Designing a circular economy for districts

Designing a circular economic system for districts

On behalf of a partnership committed to advancing restorative development in urban development, Yorth conducted a feasibility study of the Integrated Utility Hub (IUH). The IUH is a closed-loop, district-scale system that provides energy, water, and food, as well as living wage jobs, community spaces, and public amenities such as pools and biophilic landscapes.

The IUH provides an integrated infrastructure that is connected with resource flows, such as organic waste, wastewater and stormwater. While individual technologies have proven feasible in applications all over the world, this was the first-of-its kind study to assess feasibility at systems level and in connection with city-owned infrastructure.

Together with its technical partners, Ramboll and Orascom, Yorth conducted a feasibility study to assess technical and financial performance of the system, as well as to create mass balance charts and initial design. The study also  provided the partnership with information needed to make decisions on financing, governance, community services and benefits; integration of development with surrounding natural systems; and integration of development with the city’s existing infrastructure. Through this study, the IUH has proven to be one possible solution to integrating conventionally siloed infrastructure and functions into a closed-loop system in a way that increases economic, environmental, and social value, as well as overall resilience of a neighborhood or city.

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