The circular economy challenges us to redesign the production and operation of the built environment. It envisions zero waste, and keeps materials and resources at maximum use and value at all times.
Arup was appointed to deliver a scoping study that could envisage the Old Oak and Park Royal regeneration project developed utilising circular economy principles.
The first study of its kind in London assesses the main opportunities to minimise waste and create circular flows of materials for the United Kingdom’s largest regeneration site.
650ha site is the UK's largest regeneration site
65,000jobs will be generated in the area
25,500homes will be built in the area
Moving beyond 'take-make-dispose'
The 650ha site has the scale and density to embody this approach at every level, applying circular principles to the new community, and at the level of local services and business models.
Our study looked at applying this approach at all scales -from the production of individual components or assets to the operation of an entire development.
Arup’s work has now fed directly into the planning process for the site. It has demonstrated how circular economy principles can be delivered in the context of the area today, through development, and in the future.
As part of the study, we developed four scenarios for the area, each focuses on a different set of enabling factors and initiatives grounded in their physical context.
The Royal Garden: A zero waste urban garden fuelled by biological nutrients, green infrastructure, local energy and advanced logistics.
The Clean Tech Cluster: A cluster development supporting new circular-focused businesses and technological innovation, providing clean energy back to the area.
The Adaptable Development: Adaptable developments are designed with circular principles built-in, from sustainable construction to flexible and smart space usage.
The Sharing Community: Digital platforms and lightweight technologies enable communities to build, operate and share their neighbourhood spaces and resources.
Designing for future use
Assets and services at Old Oak and Park Royal will be designed for different lifespans and changing uses, rather than one fixed end use. Buildings and infrastructure will be designed to allow components to be swapped out, repaired, replaced and eventually reused.
By using these new circular economy organisational mechanisms and commercial incentives, Old Oak and Park Royal can become an exemplar neighbourhood for this collaborative and sustainable vision of urban development.