Journal of Circular Economy

An applied scholarly journal on circular economy

The Intersection of the Circular Economy and Economic Geography

Last updated: 07 April 2024

Editors: Sébastien Bourdin and André Torre

This special issue aims to critically examine the intersection of the circular economy (CE) and economic geography (EG). The convergence of these fields presents fertile ground for challenging established paradigms and exploring new avenues in both areas of research. Specifically, the contributions of this special issue will highlight how CE challenges EG concepts and theories, as well as how EG expands our knowledge of CE.

Traditionally, economic geography focused on the spatial aspects of economic activity, emphasizing factors such as agglomeration, industry distribution, and innovation geography. However, EC practices challenge these traditional theories by introducing a new economic activity paradigm that emphasizes resource efficiency, recycling, and waste reduction. This shift has significant implications for our understanding of regional development, industrial clusters, and the spatial organization of economies. Increasingly, CE practices are forcing us to reconsider the concept of value chains, transitioning from linear to circular models that reintegrate end-of-life products into the production cycle.

Moreover, economic geography can shed light on how these circular value chains can be strategically organized to optimize resource flows, minimize environmental impact, and enhance local and regional resilience. By studying how geographical factors influence the implementation of CE practices, we can identify effective spatial strategies for promoting CE at different scales. Economic geography can help clarify the role of proximity in facilitating resource sharing, innovation in recycling technologies, and the development of local and regional policies that support CE initiatives. Finally, CE practices have significant socio-economic and environmental implications for cities and regions. From this perspective, economic geography provides a framework for assessing these impacts at different geographical scales, from local communities to global networks.

Several research questions and directions are proposed:

Theoretical integration and challenges:
How do CE practices challenge traditional theories of agglomeration economies, industrial clusters, and regional innovation systems?
Can CE offer a new theoretical framework for understanding and advancing CE principles, particularly in terms of spatial organization and resource flow optimization?

Circular value chains and spatial organization:
How can CE inform the optimal spatial organization of circular value chains to enhance resource efficiency and sustainability?
What are the geographic patterns of circular value chains and how do they differ from traditional linear patterns in terms of spatial distribution and scale?

Proximity and resource sharing:
How does geographical proximity impact the effectiveness of resource-sharing and recycling initiatives within the CE?
Can the field of EG contribute to identifying effective spatial strategies to promote industrial symbiosis and other practices of the CE?

Policy implications and governance:
How can policies and governance structures be designed to support CE initiatives, taking into account regional and local contexts?
What perspectives can the circular economy provide for coordinating governance at different scales to facilitate transitions?

Socio-economic and environmental impacts:
How do circular economy practices influence job creation, economic development, and environmental sustainability at different geographical scales?
Can managers of the circular economy assess the socio-economic and environmental implications of CE in urban and rural areas, considering disparities and inequalities?

Regional development and the circular economy:
How does the transition to the circular economy affect regional development models, particularly in regions heavily reliant on extractive industries?
What are the challenges and opportunities for integrating circular economy practices into regional development strategies?

Global networks and local implementation of the circular economy:
How do global value chains and networks interact with local initiatives of the circular economy?
Can the circular economy provide insight into the balance between global connectivity and local autonomy in the context of the CE?

Format and word count:

Review, 4500-6000 words

Research Papers, 3500-6000 words

Perspectives, 800-1000 words

All excl. tables, illustrations, and references.

Submission deadlines:

Extended Abstracts (1000 words) should be submitted before 30 June 2024.

Full papers are to be submitted by 1 October 2024.

To submit your extended abstract or full paper, please click here.

For questions, please write:

Receive an update when the latest issues in this journal are updated


DSRPT is an education technology start-up in stealth mode.
Circular Economy is our first venture. We are on a mission to disrupt higher education. If you wish to learn more about us, drop us a message: