Research and Development

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Advancing Circular Economy in Urban Construction and planning

At CitéSource, we are deeply committed to pioneering research and innovation to bolster the circular economy within the realm of urban planning and construction. Our mission is to help local communities and project owners to better understand how cities consume construction materials and generate “wastes”, emphasizing reuse and recycling to pave the way towards a more sustainable future.

Urban areas are at the forefront of climate change and resource depletion, consuming an overwhelming majority of the world’s materials and energy while contributing to over 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This stark reality drives our dedication to reimagining the urban metabolisme and the lifecycle of construction materials.

We believe that our cities harbor untapped resources, often dismissed as ‘waste.’ Yet, these materials are not merely refuse; they are valuable resources awaiting a second life. Our approach is grounded in the conviction that with the right vision and innovation, these discarded materials can be reclaimed, recycled, and reused, contributing significantly to the circular economy.

Our Scientific and Technical Networks

COST Minea Mining The European Anthroposphere

Participation in the Management Committee and the Working Group on Anthropogenic Resources from Construction & Demolition waste.

Fondation Bâtiment Energie

du CSTB, with BRGM, Nobatek, Artelia: Participation in the research project Elaboration of criteria and indicators for the development of scientific bases for the characterization of the circular economy in the building sector.


Sustainable Building Plan

Contribution to the future French Responsible Building label, which will take consideration of the challenges of the circular economy.


Research projects

<span style="letter-spacing: -0.54px;">CREATE ! </span>Supporting European Urban Transformation  Toward the Circular Economy

CREATE ! Supporting European Urban Transformation Toward the Circular Economy

CREATE supports european urban transition to the circular economy by inventorying material stocks, creating future flow scenarios, and proposing governance solutions.

CitéSource Tackles Knowledge Gaps in Circular Economy Practices, needs of actors, methods and data (WP2 report:


Research Framework: JPI Urban Europe.

Project website : CREATE | Sustainable building ( 

Key words : Urban mining, Circular economy, local governance, material stocks, buildings, urban infrastructures, digitalization technologies, 5 European countries, transdisciplinary consortium


CREATE Partners : Chalmers University of Technology– project coordinator (Sweden), Göteborgs Stad, Kretslopp och vatten (Sweden) Austrian Institute of Technology – AIT (Autria), Wageningen University and Research (Netherlands), Municipality of Nijmegen (Netherlands), French Geological Survey -BRGM (France), BEIA Consult International (Romania), Brasov Metropolitan Agency for Sustainable Development (Romania)

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R & D topics

Material flows analysis (on all major category of flows)

Material flows analysis (on all major category of flows)

Urban Material Flows Analysis enhances the Eurostat-CGDD method for detailed material flow accounting at urban and regional scales, supporting the shift towards sustainable and circular economies. Challenges like data scarcity and quality impact the precision of import, export, and emission analyses, creating uncertainties. Through in-depth studies, particularly in the Île-de-France region, this project aims to refine methodologies and develop innovative approaches for informed, sustainable urban planning and policy-making.

Keywords : Material Flow Analysis (MFA), Urban Metabolism, Circular Economy, Eurostat-CGDD Method, Sustainable Urban Planning, Spatialized Statistical Data, Environmental Impact Evaluation, Policy-making Support, Data Quality and Uncertainty

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Analysis of flows and stocks of building materials

Analysis of flows and stocks of building materials

This research advances the analysis of material flows and stocks in construction and urban development projects, aiming to support circular economy initiatives by improving resource management and waste valorization. By addressing the significant knowledge gaps and operational challenges in using secondary resources, this project contributes to achieving France’s ambitious environmental goals. It focuses on overcoming various barriers to facilitate the integration of sustainable practices within the construction sector.

Keywords : Construction Material Flow Analysis (CMFA), Urban mining, Construction and Urban Development, Circular Economy, Resource Management, Waste Valorization, Secondary Resources Environmental Policy
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Assessing Environmental and SocioEconomic impacts of circular buildings & urban projects

Assessing Environmental and SocioEconomic impacts of circular buildings & urban projects

CitéSource develops methodology and designs tools for assessing the use of local secondary materials in construction, focusing on their economic, social, and environmental impacts through Life Cycle Analysis, to promote sustainable urban development and circular economy strategies.


Key words : Secondary construction materials, Economic Social impact, Environmental impact, Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), Data-driven methods, Sustainable urban development Circular economy, Material choice, Construction methods Urban planning scenarios

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Analysis of flows and stocks of building materials

Academic Partner COST MINEA Network
Corporate Partner: NeoEco

Challenge related to secondary building materials: building materials are the first materials consumed by the city after water. Built environment stocks, buildings and infrastructures, are the most important among the materials accumulated by human society (Krausmann et al., 2017). The development and renewal of cities involves a significant extraction of natural resources that are largely non-renewable and sometimes in scarcity.

In France, the energy transition for green growth law (LTECV) was published in 2015. The political commitment to develop circular economy policies in the field of construction and development has been supported since 2018 with the publication of a circular economy roadmap by the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition and then by the anti-waste law approved by the National Assembly in 2019. In particular, it has committed to ambitious goals related to the construction and demolition site waste (C&D waste) and the consumption of construction materials: 1) the gradual decoupling of economic growth from the consumption of raw materials, 2) the recycling of 55% of non-hazardous waste by 2020 and 65% by 2025, 3) the recovery of 70% of the waste from building and public works by 2020 and 5) 50% reduction of  the quantities of waste sent to landfill sites by 2025.

CitéSource is working to contribute to the

Development of methods for estimating stocks and flows of construction materials (bottom-up method). This involves adapting the methods developed by Augiseau 2017 and Augiseau 2018 to the scale of urban operations and construction sites in order to improve knowledge of construction material flows and stocks for better valuation.

Crossroads of top-down and bottom-up methods for a better knowledge of the flows in order to characterize the different flows more precisely and to avoid the black box effect of the top-down approach of the study of material flows (Eurostat Method for all flows).

Analysis of dynamic flows for the study of prospective scenarios for decision making 

Multi-criteria analysis and secondary resource assessment and decision support tool

Challenge: Local secondary construction materials could provide economic, social and environmental benefits for local stakeholders and project owners. The various stakeholders (community, owner and industry) need a common and comprehensive understanding to assess the availability of resources from natural and anthropogenic sources at the project level. In particular, in order to ensure a sustainable supply of resources, it is necessary to assess the future availability of raw materials and deposits of local secondary materials that can be mobilized and their economic and environmental cost. CitéSource is working to design the tool to define specific and quantifiable criteria to classify the different types of secondary resources in order to allow comparisons according to economic, social and environmental criteria between natural and secondary resources.