As our cities adapt to rapidly changing socio-economic conditions, the need for flexible buildings is increasing. Shifting consumer demands, emerging economic trends, and unexpected events are all pressuring the real estate sector. New buildings are being designed for multiple uses and flexibility. But when a building comes to the end of its life, the material still has to be recycled, reused, or thrown away. With more rapidly changing demands and conditions, more buildings than ever are being, renovated or demolished to make way for more advanced and adaptable architecture. How can this waste go to productive use, rather than ending up in the landfill?
      Urban mining is an industry that might hold the answer. Both startups and established companies are developing methods to collect, sort, and process construction waste. When a building is renovated or demolished or constructed, the material is typically hauled to the landfill or to recycling centers for processing. But as more companies develop processes to recycle more types of waste, the proportion of construction materials being recycled is increasing.
      We imagine a city in which construction waste is almost entirely recycled or reused. For this to become a reality, recycling and reuse companies will have to become part of the urban fabric, and simple tools that allow consumers and contractors to easily participate will need to be built.
Digital Tools
      The dashboard in this exercise is one tool that could help. It was built in Python and it allows users to find recycling points throughout their city. Users can filter by neighborhood and by the type of material to be recycled. Participating recycling companies are embedded in the dashboard in a mapping interface that allows easy access to services in the local area. From the dashboard, users can discover the services on offer from local recyclers by exploring their websites which are linked to the interface.




      This tool is an example of the kind of services that will make the journey towards circularity in the construction sector possible. More ideas will be needed, but simple tools like this that bring together data and services to solve urban problems will be the backbone of the new circular construction economy.
Dashboard functionality: Users can discover local construction material recycling providers by using a simple mapping interface.
Libraries installed: pandas, dash, dash.dependencies, ploty.graph objects
Reference: Github (Charming Data)
Data source: Google Maps
‘Urban Mining Marketplace’ is a project of IAAC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed in the Master in City & Technology 2021/22 by Students: Maria Magkavali, Ocean Jangda and Lucas Zarzoso Faculty: Diego Pajarito and Tugdual Sarazin