Kilometro Circular - Blue KmC² Living Labs network

The SDG Partnership aims to create a sustainable and prosperous community within one square kilometer of land, regardless of whether it is located in an urban, rural, or coastal area. 

The Kilometro Circular initiative (a.k.a. the Blue KmC² Living Labs Network) is now published in the United Nations SDG Actions Platform with hashtag #SDGaction54717 (click to visit the UN page)

The primary objective of the Kilometro Circular initiative is to establish sustainable, thriving communities within a one-square-kilometer area, regardless of its location—whether urban, rural, or coastal. The participating organizations of this SDG partnership operate as a series of living laboratories globally, aiming to transform multiple locations into sustainable circular economy hubs. The partnership involves governments, educational institutions, NGOs, entrepreneurs, and private organizations to utilize this small land area as a showcase for generating new knowledge and innovative solutions.

Key Focus areas include:

Renewable Energy: Implementing renewable energy sources for sustainability.

Water Management: Efficient management of water resources.

Waste Reduction & Recycling: Implementing circular economy principles to minimize waste and maximize recycling.

Cultural Preservation: Prioritizing the preservation of local culture and heritage.

Social Well-being: Promoting social welfare and connectivity within communities.

Economic Growth: Supporting the development of the Blue, Green and Orange Economy while fostering economic growth.

Environmental Protection: Protecting the environment through sustainable practices.

image of Prof. Pedro fernandez Carrasco

Meet the leader of this initiative

"Nuestro enfoque se basa en la energía renovable, la gestión del agua, la reducción y el reciclaje de residuos, los principios de la economía circular y la innovación empresarial. Además, priorizamos la seguridad alimentaria, la preservación cultural, el bienestar social, la conectividad y el desarrollo de la Economía Azul y Naranja, al tiempo que promovemos el crecimiento económico y la protección del medio ambiente"

PhD Pedro Fernandez Carrasco, professor at the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid in the department of hydraulic, energy and environmental studies, is the founder of Bio Ocean Solutions Hub and the leader of this initiative that may evolve into a new paradigm for the design of sustainable human settlements and circular rural+coastal urbanism.

UN ECOSOC 2024 Partnership Forum - Side Event

On Jan 30, 2024, together with UNCTAD, Think Tank AlterContacts hosted a virtual side event  "Circular Economy for SDGs: Inspiring Transformations Towards Sustainable, Resilient, and Innovative Solutions". It presented the circular economy as a holistic framework that reinforces the principles of the 2030 Agenda, addressing poverty eradication, resilience, and innovation in the face of multiple crises. During the event, the new initiative - Kilometro Circular - was officially launched. Press here for full details

Research on Circular Economy in coastal areas of Mediterranean Europe

In April 2024, we onboarded a team of twenty-three online UN Volunteers to carry out desktop research on various aspects of the circular economy in this region, specifically Greece, Italy, and Spain. We expect to publish the first results of the fieldwork and the academic research by September 2024. We invite you to meet the team here.


This initiative serves as an experimental ground for implementing and testing innovative technologies, sustainable practices, and circular economy principles. It aims to create self-sufficient, resilient communities that thrive without relying heavily on external resources. Additionally, it seeks to empower underrepresented groups, foster inclusive partnerships, and promote economic prosperity while contributing to global sustainability goals.

Groups included as beneficiaries include local communities underrepresented groups, entrepreneurs, policymakers, educational institutions, researchers, private organizations, NGOs, students, environmental advocates, coastal regions, rural populations, economies, cultural heritage, societal well-being, sustainable development.

Blue KmC² Living Labs Network - candidate locations - onboarding started in March 2024

Fonseca Azul, Bahía de Fonseca,  El Salvador.   |   Costa del Sol, El Salvador   |   Bahía de Cienfuegos, Cuba   |   La Chacarita y Costanera on the Paraguay River, Asunción, Paraguay   |   Balanka Tech Farming, Togo   |   Waste & Community resilience, Indonesia   |   the Bronx, New York USA   |   Puntarenas - Costa Rica   |   Koh Kradan island - Thailand   |   Koh Mook - Thailand   |   Ikaria island - Greece

Map updated March 2024

Join the Blue KmC² Living Labs Network

Your organization can be a catalyst of positive change by participating in this SDG Partnership. Seize the opportunity to show a tangible commitment to create prosperous communities, contribute to sustainable living environments, drive innovation in circular practices, and align policies for long-lasting impact. Press here to learn how to create a new Blue KmC² Living Lab

The SDG Partnership

List of Partners

(Updated on January 2024)
image courtesy of United Nations  ESCAP


The implementation of the Kilometro Circular initiative involves several key methodologies and strategies:

Living Laboratories Establishment: Multiple living laboratories are established globally, each covering a one-square-kilometer area. These labs serve as experimental grounds for implementing sustainable practices and circular economy principles.

Stakeholder Collaboration: Collaboration between governments, educational institutions, NGOs, entrepreneurs, private organizations, and funding partners is crucial. These stakeholders contribute resources, expertise, and land to build living labs and conduct experiments.

