Circular construction - roads, infrastructure, public space

The construction sector is a major contributor to material extraction and waste, as well as embodied and operational emissions. This working group focused on procurement strategies for more resource-efficient and low-carbon construction of public space, roads and infrastructure. Circularity in construction encompasses the whole lifecycle, from dismantling and transformation of existing built components to design, renovation and new construction with secondary materials. The group jointly explored available market solutions - e.g. for low-carbon concrete or methods for use of high proportions of secondary materials - and exchanged on procurement approaches and pilots to put circular infrastructure in practice. Please kindly note that this Working Group completed its work in November 2022.

Focus of the Working Group

  • Reduce embodied carbon and improve the lifecycle perspective and resource wisdom of public construction works
  • Circular, low-carbon solutions for asphalt, concrete, and base materials

working group ActivitIes

The Big Buyers working group on circular construction discusses circular roads in Rotterdam

  May 2022

In March 2022, members of the Big Buyers working group on Circular Construction, representing Vienna, Lisbon, Rotterdam and Haarlem met in Rotterdam to exchange on strategic procurement and to engage with market actors about the latest innovations to reduce energy and raw material demand for asphalt production and paving. During the visit, the working group could see some of the solutions to improve the overall efficiency of road infrastructure during the construction, maintenance and end-of-life phases. They included applying energy-efficient production methods, such as indirect heating and the use of reclaimed asphalt. Read more about the visit here.

The Big Buyers working group on circular construction meets to discuss circular asphalt

   October 2021

In October 2021, as part of a series of meetings held in preparation to market dialogue planned for Spring 2022, members of the working group on circular construction met to discuss case studies of the application of circular asphalt in a number of European cities. The meeting provided participants with a better understanding of the benefits of using circular materials in the construction sector as well as with an overview of solutions, procurement standards, and practicalities of improving sustainability of road construction and refurbishment of bicycle lanes. Read more about the meeting here.

Best Practices Webinar - Pilot Projects and Replication

   29 June 2021

The co-chair of the working group, the City of Haarlem, presented their good practices. It opened the dialogue for a collaborative exercise where participants were asked to identify replication and scale-up opportunities as well as challenges.

Past activities in this working group here.



A report on key takeaways from the collaboration between the cities involved in the working group

Download the report



A document providing public buyers and the market with a recommended direction of investments in road construction

Download the Joint Declaration of Intent


related resources

Check out latest outputs from the previous Working Group here.


Objectives of the working group

  • Develop an understanding of necessary pre-conditions to successful circular infrastructure procurement (e.g., identify barriers from the contractor side, legal conditions and successful operating conditions)

  • Exchange market intelligence and procurement strategies/criteria (bring all WG participants up to speed with the state of the art)

  • Joint approach to market actors for bigger impact

  • Explore innovative solutions in terms of materials and methods to improve circularity and lower carbon impact of road and infrastructure construction

  • Share experience and compare pilot projects implementation

Added Value

  • Profile the potential benefits of circular economy in the construction sector.

  • Build knowledge base of circular infrastructure experiences in the EU

  • Communicate barriers and priorities to policymakers at higher scale (national and EU)

  • Align demands across public buyers, to support take-up by industry






Brussels Mobility

Lisbon Municipality 

Porto Municipality

Toulouse Métropole

Bordeaux Métropole




Who is involved?



Circular Flanders

Contact us

ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability

Kaitlyn Dietz,


Sylwia Slomiak,


Danish Building and Properties Agency

Belgian Post


Neukölln (Berlin)

Provincie Zeeland

Andalusian Housing Agency

Valladolid, Barcelona

SPW - Direction du Développement durable – Wallonie

Agglopole Sète