Implementation of concepts that boost mitigation and adaptation and resource efficiency all at the same time requires a structured approach

With the ‘impact and implementation method’ the ACC project set out to create such a method through a trans-disciplinary approach. The method does not ‘design’ the circular concepts, but takes the concepts that have been developed by technical experts and practitioners, identifies possible symbioses and also tries to create a ‘reality check’ and after that clears the path for implementation of the circular concept. The method was designed based on the condition that it could be used by practitioners from different disciplines.

The impact and implementation method consists of four basic steps

  1. What is happening, and what questions or issues exist? These might seem like redundant questions, but especially for a circular concepts there are potential symbioses with the systems that concepts will be ‘embedded in’ which are important to identify. The goal of the first step is therefore to describe the different systems.
  2. Gaining insight into the societal impact of solutions. The concepts or solutions that are identified will have an impact on the different aspects of mitigation, adaptation and resource efficiency. This step both identifies – through a rapid assessment – what the impact is, but also for whom. Based on this step a ‘sanity’ shift can be made between concepts that do not have (enough) impact or have an undesired distribution of the wanted impact among stakeholders.
  3. Gaining insight into the value proposition and the business model. The concept with both desired impact and distribution of this impact among stakeholders can be developed further into on the value proposition and the business model behind it.
  4. Gaining insight in feasibility – an implementation stress test. The final check is a stress test on the concept and the designed business model.


The development of the impact and implementation method was a trans-disciplinary learning process

The concept of adaptive circular cities already implies that the challenges will be complex and that not a single stakeholder can ask all the questions or has all the answers. Because the impact and implementation method was designed as a service oriented ‘tool’ – taking the ACC concepts that had been designed from a technical perspective and clearing the way for implementation – the method was not actually applied. Therefore we applied the impact and implementation method as a desk study. This also showed some shortcomings of the method. In 2016, the method will be applied in practice in the Climate-KIC Smart Sustainable Districts project, as part of the case Utrecht.

For the future there are also opportunities for applying and fine-tuning the impact and implementation method using a learning approach. This entails that applying the method will already create a learning process. The most important thing to do so is to change the service oriented approach of the method to a method that is used as a starting point. By doing so creating a stepping stone for circular concepts, instead of an end of pipe solution.

Download the full ACC report on “Impact and implementation” here (in Dutch)