A PolisPlan Initiative


The Australian economy is in the midst of a major transition due to a range of factors. There is no better time to explore innovative ideas for the planning, development and building of cities, towns and villages. We are seeking partnerships with development professionals (architects, engineers etc.), research institutes and local governments who are interested in enabling and encouraging investment in regenerative land development.

If you would like to encourage the development of Circular Economy Villages in your area then please download the flyer, read the short article and let's start a conversation:

If you would like to explore the ideas further, then please contact us through LinkedIn. 

Journal papers

Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID): 0000-0002-8803-4904

Liaros, S. (2021) A network of circular economy villages: design guidelines for 21st century Garden Cities, Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/BEPAM-01-2021-0004 

Download the full text of the Author Accepted Manuscript. This is a post-peer-reviewed, pre-copyedit version of an article to be published in a special issue of Built Environment Project and Asset Management. The special issue will relate to Smart Villages, Rural Infrastructure and Sustainable Development. The final authenticated version is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1108/BEPAM-01-2021-0004

This paper advances the development of a hypothetical, systems-based approach to the design and development of smart rural villages – a network of circular economy villages (CEVs). The method is to assimilate visionary ideas from 20th century town planning literature related to decentralisation and the development of new towns in rural areas, identifying key design principles. The present trajectory of infrastructure design and emerging development models are then analysed to modernise the design principles for implementation in the 21st century.

Liaros, S. (2021) Circular Food Futures: What Will They Look Like? Circular Economy and Sustainability https://doi.org/10.1007/s43615-021-00082-5 

Download the full text of the Author Accepted Manuscript. This is a post-peer-reviewed, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Circular Economy and Sustainability. The final authenticated version is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s43615-021-00082-5 

Potentially dramatic changes in the organisation of the food system are being driven by both consumers and producers. Consumers are demanding higher quality produce and more direct connection to producers. For farmers, more extreme weather events and global competition are increasingly making industrial agriculture less economically viable. This paper explores how circular economy (CE) debates might contribute to, and support, the changes needed for a sustainable future. Full compliance with the three objectives of a CE identified by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation might help to describe a sustainable and circular food future. An analysis of the food system is therefore carried out to determine how food systems may be organised to (a) design out waste and pollution, (b) keep products and materials in use and (c) regenerate natural systems. One critique of CE debates is the failure to explore systemic shifts and possible futures that are not an extrapolation of current conditions. This analysis of the food system points to the need for a decentralised network of diverse, polyculture farms, each with integrated energy and water micro-grids, and managed at a local level. Co-locating food producers with food consumers, as much as possible, creates an integrated village system at the food-water-energy-housing nexus. Villages may then be networked to enable collaboration for sharing of rarer skills or the satisfaction of more complex needs and wants, forming a trading network of circular economy villages. It is therefore posited that the transition to a fully circular economy will require a paradigm shift—another agricultural revolution—the transition away from large-scale industrial agriculture to a decentralised network of circular food systems.

Liaros, S. (2020) Implementing a new human settlement theory: Strategic planning for a network of regenerative villages, Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, 9(3), pp. 258-271 https://doi.org/10.1108/SASBE-01-2019-0004 

Download the full text of the Author Accepted Manuscript. This is a post-peer-reviewed, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Smart and Sustainable Built Environment. The final authenticated version is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1108/SASBE-01-2019-0004 

Whilst the energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables offers significant environmental benefits, the other transition – from a centralised to a distributed energy system – underpins a disruptive model for planning cities, towns and villages. A local energy micro-grid can power a local water micro-grid, which in turn can irrigate a local food system, offering a community the opportunity to harvest, store and distribute food, water and energy within their immediate catchment. A distributed network of regenerative villages, connected virtually and with shared electric vehicles is offered as an alternative vision for future cities. The paper aims to justify this as a preferred model for human settlements and develop an implementation process. This paper asks: Is it inevitable that large cities will keep growing, while rural communities will continue to be deprived of resources and opportunities? Is the flow of people into cities inevitable? To answer this question, the adopted methodology is to take a systems approach, observing town planning processes from a range of different disciplines and perspectives. By contrasting the current centralising city model with a distributed network of villages, this paper offers ten reasons why the distributed network is preferable to centralisation. It is argued that in this time of dramatic technological upheaval, environmental destruction and social inequality, business-as-usual is unacceptable in any field of human endeavour. This paper presents a sketch outlining a new human settlement theory, a different way of living on the land. It is an invitation to academics and practitioners to participate in a debate. 


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