Creating City Portraits

An earlier methodological guide for downscaling the Doughnut to the city (newer version available)

NOTE FROM DEAL (April 2022): We have substantively updated this methodological handbook and incorporated it into a wider set of 'Doughnut Unrolled' tools for applying the ideas of Doughnut Economics to your place.

DEAL is keeping this legacy tool available on our platform for archiving but it will not be updated.

For DEAL's latest guidance on selecting targets and indicators, please use the Doughnut Unrolled: Data Portrait of Place tool (available in English, French, German, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese).

Version 1.1 (February 2021)

* También disponible en español abajo (PDF) *
* 下面也提供葡萄牙语(PDF) *
* Também disponível em português abaixo (PDF) *


The DEAL Team collaborated with Biomimicry 3.8, C40 Cities and Circle Economy – through the Thriving Cities Initiative – to create the City Portrait methodology, and pilot the approach in Philadelphia, Portland and Amsterdam.

We created this methodological guide available as a PDF below with accompanying supplementary spreadsheet, which was published in July 2020 (with Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese translations published in February 2021).


The City Portrait methodology was conceptualised by Kate Raworth of Doughnut Economics Action Lab and Janine Benyus of Biomimicry 3.8, and this methodological guide was written by Andrew Fanning, Olya Krestyaninova, Kate Raworth, Jamie Dwyer, Nicole Hagerman Miller, and Fredrik Eriksson.

The methodology was greatly enriched by comments from colleagues and advisers including: Julia Lipton, Tom Bailey, Josh Alpert, Elvia Rufo Jimenez, Zach Tofias, Cécile Faraud, Mehrnaz Ghojeh, Chantal Oudkerk Pool, and Krisztina Campbell from the C40; Ilektra Kouloumpi, Annerieke Douma, Max Russell, and Jurn de Winter from Circle Economy; Paul van Schaik from Integral Institute; Ieva Rozentale from Mindworks; Philip Vergragt, Manisha Anantharaman, Halina Brown, and Christoph Rupprecht from SCORAI; Anne Owen from the University of Leeds; Kate Meyer from the Planetary Accounting Network; Nicolas Esposito, Haley Jordan, and Helena Rudoff from The City of Philadelphia; Kyle Diesner and Amanda Watson from The City of Portland, Oregon; Eveline Jonkhoff and Juan-Carlos Goilo from the City of Amsterdam; Christoph Gran and Tabea Waltenberg from ZOE Institute; Laure Malchair from Co-Create; Philippe Roman and Geraldine Thiry from ICHEC; Francesca Zecca from the University of Edinburgh; and Carlota Sanz and Rob Shorter from Doughnut Economics Action Lab.





    Amandine GIRARD-HERVE

    Orléans, Loiret, France

    As a facilitator, I hope to share tools and workshops and I hope to bring more tools in French to the community.

    Erica Hinckson

    New Zealand

    The Doughnut economics framework resonates with me and direction of my research. Interested to know more.

    Asuncion Aguilar

    Sophia Antipolis, France and Barcelona, Spain

    Guiding organizations and regions through their transformational journey to embrace regenerative and distributive dynamics.

    Luis Palicio about 1 year ago

    Alguna ciudad en España ha utilizado esta herramienta. Gracias.

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    Christiane Lellig almost 3 years ago

    Question for the French community: Est-ce qu'il y a des exemples de villes de 15-20,000 habitants qui ont utilisé l'outil du city portait et d'autres outils DEAL? Des essais de reconcilier les méthodes de la théorie u, des municipalities in transition et le doughnut?

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    Helene LE HERICY over 2 years ago

    Bonjour Christiane ! Je suis super intéressée pour proposer l'outil auprès de ma nouvelle région d'adoption Pays Basque ou autre. J'en discuterais avec plaisir avec vous ! Mon email :

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    Christiane Lellig about 2 years ago

    Bonjour Hélene, désolée de ma réponse tardive! Je n'avais pas vu votre commentaire. Je vous contacterai par email dans les prochains jours.

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    Kathryn Alexander, MA about 3 years ago

    I'm just beginning exposing my city (Spokane, WA) to this. Is anyone else in Washington who would like to help?

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    Mark Frohman over 3 years ago

    Anyone out there already using DE tools or framework for a city in the USA? We'd love to hear about your experiences so far. Thanks.

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    Don Dwiggins about 3 years ago

    I'm surprised that you haven't gotten any responses. Based on my all-too-fallible memory, Portland (I think in Oregon, not Maine) and Philadelphia have started efforts.

    BTW, there's an effort underway to create a State-level tool for California. I've recently joined.

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    Don Dwiggins 3 months ago

    Much later (4/25/84): CalDEC is well underway, and has members in various parts of  the State (look it up).

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    Martin More over 3 years ago

    Is there anyone out, who is using this for a small city (50.000)?
    And is anyone already translating it into German?

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    Yuge Lei about 3 years ago

    I'm currently in the process of adapting it to a ~31,000 town in Germany. There is an inner-German exchange between different groups all over the country and we're currently discussing the translation issue. But there is also a V2 of the canvas due to be released soon, so we're waiting for that.

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    Paul Hainey over 3 years ago

    I'm attending a conference tomorrow where the Leadership Forum for Perth in Scotland are exploring what needs to be done to become "The Most Sustainable Small City in Europe". The City Portraits tool looks like it could be a fantastic resource in this journey.

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    Kate Raworth over 3 years ago

    That sounds great, Paul, we hope it was a useful part of the conversation.

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    Louise Hård af Segerstad over 3 years ago

    Hi. I love the doughtnut and enjoyed checking out the Amsterdam work. Taking it further into my own practice I would like to know how the reasoning went when the biodiversity and novel entities (chemical) boundaries where replaced by waste and over-fishing? Grateful for any reflections, and happy to join this community! Thanks.

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