2021 Hans Sauer Award: Circular Cities

Geschrieben am 23.09.2020
Kategorie(n): ARCH+ news, Open Call, Hans Sauer Stiftung, klimagerechtes Entwerfen

Registration opens on October 1, 2020 and closes January 31, 2021

Hans Sauer Award 2021


The negative impact of the linear economic system is most noticeable in urban areas: Cities currently consume 75 percent of the extracted natural resources, produce 50 percent of global waste, and emit between 60 and 80 percent of all greenhouse gases. The UN forecasts further growth in urban population from just under 4 billion today to 6.5 billion in 2050 – a demographic trend that will intensify the problems of urban areas.More and more cities have become aware of their environmental and social challenges and are searching for new solutions. Many turned to one promising idea: circular economy (or circularity). Initially championed by international organizations and the corporate world, circularity is now considered a viable approach to tackle the challenges of urban areas, now and in the future. Circular economy departs from the continuous use of finite resources by decoupling economic activity from linear consumption. The ultimate goal is the reduction of waste and the creation of a closed-loop system. That is why the majority of pilots for circular cities prioritize technical solutions and material flows. These projects model circularity in line with today’s market structures and a focus on business – societal aspects are often left aside.

However, societal aspects such as participation, social justice, and quality of life are indispensable if circularity as a model is to foster genuine and comprehensive sustainability. In other words: We must broaden the concept of circular urban economies to circular urban societies.We believe: Circular societies are the key to sustainable solutions for the numerous challenges cities face today and in the future. The 2021 Hans Sauer Award “Circular Cities” therefore focuses on the societal aspects of circularity. The Hans Sauer Foundation is searching for new ways of cross-sector co-operation to transform cities of today into circular societies of tomorrow. And we need everybody – public authorities, citizens, businesses, civil society initiatives, and non-profit-organizations. Let us make the vision of circular societies a reality!


There are three award categories:

Early stage, from small-scale to large-scale

Mature ideas and long-term strategies; from initiatives to municipalities to cross-sectoral collaborations, from top-down to bottom-up; finalized strategies before implementation

Best Practice: 
Proven and implemented examples

There is one award per category – three in total. The jury will contribute and allocate the prize money of 20.000 Euro in total to the respective categories.


Who can apply?

The competition is open to municipalities, non-public organizations and initiatives, academic institutions, start-ups, and civil society groups. We welcome everybody mentioned above to hand in their ideas, strategies, or best practice examples for circular city projects. Cross-sectoral collaborations are viewed particularly favorable. Application requires at least two partners or partner organizations. Only applicants from Europe are permitted. The award language is English.

Time Frame

Registration opens on October 1, 2020 and closes January 31, 2021. The finalists will be announced in February 2021. Finalists will receive an invitation to the award ceremony which will take place in the second quarter of 2021.

Please find further information and application requirements here:


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