The Circular Economy of Smart Cities: swiss solutions made globally
Switzerland is widely known for its immaculate landscapes, pure mountain air, crystal-clear lakes and lush public green spaces. However, it also hosts dynamic urban environments characterized by a thriving industry, cutting-edge innovation and dense transport infrastructure. But how is it managing to overcome this trade-off between environmental conservation and excellence in urban planning, which makes cities like Geneva and Zürich amongst the most livable in the world in terms of quality of life? The answer lies with its various research and innovations making the transition towards a circular economy a reality, which in turn is creating hubs of sustainability: circular cities.
During the Urban and Rural Development Thematic week at Expo 2020 Dubai, the Swiss Pavilion is planning on hosting an exhibit for its visitors. We will then organize a series of events, workshops and networking events at the Pavilion and other Expo 2020 location.
A focus on circular economy and smart cities will be presented at the Swiss Pavilion, curated by Swissnex in collaboration with Switzerland Global Enterprise S-GE and the Smart City Alliance. Our aim for this expo-wide focus week is to present the latest Swiss innovation and research in this field to the world.
Our main focus for this week will be on waste management and recycling in an urban environment, which is a topic of great importance in the Middle East and where Switzerland can provide its expertise. During this month, the Swiss Pavilion will host the final event of the Swiss Middle-East Circular Economy for Youth Initiative (SMECEYI).
Urban and Rural Development will be one of 10 Expo-led thematic weeks tasked with finding collaborative solutions to some of the most pressing challenges of our time. Running during the six months of Expo 2020 – which will blast off from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022 – each will focus on specific issues, including Climate and Biodiversity; Health and Wellness; Space ; and Travel and Connectivity.
- Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE)
S-GE is the official Swiss organisation for export and investment promotion. It supports Swiss SMEs in their international business and helps innovative foreign companies to establish in Switzerland. Since 2016, S-GE has purposefully intensified exports of Swiss cleantech products, including in the Middle East which is a strategic market. For this thematic week, S-GE will invite a delegation of cleantech startups and more established companies to showcase their innovative products as solutions towards making cities embrace the circular economy.
IGLUS is a non-profit initiative of EPFL seeking to help cities better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the governance of their infrastructures with respect to three dimensions: Efficiency, Sustainability, and Resilience. It is an action-research program that seeks to contribute to the better governance of increasingly larger, increasingly complex and increasingly dynamic urban systems. IGLUS will share key insights about city governance in terms of waste management and green mobility, making us benefit from its international network of researchers and urban planning professionals.
- LC3 Cement (EPFL)
LC3 is a new type of cement that is based on a blend of limestone and calcined clay. LC3 can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 40% and it is estimated that Using LC3 globally has the potential to save every year at least 10 times the CO2-emissions of Switzerland. This material is made using limestone and low-grade clays which are available in abundant quantities, it is cost effective and does not require capital intensive modifications to existing cement plants. The objective of this project is, through research and testing, to make LC3 a standard and mainstream general-use cement globally. The LC3 project, thanks to its partner institutions (namely the EPFL and the Swiss Development Agency, will present its technology to the pavilion and take part in discussions about how to build sustainable infrastructures for cities.