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Circular Economy for Cities and Sustainable Development: The Case of the Portuguese City of Leiria

João Cesar Cadima Antunes, Teresa Eugénio and Manuel Branco
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João Cesar Cadima Antunes: Faculty of Economics, University of Porto, 4200-464 Porto, Portugal
Teresa Eugénio: Centre of Applied Research in Management and Economics (CARME), School of Technology and Management, Polytechnic of Leiria, 2411-901 Leiria, Portugal

Sustainability, 2022, vol. 14, issue 3, 1-15

Abstract: The principles of the circular economy play a central role in the global economy, and its application is suggested in the context of business and urban development for creating cities capable of reinventing themselves in the long term. The main objective of this study is to assess the perception of the inhabitants of the city of Leiria (Portugal) regarding the concept of the circular economy and the acceptance of circular actions and projects, gathering their opinions and motivations, and understanding the challenges they perceive for implementing the circular economy. This study is relevant because, to date, no work has analyzed the circular practices of citizens and consequent projects for a city. The adopted methodology consisted of a mixed qualitative and quantitative approach, which was materialized in the administration of an online questionnaire to the inhabitants, workers, or students of the Municipality of Leiria. We obtained a sample of 547 answers. These results underwent statistical analysis, and it was concluded that the familiarization of study participants with the circular economy is low, but that they have a positive predisposition to engage in rental, reuse, article repair, and recycling activities. The municipality should continue to invest in the extension and promotion of circular economy initiatives in the city, since there is a predisposition of respondents towards using them, which may lead to the conclusion that they would support their implementation. This is an initial step that should promote further research into understanding the perception of citizens regarding circular economy initiatives and actions, followed by how it might be supported to achieve its full potential in cities.

Keywords: circular economy; Portugal; survey; sustainable cities; sustainable development goals; sustainable economy development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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