This study examines the potential of the EU Circular Economy Monitoring Framework (CEMF), an established indicator-based framework for measuring national- and EU-level circularity performance, as a monitoring tool for urban areas. For this purpose, available data sources that can support the framework’s application at the urban level are mapped, and data quality is assessed following the pedigree matrix approach. Next, the CEMF indicators are computed for the urban area of Umeå, Sweden. The mapping showed limited availability of urban-level data, necessitating the downscaling of national-level data using proxy factors. Most available urban-level data are of high quality, while the quality of national-level data is reduced when used to compute indicators at the urban level. The application of the CEMF in Umeå indicates that there are areas where the municipality performs well, though further improvements are needed. The authors conclude that the CEMF has potential as a monitoring tool for urban areas. However, improvements in CEMF’s scope and data availability are recommended.

Highlights
  • Application of the EU circular economy monitoring framework at the urban level.
  • Mapping of data sources and evaluation of the quality of the identified data.
  • Calculation of the indicators applying a bottom-up and a top-down approach.
  • The application showed that Umeå municipality performs well in certain areas.
  • The framework has strengths and limitations as a monitoring tool for urban areas.