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Urban metabolism accounts for building Waste management Innovative Networks and Strategies

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Urban_Wins (Urban metabolism accounts for building Waste management Innovative Networks and Strategies)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2019-05-31

Urban_Wins had the challenge to overcome the limits to the implementation of the urban metabolism approach for the development of waste prevention and management strategies and to make waste policies more innovative and more sustainable.
One one side, methods to quantify material flow-based indicators were tested at urban level, on the other side waste prevention and management policies were developed on the basis of a strategic planning model that not only embedded the urban metabolism principles and findings, but was also characterised by an innovative co-operative approach with urban stakeholders.
The UMAn Model was applied to elaborate urban metabolism profiles of 7 pilot cities (Albano Laziale, Cremona, Leiria, Manresa, Pomezia, Sabadell and Torino). This allowed to: understand the balance of the material flows that enter and leave the city; obtain an overview of consumption patterns and highlight the most important category of products consumed in cities in terms of origin and destination; understand the material needs of cities and the dependence on raw materials.
Strategic planning frameworks for waste prevention and management and local action plans were developed on the basis of priorities and objectives set by urban stakeholders within the agoras set in the 8 pilot cities (Bucharest in addition to the ones listed above), while a Roadmap for future actions was elaborated for each city on the basis of urban metabolism accounts and established the convergence between stakeholders perceptions and science-based indications.
26 pilot actions were implemented in the Urban_Wins pilot cities, as a result of the participatory process which ensured that urban actors are fully aware of their role in the transition to more circular cities and do engage in the design and realization of actions.
Urban_Wins work made available:
-an analysis of waste prevention and management strategies adopted across 6 EU countries (Austria, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sweden) and 27 municipalities and 2 Metropolitan cities;
-urban metabolism accounts for 7 cities;
- a database for data collection and elaboration and a list of metabolism indicators, including dashboard indicators compiled for 8 pilot cities;
- a manual for data collection that contains the description of the 23 main datasets needed to perform an urban Material Flow Analysis for each city.
In terms of policies and planning for waste prevention and management, Urban_Wins led to:
• Eight Strategic planning frameworks for waste prevention and management and 8 Local Strategic Action Plans.
• 8 city Roadmaps and one EU Roadmap to trace the path for future urban planning practices aimed at the achievement of a circular economy model on the basis of the urban metabolism approach;
• the implementation of 26 pilot actions, covering different economic sectors and waste streams (e.g. food and agriculture, events, tourism, plastic, manufacturing, households…) and including awareness raising, voluntary and regulatory actions;
• the design and implementation of a participatory model that allows for the engagement of stakeholders in the co-creation and co-design of policies and strategies.
The Urban_Wins toolkit collects all project outcomes and provides modular and detailed information on tools and methods applied, which enables to replicate the work done entirely or with focus on some specific steps.
The communication tools designed and implemented during the project (videos, webinars, newsletters, leaflets, sector watch, elevator pitches, blogging activities, EU and national conferences, social media) allowed to achieve stakeholders across Europe and contributed strongly to preparing the ground for project results exploitation that will occur through further academic work and scientific publications, application of urban metabolism studies in other EU cities, follow-up of pilot actions, diffusion of the participatory approach.
Urban_Wins research and innovation activities contributed to the advancement in the state of the art in urban waste management and in the operationalization of the urban metabolism approach for sustainable urban development. A research leadership was set both in terms of studying the urban metabolism of cities and understanding how policy makers can make use of the results and in terms of creating applied guidance and evidence for urban planning. Significant advancements in the participatory and science-based decision-making and planning for waste management also occurred.
The agoras set up by the 8 pilot cities represented the pillars for the development of the participatory process that took place within the project. 24 meetings of the agoras took place with the participation of 789 different stakeholders, for a total of 1435 participants in all meetings. Each meeting was set up and managed following specific participatory techniques and methodologies that led to the co-development and co-testing of new solutions for waste prevention and management. Online agoras were also set up and represented an additional space of interaction for urban stakeholders of pilot cities and other EU stakeholders. The online agoras had 637 users.
Stakeholders developed and discussed 164 action proposals corresponding to 34 priorities for waste prevention and management, covering energy, water, waste and air emission flows and addressing several types of waste (municipal waste, WEEE, construction waste, food and organic waste, paper and industrial waste) and economic sectors (building, tourism, agriculture, wholesale and retail trade, service activities, education, NGOs). The implementation of the 26 pilot actions in the 8 pilot cities has affected more than 760,000 citizens. Some pilot actions were directed to specific target groups or had the capacity to reach only a certain number of people (e.g. awareness raising campaigns realised in schools in Pomezia and Bucharest), other actions were specifically directed at all citizens (e.g. Local waste management plan in Manresa).
Besides the 8 strategic frameworks, the 8 local action plan and the implementation of the pilot actions, cities also adopted additional actions and official acts that will further reduce environmental impact of urban consumption and production activities. Around 1,000 SMEs from different sectors were also involved in the project and had the chance to integrate their knowledge and introduce new practices in their activities.
Indirect positive benefit will stem from the reduction of air, soil and water emissions; greenhouse gases emissions; use of dangerous substances; soil use and biodiversity protection.
Positive social impacts are also expected as the project clarified and highlighted the linkages between urban waste prevention and better management on urban welfare and quality of life, in particular through the adoption of life cycle thinking and circular economy principles. In addition, via the creation and promotion of online and physical urban agoras, urban stakeholders had a space for dialogue and knowledge sharing where they were able on one side to give more evidence and voice to critical issues that affect them, on the other side to adhere to a common set of values and proposals “for the common good”: this strengthened their sense of belonging to the community and further stimulated their own contribution to the improvement of the urban environment.
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