Comprehensive Assessment: Feasibility assessments are conducted before establishing each living lab. This involves evaluating the location, resources, community needs, and potential impact to ensure the initiative's viability.

Pilot Projects: Pilot projects are initiated within these living labs to showcase circular economy principles, innovative technologies, and sustainable practices. These projects serve as models for sustainability and are rigorously evaluated for effectiveness and scalability.

Education and Capacity Building: Tailored educational programs, workshops, and knowledge-sharing platforms are created. These programs target diverse stakeholders, including students, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and community members, to empower them with the necessary skills and knowledge for sustainability.

Technology Transfer: The living labs act as platforms for technology transfer, disseminating innovative solutions and best practices globally. This facilitates the adoption of sustainable technologies and practices in various communities.

Continual Evaluation and Improvement: Regular evaluations are conducted to measure the impact, scalability, and sustainability of implemented solutions across different locations. These assessments utilize quantitative metrics and qualitative indicators to guide strategic decisions and ensure alignment with global sustainability goals.

Community Engagement and Empowerment: Local communities are actively involved in the process, fostering knowledge exchange, offering economic opportunities, and promoting resilience through sustainable practices. This engagement empowers communities to take ownership of their development.

Multi-Stakeholder Workshops and Forums:** Workshops, forums, and educational experiences are organized to facilitate knowledge exchange, co-creation of solutions, and alignment among diverse stakeholders. This collaboration ensures the integration of expertise and efforts towards sustainable outcomes.

Policy Insights and Advocacy: The initiative provides insights into effective policy frameworks for policymakers. It advocates for policies that support sustainable practices and circular economy models.

In summary, the initiative operates through the establishment of living labs, stakeholder collaboration, comprehensive assessments, pilot projects, education, technology transfer, continual evaluation, community engagement, multi-stakeholder collaboration, and policy advocacy to foster sustainable and circular economies within these designated areas.

The network of Living Labs becomes a platform to deliver advanced academic programs and professional vocational training courses on Blue and Circular Economy

Advance Expert Program in Blue and Circular Economy

Delivered by the academic network of Blue KmC² Living Labs, this program is designed to equip students and professionals with the knowledge and skills to make a positive impact in the evolving landscape of sustainable development. Click to learn more and how to apply

Deliverables from research assignments and experimental practices

These deliverables represent tangible outcomes that could arise from the initiative's efforts, contributing to knowledge dissemination, capacity-building, and the advancement of sustainable and circular economies.

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

The Kilometro Circular initiative focuses on capacity-building and technology transfer as crucial components of its strategy for sustainable development. Here are the arrangements put in place for these aspects:

Tailored Educational Programs: The initiative designs and implements educational programs tailored to diverse stakeholders. These programs cater to students, entrepreneurs, policymakers, community members, and professionals. They cover topics related to renewable energy, circular economy principles, water management, waste reduction, sustainable practices, and innovative technologies.

Knowledge-Sharing Platforms: Platforms are established to facilitate the exchange of information, experiences, and best practices. Workshops, seminars, and conferences serve as avenues for stakeholders to share expertise, lessons learned, and successful strategies.

Field Research and Practical Learning: The initiative provides opportunities for hands-on learning through field research and practical experiences within the living labs. This allows students and professionals to gain real-world exposure to sustainable practices and innovative technologies.

Technology Demonstration: Living labs serve as showcases for demonstrating innovative technologies and sustainable solutions. These demonstrations provide practical insights into the application of these technologies and their potential impact.

Collaborative Partnerships: Collaborative partnerships between educational institutions, research centers, and private enterprises facilitate the transfer of technology and knowledge. This collaboration allows for the development of innovative solutions and their dissemination to broader communities.

Capacity-Building Workshops: Workshops and training sessions are conducted to build the capacity of local communities, enabling them to adopt and implement sustainable practices. These workshops cover topics such as waste management, renewable energy utilization, water conservation, and circular economy principles.

Open Access to Information: Efforts are made to ensure that information, research findings, and best practices are easily accessible and disseminated widely. Open-access platforms, publications, and online resources promote knowledge dissemination and technology transfer to a broader audience.

Engagement with Entrepreneurs and Innovators: The initiative encourages collaboration with entrepreneurs and innovators interested in inventing new products and services aligned with the goals of sustainable development. This engagement fosters innovation and supports the transfer of new technologies to address local and global challenges.

Capacity-Building Initiatives for Policymakers: Capacity-building initiatives are directed towards policymakers, providing them with insights into effective policy frameworks that support sustainability and circular economy models. This equips them to create conducive environments for sustainable development.

These arrangements collectively aim to empower stakeholders with the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to adopt and implement sustainable practices, fostering capacity-building and facilitating the transfer of innovative technologies within and beyond the Kilometro Circular living labs.


