New Prato:
Green city

Circular economy

A new paradigm for sustainable economic development

What does circular economy mean? It is an economy designed to be able to regenerate on its own, in which the flows of materials are of two types: biological ones, capable of being reintegrated into the biosphere, and technical ones, destined to be revalued without entering the biosphere. Since we are experiencing a time when natural resources are limited and consumer expectations have changed, we are seeing significant changes in production and consumption chains. So how to create circular economy? The circular economy suggests an innovative approach to raw materials, products and waste and a regenerative vision, as opposed to the current linear model, based on the 5R principle: Reduce, Reuse, Renew, Repair and Recycle. Therefore, the circular economy imposes itself as a new paradigm for sustainable economic development and requires a profound synergy and convergence of intent between institutional actors, businesses, the third sector and citizenship.

Using this approach, it becomes fundamental to consider the dimension of sustainability, starting from the supply of raw materials to production, from product design to distribution and reuse: in this way the circular economy can generate an economic benefit of 1,800 billion euro by 2030, with the creation of new jobs and a 3% increase in the annual productivity of resources. The themes of circularity have always been historically linked to the city of Prato, since reuse has been the basis of the development of the textile district with the creation of carded wool, the first recycled spinning. Since the 1980s, a state-of-the-art centralized system for the purification of civil and industrial waste water has been created thanks to public-private investments.

Today the theme of the circular economy for Prato is increasingly relevant for the growth of the industrial system of the area. On both the economic and urban development side, circularity becomes the watchword for the future of the city: for this reason, urban space regeneration interventions are being implemented, such as restoring new life to factories which have long since been abandoned so that they will cover public functions, enhancing their architecture. Moreover Prato will be a "pilot city" of a national project, together with Milan and Bari, becoming a real laboratory to promote and experiment innovative initiatives on the circular economy and on all issues with high environmental impact on waste.

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