is happening locally?
  • How is circular economy in cities understood and implemented?
  • Who are the actors?
  • What policies are there?
  • What are practical examples?
  • What works and what does not?
  • What barriers are there, and what is needed to overcome them?
  • What is needed to connect global demands and local action?

The event will focus on three pillars: Understanding, Envisioning and Implementing and use interactive peer-learning formats. In this conference, we aim to create a collaborative learning space where city officials get answers to their questions and solutions to their challenges, guided by experts and supported by peers.

The focus sectors are:

  1. Transport & mobility
  2. WASH
  3. Governance & habitats

Throughout the conference, participants will have ample opportunity to:

  • Have conversations with others who speak the same language
  • Ask your burning questions
  • Get open and honest feedback on your approach
  • Share your own experiences and stories
  • Foster new relationships

Participants will leave with:

  • a better understanding of global policy discussions and local action for a circular economy transition,
  • new, practical insights and an upgraded toolbox, to implement right away,
  • a vision for applied future action,
  • a network of cities and city-stakeholders driving the transition at a city level.

The event will cross the lines between stakeholder groups that feed into the G20 process such as the Urban20, Think 20/Think 7, as well as major initiatives within the G20 India Presidency. 

Relevance to the G20 process: 

There is a strong environment focus in the G20 India Presidency, with its theme being “One Earth, One Family, One Future”. Within this overall framework, an initial mapping of the G20 India priorities (CEEW, ICRIER, Nov. 2022) pointed to the ‘’circular economy’’ as a major cross-cutting or “intersecting” issue. Circularity, within the framework of Resource Efficiency, will therefore be part of the main dialogues organized by the G20 India Presidency. Similarly, global commitments and initiatives are echoing calls for transformation of the global economy.

In parallel, under the chairmanship of Jakarta in the Urban 20 (U20), cities have called upon the G20 Leaders to respond to the issues of economic and social recovery for all, ensuring that post-pandemic global recovery is inclusive and equitable, while supporting decent livelihoods for all. This U20 agenda is moving forward under the G20 Indian Presidency under the lead of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India National Institute for Urban Affairs (NIUA). NIUA is the lead knowledge partner of the U20 stakeholder process.


The event is co-organized by CEEW (the Council on Energy, Environment and Water), GIZ GmbH (Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit), GSI (Global Solutions Initiative), NIUA (the National Institute of Urban Affairs) and UNEP (the United Nations Environment Program).



Day 0 | Tuesday, 28 February 2023

City Mixer

City officials connect with each other in thematic teams followed by dinner.



1800 – 1930

City Mixer


  • Utilities: Energy and mobility
  • Waste & WASH: Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
  • Governance, habitats, and citizen services



Conference Day 1 | Wednesday, 1 March 2023


Registration and networking tea/coffee

1000 – 1100

Inaugural plenary and lighting the lamp

1000 – 1005

Welcome address by Mr Hitesh Vaidya, Director, NIUA

1005 – 1010

Context setting: Circular Resources in India Cities by Ms Himani Jain, Sr Programme Lead, CEEW

1010 – 1045

International perspectives: Cities as drivers of Circular Resources: Panel discussion

  • Mr. Praveen Chaudhary, Deputy Municipal Commissioner and U20 Sherpa, Ahmedabad
  • Ms Antje Berger (tbc), German Embassy New Delhi
  • Mr Atul Bagai or Ms Sharon Gil, UNEP
  • Mr Nicolas Buchoud, Fellow of the Global Solutions Initiative and Special Advisor to the U20

1045 – 1100

Keynote by Chief Guest Mr G Asok Kumar, Director General, NMCG

1100 – 1300

Technical Sessions: City-led roundtables on integrating circular economy in resource management and governance in cities.

1100 – 1115


1115 – 1215

Parallel thematic roundtables

Three parallel thematic roundtables. Each theme will have Indian Cities present their cases for a maximum of 7 minutes each followed by 3 minutes Q&A. Speakers share success stories.


  • Energy and mobility – Presentations by Commissioners of Bhopal, Thane, Ahmedabad, Guntur

Moderated by Ms Shuva Raha, CEEW

  • Waste & WASH: Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene – Presentations by Commissioners of Indore, Ambikapur, Vijayawada, Kanpur, Port Blair

Moderated by Ms Paramita Dey, NIUA

  • Governance and Habitat – Presentations by Commissioners of Coimbatore, Pune, Gwalior

Moderated by Ms Zeenat Niazi, Development Alternatives

Moderated roundtable discussion with experts from other Cities (Indian and international), U20 delegates, industry, think tanks, and academia 

1215 - 1300

Parallel fishbowl discussions

Three parallel, moderated fishbowl discussions with experts from other cities (Indian and international), U20 delegates, industry, think tanks, and academia. The cities will be assigned themes based on good practices.


