Assessing the feasibility of a circular economy growth model for Glouchestershire and the potential for synergies and improved rural-urban linkages

Gloucestershire, in south-west England, has a population of around 600,000. While predominantly rural in character, there are two major towns - the cathedral city of Gloucester, and the former spa town of Cheltenham, which between them are home to about a third of the county’s inhabitants. Gloucestershire lies between many major urban centres including Bristol and Birmingham (connected by the M5 motorway), the Welsh capital Cardiff and the university city of Oxford. Its attractive countryside distinguishes the county, and more than half of the land area falls within one of three nationally-designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Important economic sectors include high-tech engineering, the public sector, agriculture and cyber-security.

Key challenges in the future include an ageing population and the need to balance plans for substantial urban growth with environmental protection and sustainable modes of mobility. Led by the Gloucestershire City Council and the University of Gloucestershire, this Living Lab will collaborate with a variety of regional stakeholders to explore how rural-urban governance can facilitate a circular economy for the county and the wider region in the future.

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ROBUST is a European research project involving 24 partners from 11 countries. ROBUST receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727988.

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