Expert Insights

Expert Insights gives voice to the Urban Insights initiative. We bring you closer to the authors and influencers who have helped to shape and form the Urban Insight initiative and reports.

Carlo Negri

Carlo Negri is an International Director for overseas projects at Sweco Architects in Sweden. As an architect, he works on building projects, urban design and masterplan projects, where the focus has been on China and the Middle East or wherever there are interesting challenges.

From your point of view, what does a circular economy mean?
“To an architect like me, it’s about innovative design. When it comes to cities, we are not only molding our built environment, but circularity needs to be designed into what we’re doing on many levels.”

“To an architect, circularity is about innovative design.”
“the importance of providing clean air, clean water and clean energy.

What are the most important steps to take right now?
“We need more co-creation, more learning, not least by listening to the next generation. There are a lot of brilliant minds out there, and we can also help to educate them. Education is key. If you walk out in the street and ask people what a circular economy is, there is probably not a great understand of what this actually means. Therefore, public engagement is of great importance to move forward.”

Read the trend report: Circular construction – an opportunity we can’t waste.

‘A circular system way of thinking, what does it mean?
“Before Covid-19 we hosted many delegations from China and other countries and have often taken them to Hammarby Sjöstad because it’s a good model of circular systems. For example, the waste-to-energy process: combustible waste that can be used to create heat and power or waste water to generate biogas used to run the buses in Stockholm.“

What are the main obstacles to becoming a circular society?
“We should decide how to assign value. A lot of people talk about cost, but if you say that it’s valuable to have longevity and good spaces, you assign a value to the space in a building instead of just cost per square meter.”

What are the positive effects on society?
“One of our founders, Gunnar Nordström, talked about the importance of providing clean air, clean water and clean energy. Very simple in some ways, but highly complex in others. Circular thinking has the ability to do that. But it also leads to better public spaces, job creation and wellbeing and health in society.”

Read more about the theme Towards Circularity!