What if circular urban planning put an end to urban sprawl?

Faced with urban sprawl, urban planner Sylvain Grisot proposes alternatives to the development, construction of cities or even the use of spaces. He calls this circular urban planning. Far from being a scientific theory, this designation of good practices makes it possible to think differently about the use of the city.

Sylvain Grisot, urban planner and founder of the agency Dixit.net, developed the term circular urbanism in the book “Circular Urbanism Manifesto”, published by Apogée Editions.

Combating urban sprawl, recycling built-up areas or even transforming what already exists… The urban planner proposes solutions through this designation “build the city on its own” and adapt to our lifestyle and usage today.

In line with the circular economy, circular urban planning is an alternative to urban expansion. A bet to use the many unusual sources. To this end, Sylvain Grisot proposes five lines of thought to make the city circular, which he proposes to classify in the following order.


It’s a way to avoid construction and multiply usage. Housing the homeless at night in unused offices or letting associations use schools on weekends are stepping-up solutions.


It means allowing the reuse of buildings to meet new needs and new uses. A way to avoid using new materials and energy to deconstruct and reconstruct.


It means building on available spaces without contributing to urban sprawl.

To recycle

It means breaking down spaces to return to land use or usher in a new phase of urbanization.

natural use

It means leaving natural spaces to their simple use, giving access to greenery or agriculture.

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