Presentation of EUROCITIES awards
Within the framework of the EUROCITIES conference the official award ceremony Circle it! for best practices in circular economy was held Thursday night in the centre of Ljubljana.
The expert jury comprised of Deputy Mayor of the City of Ljubljana Tjaša Ficko, Senior Fellow at Oxford University Karl Falkenberg, member of the creative tandem Smetumet, NGO, Alenka Kreč Bricelj, Policy Officer at the Directorate General for Environment of the European Commission Lana Žutelija, and journalist and editor of Sobotna priloga, Delo newspaper, Ali Žerdin, presented the awards in three categories: cooperation, innovation in participation.
The Cooperation category
Brussels Capital Region, Munich and Tampe made it to the finals and Munich won.
The jury wrote in its justification that »Munich’s Halle 2 is a simple but extremely meaningful idea. It actively engages and involves a broad range of stakeholders from the municipality to social companies and citizens. Through its hands-on approach, the project educates citizens in how to repair old items, and its knowledge platform allows them to share reuse ideas; increasing the number of recycled items and having an impact on citizens’ everyday lives.
Halle 2’s awareness-raising efforts have resulted in a reduction in waste and the creation of jobs for people furthest from the labour market. The project is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable and can be easily replicated in other European cities.«
The Innovation category
The finalists were Almere, Brussels Capital Region and Lille Metropole Europeenne, and Brussels was declared the winner.
The jury stated in its justification: »‘Be Circular, Be Brussels’ is an initiative which supports entrepreneurs, startups and businesses in the development of innovative ‘circular’ business ideas. The judges were impressed by the innovative way the initiative engages its stakeholders in its promotion, ultimately making it more credible among its target audience, the private sector. The judges were also impressed with the results so far – in 2016 the initiative received 85 project proposals of which 41 were selected, some quite quirky, like growing mushrooms on beer waste.
The project is going from strength to strength, releasing its second call in February this year with a budget of € 1.7 million. This project integrates the concepts of the circular economy in new businesses, benefiting the environment and creating jobs.«
The Participation Category
Antwerp, Brighton & Hove in Gothenburg were in the finals, the latter won.
The jury explained in its justification that »Gothenburg’s smart map started as a grassroots project and has a promising future. It brings together circular and sharing economy projects and stakeholders from across the city in one easy to use tool. By using the application citizens can share, swap or give away their seldom used items or offer services. The jury appreciated the app’s convenience and how it allows citizens to participate directly in the circular economy.
They also lauded the way the app not only raises awareness but inspires behavioural change through giving citizens an alternative; helping them to rethink their consumption and promoting access before ownership.«
The last conference day
Still ahead is the last day of the conference beginning with Good morning Ljubljana and Speednetworking, at 12 o’clock the European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc is going to address the participants, followed by the closing of the conference and the Annual General Meeting.