Designing for waste recycling. Questions, methodology, and preliminary insights on the Brussels case
The reuse of urban waste is one of the great design challenges of the 21st century. Waste is seen as “the material of tomorrow” that needs space to circulate and reclaim its value. Waste policies are engaged with new governance models. Waste infrastructures create new geographies. Today, with the rise of the concept of circular economy, rethinking material cycles within urbanized regions becomes the most promising shift in the economies of urban waste. Despite that, it is not clear how to concretely translate the concept of circular economy within the urban agenda, since until now, the discipline of urbanism has rarely addressed the topic. Taking Brussels as a laboratory, this research aims to undertake debate on circular economy critically and spatially.
Firstly, it aims to question the role of design and planning in the current transition from urban waste to resource management. Secondly, it will investigate alternative solutions of designing for waste recycling across urban governance scales and design practices.