Circular Cities Barometer showcases how cities are accelerating the shift to circular living

  • Circular Cities Barometer showcases world’s top 30 cities leading the shift to circular living
  • London tops overall ranking, followed by Seattle, Copenhagen, Paris and Zurich
  • More than 300 best practices of circularity in buildings, energy, mobility, recycling, policies and more


Holcim and Bloomberg Media launch the second edition of the Circular Cities Barometer showcasing the world’s top cities leading the transition from a linear to a circular economy. London tops the list driven by the city’s leadership in circular buildings and investment, followed by Seattle, Copenhagen, Paris and Zurich. The Circular Cities Barometer also welcomes five new cities, including Vienna, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Washington, D.C. and Madrid, to bring the total to thirty.

Jan Jenisch, Chairman & CEO of Holcim: “With our world’s rapid urbanization, cities are at the center of the shift from a linear ‘take-make-waste’ economy to a circular ‘reduce-reuse-recycle’ one. Holcim is leading the transition to circular building by recycling construction demolition materials into new solutions across all key metropolitan areas where we operate. This Barometer is designed to fast-track circularity by offering unique insights into what the world’s most innovative circular cities are doing to inspire urban leaders around the world”.

Key indicators of circular cities include sustainable buildings with advanced certifications from LEED to BREEAM, broad-based use of renewable energy, people connected with many green mobility options, recycling hubs for materials to stay in use in closed loops and access to nature with a high level of tree cover inside cities. Urban planning and investments providing an enabling regulatory environment are key levers cutting across all the most advanced circular cities.

Several key themes emerge from this year’s rankings. Cities appear to be moving towards global alignment, for example cities in the Global South such as Bogota, Buenos Aires, and Quezon City, are joining several of the leading city-level organizations in order to be part of the international conversation. When it comes to scale, smaller cities like Copenhagen have a growing advantage over bigger cities such as Wuhan. Lastly, when financial incentives from entities like the World Bank are available, cities are more likely to sign up to circular initiatives and partnership.

As part of the newly launched Circular Cities Hub, a partnership between Holcim and Bloomberg Media, the Circular Cities Barometer measures how fast thirty global cities are transitioning from a linear, to a circular economy. Broken down by indicators, Zurich is the top city in the Barometer for circular living. Montreal and Seattle are the Barometer leaders in circular systems. London tops the Barometer for both circular living and circular building categories. The Barometer provides unique insights into what the most innovative cities around the world are doing to become more circular and to inspire others to join this movement to fast track progress.

Based on a proprietary algorithm, the Barometer scores cities based on the circularity of their buildings, systems, living and leadership. This year’s Barometer features a new indicator in the Circular Buildings category (Construction and Demolition Waste) and the Circular Leadership Category (Circular Procurement). The database showcases more than 300 best circularity practices from cities all around the world and is updated and expanded on a yearly basis.

Rank City Rank City Rank City
1 London 11 New York 21 Bogota
2 Seattle 12 Amsterdam 22 Dubai
3 Copenhagen 13 Brussels 23 Quezon City
4 Paris 14 Montreal 24 Delhi
5 Zurich 15 Warsaw 25 Mexico City
6 Vienna 16 Milan 26 Beijing
7 Toronto 17 Madrid 27 Johannesburg
8 Washington, D.C. 18 Berlin 28 Nairobi
9 Auckland 19 Chicago 29 Wuhan
10 Sydney 20 Buenos Aires 30 Lagos

The Circular Cities Hub, a dynamic platform showcasing cities, ideas and projects accelerating the shift to circular living and building, is available here: Circular Cities Hub

For more details on how Holcim is helping build circular cities see: How to build a circular city

About Holcim

Holcim is a global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions. Driven by its purpose to build progress for people and the planet, its 60,000 employees are on a mission to decarbonize building, while improving living standards for all. The company empowers its customers across all regions to build better with less, with its broad range of low-carbon and circular solutions, from ECOPact to ECOPlanet. With its innovative systems, from Elevate’s roofing to PRB’s insulation, Holcim makes buildings more sustainable in use, driving energy efficiency and green retrofitting. With sustainability at the core of its strategy, Holcim is becoming a net-zero company with 1.5°C targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

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This document contains forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements do not constitute forecasts regarding results or any other performance indicator, but rather trends or targets, as the case may be, including with respect to plans, initiatives, events, products, solutions and services, their development and potential. Although Holcim believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions as at the time of publishing this document, investors are cautioned that these statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of Holcim, including but not limited to the risks described in the Holcim's annual report available on its website ( and uncertainties related to the market conditions and the implementation of our plans. Accordingly, we caution you against relying on forward-looking statements. Holcim does not undertake to provide updates of these forward-looking statements.

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