  • Energy and mobility

Moderated by Ms Shuva Raha, CEEW

  • Waste & WASH: Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

Moderated by Ms Paramita Dey, NIUA and Ms Vaishali Nandan, GIZ

  • Governance and Habitat

Moderated by Ms Zeenat Niazi, Development Alternatives

1215 - 1300

Parallel Remote Session (virtual inputs)

  • The Doughnut model applied in Amsterdam, Ms Carlota Sanz (tbc)
  • Material Flows and Stocks Diagnoses, or the foundations for socio-ecological circular urban transitions, Mr Hugo d'Assenza-David, Urban School at Sciences Politique, Paris

1300 – 1400

Lunch, followed by Walk & Talk

1400 – 1600

Peer Circles: Experience sharing on defining, implementing and scaling-up circular economies in cities.

1400 - 1500

Peer Circles I: Gathering inspiration in an “unconference-style” with businesses, city representatives, international institutions and think tanks.

Trade Fair booth style. Each speaker gets to set up their own corner and a small circle of chairs to engage with listeners. Each speaker gets a whiteboard or brown paper on the wall.

  • Utility companies:


  • Businesses:

Kabadiwala Connect, Saahas, Community Design Agency, Phool, Kanpur Municipal Corporation

  • Foreign cities:

Circular Economy concepts adopted by Hume City Council, Australia, Mr George Osborne, Manager Economic Development, City of Hume

  • Indian cities:

Surat, Pune, Kochi, Port Blair, Kanpur, Pune, Nagpur

Mr Nitin Bassi, Programme Lead, CEEW

  • Think Tanks/Institutions:

EU perspectives, Mr Alexander Charalambous, Living Prospects, Belgium and Greece; Urban infrastructure and policy changes towards renewed territorial metabolism - Mr Holger Kuhle, GIZ; Finance and Implementation, Ms Shruti Narayan, C40

1500 - 1600

Peer Circles II: Thematic experience sharing.
Three circles happening in parallel. Participants share challenges and seek solutions.


  • Energy and mobility: Moderated by: Dr O.P Agarwal, Senior Advisor, NIUA
  • Waste & WASH: Moderated by Mr Suneel Pandey, Director, Environment and Waste Management, TERI
  • Governance and Habitats: Moderated by Dr. Sanjukta Bhaduri, Professor, School of Planning and Architecture

1600 – 1630

Tea break

1630 – 1800

Octi-Tank Deep Dive: Innovators pitch their ideas/solutions.

1630 – 1730

Octi-Tank Innovator pitch presentations

  • E[co]works – Ms Deepali Khhetriwal (tbc)
  • Cassetex – Mr Gopal Mohoto
  • Bosch Limited – Living Labs, Mr Pradeep T P
  • Fish Waste Processing Port Blair – Mr Aviral Saxena, GIZ
  • Kochi Municipal Corporation – Mr Shiva Sharanappa G.N.
  • Kabadiwala Connect – Mr Siddarth Hande
  • Phool – Mr Apurv Misal
  • OP Jindal University – Mr Milindo Chakrabati

1730 – 1800

Deep Dive: In conversation with Guest of Honour Mr. Rajiv Mishra, Chief Technical Advisor, NIUA and Former Director General, NMCG


End of Day 1

Conference Day 2 | Thursday, 2 March 2023


Networking tea/coffee

1000 – 1100

Learning Lab: Tools to enable city officials understand, define and implement circular approaches.

  • Circle City Scan | This Tool allows local governments and city change agents to identify and prioritise circular opportunities for their city or region, based on socioeconomic and material flow data about their context.
    Ms Apoorva Shankar, Circle Economy
  • Circular City Actions Framework and policy toolbox | The Circular City Actions Framework provides urban changemakers with five complementary strategies they can use to start working towards a more circular system. The framework is action-based to provide users with concrete strategic directions and showcase the desired outcomes of each strategy.
    Ms Shruti Sadhukhan, ICLEI
  • The Circular Cities Barometer | The Barometer scores cities based on performance on 12 subjective indicators of circularity, organised in four categories: 1. Buildings, 2. Systems, 3. Living, and 4. Leadership.
    Ms Mona Aneela DELLUC, Holcim (remote)
  • Circular Jobs Monitor | The Monitor provides answers by gathering and displaying data on the numbers, ranges and locations of jobs that are part of the circular economy around the world.
    Ms Sharon Gil, UNEP
  • Circular tools applied in Hume City, Australia, Mr George Osborne

1100 - 1200

Tool Deep Dives

1200 – 1230

Reflections and learnings

1230 – 1315

Valedictory: Closing session and way forward

1230 – 1240

Conference summary by Ms Paramita Dey, Head (Resources and Waste) NIUA

1240 - 1320

Fireside chat with

  • Ms Roopa Mishra, Joint Secretary, Swachh Bharat Mission
  • Mr Dinesh D Jagdale, Joint Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy

Moderated by Mr Nicolas Buchoud, Fellow of the Global Solutions Initiative and Special Advisor to the U20

1320 - 1400

Lunch and end of conference

1400 - 1425

Distribution of Certificates by dignitaries

1425 - 1430

The way forward by Mr Hitesh Vaidya, Director, NIUA

1430 – 1435

Vote of thanks by Ms Shuva Raha, Head – New Initiatives, CEEW


End of conference