The Relation of Circularity to Sustainability

Circularity and the Water-Food-Energy Nexus

Food, energy and water have been mostly considered separately in past, causing imbalance on economies and human wellbeing. Systems thinking encourages us to focus on their interdependencies and to develop new governance models at all three (macro, meso and micro) levels. In this video, Andy helps us understand the interdependence of what we have come to call the food, energy, water nexus and to also map its relation with circularity.

Main Takeaways

  • Systems thinking helps bring out the interconnectedness of food, energy and water consolidated in what we now call FEW nexus.
  • Thinking of the three as a continuum allows for better governance: once their interdependencies are mapped it becomes easier to manage them. Historic events can also help in that regard.
  • FEW management and planning can be assisted by computers, but also by design through the efficiency of use and the reduction of waste especially at the micro level.

Do you want to know more about water? Professor Carola Hein has curated a MOOC called (Re)Imagining Port Cities: Understanding Space, Society and Culture MOOC that discusses (among other things) the challenges of water management. Click here to enroll.


Andy Jenkins
Andy Jenkins
Postdoc Researcher

Dr. Andy Jenkins has been a postdoc researcher at TU Delft with a passion for urban agriculture, sustainable architecture, and circular urbanism. He now works at Salford University, UK. He searches for holistic solutions to the growing number of challenges that face cities as a result of linear economies and growing populations. He believes that only by addressing and mediating the different economic and social drivers of the food-energy-water nexus can we start to move towards circular economies. His key aim is to make cities healthier, happier, and more engaging places to live and work as a result of ecologically sound urban design and the (re)introduction of blue and green infrastructures. 

View pure profile

Circularity for Educators

The platform is intended to provide with content on either circularity or pedagogy for and about circularity. It is one of the outcomes of the Circular Impulse Initiative (CII), a project intending to enhance the integration of circularity in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment education. The platform mainly aims to help tutors get better acquainted with circularity in the built environment by providing a series of resources on this subject that they can either view to get better informed or directly share with their students in class or online. A large number of the Faculty's professors and researchers have contributed substantially both in creating a coherent narrative for circularity in the built environment as well as further elaborating on different aspects of it. Besides this one, a new platform for interaction and direct exchange was also established in parallel that we call ‘Educators for Circularity‘. This one offers the opportunity for all of us to meet and share our experiences and learn from one another.

Visit Educators for Circularity