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Did you say Donut?


We’ve reached a moment of truth.

With the Covid crisis, the world has  become increasingly aware that to  foster a thriving society, we need to change our behaviour and rethink our relationship to growth as we knew it.

Meet the Donut.

Designed by the British economist Kate Raworth, the Donut is a visual model for sustainable development which combines the concept of environmental limits with the concept of basic human needs.

A safe & just place for humanity.

The model highlights the inadequacies between the global economic system and our social wellbeing and environmental sustainability. Today, the economy is mainly based on production, mass consumption, and waste disposal, which drives the environmental crises that we’re facing and the increasing social inequalities. The Donut model shows us how we can operate in a safe and just space for humanity, by re-framing economic problems and setting new goals.

The Donut model & layers.

The small circle represents the social foundation or basic human needs such as food, water, education, peace or justice, based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The big circle represents the self-sustaining capacity of the planet. If we go beyond this limit, we won’t be able to ensure prosperity for our children and grandchildren.

In between, we find the safe and just space in which humanity can thrive.

The Donut Model

Downscaling the Donut to cities.

Donut economics can be applied to cities. Amsterdam has already set the building blocks to become a resilient and inclusive city for all citizens while respecting the planet, based on the Donut.

Still hungry?

The Thriving Cities Initiative, a collaboration between the C40, Doughnut Economics Action Lab, and Circle Economy created a guide to be used by anyone interested in downscaling the Donut to their city or place. 

Donut Economics

The Amsterdam city donut

Creating City Portraits: A methodological guide from the Thriving Cities Initiative 

Posted by Chloe