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Adopt the Doughnut Economic Model

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

Economic growth remains a political and economic priority in almost all countries. Growth that is measured easily by adding up the total amount of financial resources that is spent from year to year. Mainstream economic thinking assumes that demand will always grow and that, in an effort to meet this demand, firms will deliver an increasing amount of goods and services, resulting in never-ending economic growth. In this vision, growth is the main goal of a successful economy and the measure of success.

However, after decades of economic growth, the world economy has reached a size that threatenes the stability of our Earth life support system.

The carbon emission rate of the world economy overwhelms the absorption capacity of the Biosphere, which causes our current Climate Emergency.

In this view, the Climate Emergency is only one manifestation of the same reality: that the world economy has grown too large for in relation to the capacity of the Biosphere.

The world economy, if allowed to grow along the same trajectory as in the recent past, will overwhelm the capacity of the Biosphere along other lines (other planetary boundaries) in short order.

The Doughnut, or Doughnut economics, is a visual framework for sustainable development– combining the concept of planetary boundaries with the complementary concept of social boundaries. The name derives from the shape of the diagram, i.e. a disc with a hole in the middle. The centre hole of the model depicts the proportion of people that lack access to life's essentials (healthcare, education, equity and so on) while the crust represents the ecological ceilings (planetary boundaries) that life depends on and must not be overshot.[2] The diagram was developed by Oxford economist Kate Raworth in the Oxfam paper A Safe and Just Space for Humanity and elaborated upon in her book Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist.

The framework was proposed to regard the performance of an economy by the extent to which the needs of people are met without overshooting Earth's ecological ceiling. The main goal of the new model is to re-frame economic problems and set new goals. In this model, an economy is considered prosperous when all twelve social foundations are met without overshooting any of the nine ecological ceilings. This situation is represented by the area between the two rings, considered by its creator as the safe and just space for humanity.

The model has already been adopted by Amsterdam to manage the post-Coronavirus recovery.


It is considered by various other cities, regions and nations.

We propose that the city of Miami follow the example of the city of Amsterdam (which is a member of the C40 city compact) and abandon the pursuit of economic growth as a development goal and adopt instead a development model along the lines of the Doughnut Model.

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