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A network of circular economy villages: design guidelines for 21st century Garden Cities

Steven Liaros (The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia)

Built Environment Project and Asset Management

ISSN: 2044-124X

Article publication date: 27 July 2021

Issue publication date: 11 May 2022




The purpose is to open the possibility for a research institute, perhaps in partnership with a local council and a major developer, to bring together skills necessary to prototype the CEV development model.


This paper advances the development of a hypothetical, systems-based approach to the design and development of smart rural villages – a network of circular economy villages (CEVs). The method is to assimilate visionary ideas from 20th century town planning literature related to decentralisation and the development of new towns in rural areas, identifying key design principles. The present trajectory of infrastructure design and emerging development models are then analysed to modernise the design principles for implementation in the 21st century.


The availability of localised, renewable energy micro-grids potentially makes CEVs feasible and affordable. The shift to remote work and movement of people to regional areas suggests that this may be a desirable development form. This can only be confirmed through the development of a pilot project as proof of concept.


The proposed CEV development model applies circular economy strategies to every aspect of the smart rural village development including financing, ownership, spatial planning, design and material selection.



Liaros, S. (2022), "A network of circular economy villages: design guidelines for 21st century Garden Cities", Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 349-364.



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