The governance and coordination of the Kilometro Circular initiative involve several mechanisms to ensure effective management, collaboration, and decision-making:

Leadership and Coordination: The initiative is led by a central coordinating body or figure, often headed by individuals with expertise in fields related to sustainability, circular economy, and community development. For instance, in this case, PhD Pedro Fernandez Carrasco, a professor at the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, is the project coordinator and leader of the Bio Ocean Solutions Hub, overseeing the initiative's direction and activities.

Partnership Networks: The initiative collaborates with diverse stakeholders, including governments, educational institutions, NGOs, entrepreneurs, private organizations, and funding partners. These partnerships form a network contributing resources, expertise, and support toward the initiative's goals.

Governing Structure: a governing or advisory structure comprising representatives from key stakeholders involved in decision-making processes. This structure facilitates discussions, decision-making, and strategic planning regarding the direction, implementation, and evaluation of the initiative.

Collaborative Decision-Making: Decision-making within the initiative is collaborative and inclusive, involving input from various stakeholders. This approach ensures diverse perspectives are considered in shaping policies, strategies, and project implementations.

Regular Meetings and Communication: Regular meetings, workshops, and communication channels are established to facilitate dialogue, information sharing, and updates among stakeholders. These interactions ensure alignment, knowledge exchange, and coordinated efforts across different aspects of the initiative.

Evaluation and Monitoring: Mechanisms for continual evaluation and monitoring of implemented projects and strategies are put in place. This evaluation process involves quantitative metrics and qualitative indicators to assess the impact, scalability, and sustainability of initiatives across multiple locations. The findings guide future decisions and adjustments.

Transparency and Accountability: The governance structure emphasizes transparency and accountability in managing resources, decision-making processes, and project outcomes. This fosters trust among stakeholders and ensures responsible use of resources.

Adaptive Management:The governance framework incorporates adaptive management principles, allowing for flexibility and adaptation based on evolving circumstances, feedback, and new learnings. This flexibility enables the initiative to adjust strategies and approaches as needed to achieve its objectives effectively.

Engagement with Local Communities: There is active engagement with local communities within the living labs. This engagement ensures that the initiatives and decisions align with the needs and aspirations of the communities, fostering ownership and participation.

Overall, the governance and coordination mechanisms of the Kilometro Circular initiative involve collaborative decision-making, partnership networks, regular communication, evaluation processes, and adaptive management to steer the initiative toward its objectives of fostering sustainable and circular economies within designated areas.


Evaluation within the Kilometro Circular initiative is a comprehensive and ongoing process designed to assess the impact, effectiveness, and sustainability of implemented projects and strategies. Here's an overview of the evaluation framework:

1. Quantitative and Qualitative Metrics: The evaluation process employs both quantitative metrics and qualitative indicators to measure various aspects of the initiative's performance. This includes metrics related to energy efficiency, waste reduction, water management, economic growth, social well-being, and environmental impact.

2. Impact Assessment: Evaluations focus on assessing the direct and indirect impact of initiatives within the living labs on local communities, ecosystems, economies, and overall sustainability. This includes analyzing changes in resource consumption, economic development, cultural preservation, and social cohesion.

3. Scalability and Repeatability: Assessments determine the scalability of successful projects and their potential for replication in other locations. This involves identifying elements that can be transferred to different contexts to achieve similar positive outcomes.

4. Effectiveness of Circular Economy Practices: The evaluation framework scrutinizes the effectiveness of circular economy practices adopted within the living labs. This involves analyzing how well waste reduction, recycling, and resource utilization strategies are implemented and their actual impact on creating a circular economy model.

5. Stakeholder Engagement and Satisfaction: Evaluations consider the level of engagement and satisfaction among stakeholders involved in the initiative. Feedback and input from stakeholders provide insights into the effectiveness of communication, collaboration, and decision-making processes.

6. Long-Term Sustainability: The initiative evaluates the long-term sustainability of implemented practices and strategies. It examines their potential to persist and create lasting positive impacts beyond the initial project phases.

7. Adaptation and Learning: Evaluations focus on the initiative's capacity to adapt to changing circumstances and lessons learned during implementation. This adaptive management approach ensures continuous learning and improvement.

8. Alignment with Global Sustainability Goals: The initiative's performance is measured against global sustainability goals such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This alignment ensures that the initiative contributes positively to broader global sustainability targets.

9. Regular Review and Reporting: Regular review cycles are established to conduct evaluations at specific intervals. Findings are documented and reported to stakeholders, enabling informed decision-making and strategic adjustments.

By employing a robust evaluation framework encompassing diverse metrics and considerations, the Kilometro Circular initiative aims to ensure that its projects and strategies are effective, impactful, and aligned with the goals of sustainability and circular economy principles. This continual evaluation process guides the evolution and refinement of the initiative, fostering its long-term success and positive impact.

SDG impact mapping and targeted measurement

Mapping the impact based on concrete SDGs and targets, allows the partners to design field research assignments, focus on specific areas of knowledge and direct activities on the ground, while providing a guide for data collection and reporting. Press here to view the SDG mapping and the target measurement indicators