Introducing Circular Innovation in the Construction Industry: The Case of the Circular Viaduct

Tom B.J. Coenen*, Leentje Volker, Klaasjan Visscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
161 Downloads (Pure)


National and international governments have set ambitious targets to become circular in 2050. The aim is to reduce both the use of virgin resources and the generation of waste. To become circular, not only new technologies are needed in the resourceintensive infrastructure sector, but change is also needed in social and institutional aspects. This research focuses on one circular innovation trajectory in the construction industry: the Circular Viaduct. The purpose of this study is to gain insights into a past trajectory to study how future circular innovations can be fostered in the infrastructure sector from a client perspective. The innovation trajectory was studied using the mission-oriented innovation system (MIS) framework. The narrative of the innovation process was reconstructed in an in-depth case-study. By studying occurrences and sequences of events through MIS functions, underlying dynamics were identified. First, the trajectory shows that for such mission-oriented innovation the direction of the problem and solution together with knowledge development co-evolve rather than being separate stages. Second, the large effect of perseverance of individuals that led to the involvement of high officials and accompanying release of resources suggests that earlier and stronger involvement of client organizations has potential in fostering bottom-up innovations that contribute to the transition towards a circular infrastructure sector.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 37th Annual ARCOM Conference
EditorsL. Scott, C.J. Neilson
PublisherAssociation of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM)
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2021
Event37th ARCOM Conference and Annual General Meeting: Recover, Rebuild and Renew - Online, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 6 Sept 20217 Sept 2021
Conference number: 37


Conference37th ARCOM Conference and Annual General Meeting
Internet address


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