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Urban Ocean® Program

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Urban Ocean is a capacity-building and accelerator program to end ocean plastic pollution and build more resilient communities in cities. Urban Ocean champions circular economy principles, builds awareness of ocean plastic, assesses waste management systems, and supports cities to develop projects that address the interrelated challenges of ocean plastics and resilience.  Since 2020, the program has been implemented in cities across  Asia and Latin America. Resilient Cities Network Ocean Conservancy and The Circulate Initiative jointly implement the program.

The Challenge

11 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the ocean annually, which is expected to triple by 2040. While awareness of the crisis of marine debris has increased rapidly over the past few years, there is still considerable work to be done, such as reducing the production of single-use plastics and improving waste management systems.


There is also a need to connect these solutions with the unique needs and priorities of communities to ensure sustainable and efficient use of local resources.

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The Solution

Urban Ocean is a capacity-building and accelerator program that enhances understanding of the ocean plastics challenge and circular economy principles, and assesses the waste management situation in selected cities to ultimately support them to develop financeable strategies and projects designed to address the interrelated challenges they identify.


The program provides a platform for cities to showcase their leadership and share their knowledge and experiences across the Urban Ocean network and beyond.

 Areas of Action

Why partner with Urban Ocean

Initiated in 2019, Urban Ocean has developed a proof-of-concept that combines scientific baseline assessment methodology by Dr. Jenna Jambeck with project identification and prioritization.


Urban Ocean builds on more than eight years of city relationships by Resilient Cities Network and leverages the expertise of Ocean Conservancy, The Circulate Initiative, and a diverse ecosystem of stakeholders who have the power to collectively solve the plastic pollution challenge in cities.

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Participating Cities

  • Can Tho, Vietnam

  • Chennai, India

  • Melaka, Malaysia

  • Mumbai, India

  • Panama City, Panama

  • Pune, India

  • Santiago, Chile 

  • Semarang, Indonesia

  • Surat, India

Mentoring Cities

  • Christchurch, New Zealand

  • Milan, Italy

  • Rotterdam, Netherlands 

  • Toyama, Japan

  • Vejle, Denmark

Key Resources

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City Opportunity Booklet:


Project Opportunities to Accelerate Clean, Healthy Cities and Seas

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