The ESPON circular economy and territorial consequences (Circter) project has played a timely role in supporting the circular design of territories at subnational levels. The project provided a regional-level monitoring framework and looked closely at several territorial factors important in circular systems. This territorial perspective proved critical in identifying drivers and bottlenecks relevant for circular configurations. Three additional case studies, for Luxembourg, the cross-border Scandinavian area, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein, were carried out to increase the amount of evidence collected and better tailor it to specific territorial contexts.
Building on the experience gained in the Circter project, this policy brief aims to provide national, regional and urban authorities with information to support the design of place-based policies for deploying circular economy solutions at regional level. The brief addresses and illustrates how the regulations and instruments available, such as those related to public procurement and spatial planning, can be used to facilitate the transition towards a circular economy. The policy brief further provides food for thought for the 2021–27 cohesion policy programming period by highlighting policy priorities for regional development from a circular economy perspective.