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How to Use Spatial Analysis for a Circular Economy

Delve into urban inputs and outputs as you carry out systemic analysis to better understand how cities function.

Introductory course image with buildings and circules in color green

Understand values in spatial patterns

On this two-week course, you’ll broaden your understanding of urban metabolism and the territorial relations to circular economy, morphology, and systemic design.

Developing your skills in spatial analysis, you’ll explore methods of mapping and analysing specific value webs and their spatial patterns across a given region.

You’ll learn how to use four different methods of spatial analysis, then apply them to the situation in your region. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to promote a more circular economy.

Unpack urban metabolism

Delving further into urban metabolism, you’ll analyse the different resources used within a city and how they can contribute to growth.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to draw conclusions about the relation of flows and stock from the morphological patterns of your chosen region.

Explore the value chain

Finally, you’ll explore the value chain and how it can be used to determine the full life cycle of processes within a city.

This knowledge will help you gain a comprehensive understanding of the activity within your chosen region so you can make better decisions to aid growth.

Learn from the experts at TU Delft

Throughout the course, you’ll learn from the expert researchers at TU Delft. With their guidance, you’ll gain the knowledge skills you need to carry out systemic analysis within your region.


  • Week 1

    The Theory of Systemic Design

    • Introduction

      Get to know the instructor for this course, and introduce yourself to your fellow learners.

    • What is Systemic Design?

      Alex introduces the theoretical background behind Systemic Design

    • Assignment: Select a Value Chain

      A short exercise which requires you to think of, and select, an important Value Chain in your Case Study Region

    • Week 1 Wrap-up

      A quick summary of this week's lessons and findings.

  • Week 2

    Analysing and Redesigning Systemically

    • Introduction

      Welcome to Week 2! It's time to get practical!

    • Methods for Systemic Design: Analysis

      In this section, you will start getting to know methods for Systemic Design.

    • Methods for Systemic Design: Design

      In this section, you will continue learning about Methods for Systemic Design.

    • Assignment: Value Chain in your Case Study Region

      In this section, you will resolve the week's assignment on value chain

    • Course Test

      In this section, you will find the final test of this course.

    • Week 2 Wrap-up and Next Steps

      This section invites you to reflect on what you have learned this week. You will also learn about other Spatial Circularity Strategies courses.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify the significant elements of specific value webs and their spatial patterns in a region, to translate circulaity into physical space.
  • Apply different methods such as: Activity based Spatial Material Flow Analysis, Systemic Diagrams, Systemic Sections, and Integrated Mapping to map spatial conditions for circularity.
  • Design systemic proposals to support regional circularity visions.

Who is the course for?

This course is primarily designed for those working or studying spatial planning or circularity and looking to bridge the gap between them.

It will also be of interest to those working in urban planning departments.

Who will you learn with?

I research and teach the spatial dimension of the circularity transitions of cities and regions.

I'm interested in integrated spatial strategies, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches to tackle issues of liveability and circularity.

Who developed the course?

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

With the mission of Educating the World, the TU Delft Extension School for Continuing Education offers online courses to equip people to solve today’s global challenges and pursue career goals.

  • Established

  • Location

    Delft, The Netherlands

What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

Still want to know more? Check out our FAQs

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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