Every year EUROCITIES recognises the achievements of its members for local activities or practices that improve the quality of life of their citizens. This year is no different, and the awards reflect the theme of EUROCITIES 2017, 'circular economy'. This year’s shortlist features members Almere, Antwerp, Brighton & Hove, Brussels Capital Region, Gothenburg, Lille, Munich and Tampere in the awards categories of cooperation, innovation and participation. Let’s take a look at the projects.
Find out more about the entries, in three different categories:
Brussels Capital Region: ‘Brussels regional programme for a circular economy (BRPCE)’ Working with nearly 60 public and private stakeholders the BRPCE programme proposes 111 measures on the circular economy. The plans include training 20,000 economic operators in circular economy ideas, and using environment clauses in 50% of the region’s public tenders. It aims to transform environmental objectives into economic opportunities, while also boosting entrepreneurship and creating new employment opportunities.
Munich: ‘Halle 2 – the Munich secondhand store as nucleus of the local circular economy’ Munich’s Halle 2 is a secondhand store that offers citizens affordable used products. By selling goods collected at 12 recycling centres in the city, Halle 2 extends the lifespan of useful everyday items. This ‘re-use lab’ actively supports sustainable lifestyles and works with Munich’s citizens to teach them ways to be more environmentally and resource friendly in their daily life.
Tampere: ‘From linear to circular bioeconomy’ Tampere’s EC03 circular economy park is based on cooperation between the public sector, private enterprise and citizens. Grouped across three municipalities, it mainly focuses on biomaterials. A waste recycling plant ‘digests’ materials from both sewage water and biowaste and turns it into biological nutrients for food production, material for green infrastructure, biogas for vehicles and CHP production, and carbon dioxide for agricultural production in green houses.
Almere: ‘From aquatic plant to paper and bench’ When the fast growing aquatic plants at Lake W e e r w a t e r were causing problems for local recreational and economic activity, the city of Almere acted to turn a crisis into an opportunity. Since incinerating the plants would be costly, the city launched a new business plan together with local stakeholders. The plant is now used to make paper, which is even used for meal boxes on some commercial flights.
Brussels Capital Region: ‘Be circular – be Brussels – call for projects for enterprises’ ‘Be Circular, Be Brussels’ is designed to support entrepreneurs and businesses in Brussels with innovative circular economy projects while also creating local jobs. Following the first call, the region received 85 project ideas, 41 of which were funded, and created 30 jobs. The projects included an online platform where citizens could share goods they rarely use within their community, as well as a service to collect and resell hardware and technological devices.
Lille: ‘La Lainière project house, the first cradle to cradle building’ As the first cradle to cradle building in France, La Lanière is designed to have no negative impact on the environment. From its extractable foundation to its non-bituminous roof membrane and inflatable meeting room, this building is based on the principles of the circular economy. Each element is not only bio-sourced, but could also be dismantled tomorrow and reused elsewhere for an entirely different purpose. The building is designed to host a wide variety of activities for residents and organisations.
Antwerp: ‘Inside out: boosting products, boosting people’ This social clothing and alteration shop focuses on integrating circular economy concepts in the production of its goods while also helping people participate in society. Vulnerable families can buy inexpensive clothing and enjoy styling advice in the ‘social clothing store’. Meanwhile the ‘tailor and alteration shop’ offers budget friendly alterations. It is also a place where people can gain work experience and where refugees are welcomed and can learn Dutch.
Brighton & Hove: ‘City reuse project’ A 'reuse manager' was contracted to work on a modernisation programme to change the way the council thinks about its offices, assets and approach to work. The King’s House project involved emptying the largest office block in the city, including 1,000 staff and all the furniture and equipment. The building was then used to benefit residents, organisations and community groups. In total 150 tonnes of material were reused, which is equal to £150,000 of economic value re-entering the local community.
Gothenburg: ‘Smart map’ Developed in 2016, the smart map is a digital map used to promote a sustainable lifestyle. It encourages citizens to find alternatives to consumption, such as sharing or lending. Several public ‘map jam events’ helped shape the project, which now maps around 100 organisations. The map is continuously evolving and any citizen or organisation is welcome to propose new initiatives.