Designing a circular economy Community

Yarrabilba will be Australia’s first circular economy community that integrates social, economic and environmental values.

A circular economy is the opposite of today’s linear economy where we extract raw materials to manufacture products, use those products once or only for a short amount of time and then discard them as waste. In contrast, a circular economy is where we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.

The Queensland town of Yarrabilba is expected to be the first circular economy community in the country but you wouldn’t guess it from walking down the street.

The real magic happens “under the bonnet”. Although it will look like any other greenfield development, the conventional linear methods of managing waste, energy and transport have been substituted for creative closed loop systems intended to “design out waste.

The site, which is under development by Lendlease, is located in the Logan local government area, 40 kilometres south of Brisbane. Once the 30-year development is finished, it will be home to around 45,000 people and have 17,000 homes.

To view detailed illustration of what a circular economy could look like in a community like Yarrabilba visit February 2020 Intersect.