TECHNE 22 (2021): Circular Transition and Design
Research and Experimentation

Degrowing circular cities: emerging socio-technical experiments for Transition: Emerging socio-technical experiments for transition

Cristina Visconti
Dipartimento di Architettura, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna Università di Bologna, Italia
Published July 29, 2021
  • Circularity,
  • Degrowth,
  • Transition,
  • Socio-technical assemblages,
  • Low-tech living
How to Cite
Visconti, C. (2021). Degrowing circular cities: emerging socio-technical experiments for Transition. TECHNE - Journal of Technology for Architecture and Environment, (22), 201-207.


The circular economy applied to the urban context is linked to sustainability objectives focused on environmental performances overlooking socio-political implications, in order to achieve a circular balance within the neoliberal paradigm of business-nature-society in a continuous growth scenario. This paper discusses this criticality, articulating a counter perspective based on the debate of degrowth, circularity and technology through the analysis of three cases of socio-technical assemblages: Transition Towns; Repair Cafes; Community Gardens. The research individuates the effectiveness of urban practices in which the circularity is implemented beyond purely economic interactions or eco-efficiency parameters, defining the potentialities of a degrowing circular city based on inclusiveness, social justice and reciprocity.