• Resourceful Cities

    LEAD PARTNER : The Hague - Netherlands
    • Mechelen - Belgium
    • Patras - Greece
    • Ciudad Real - Spain
    • Zagreb - Croatia
    • Oslo - Norway
    • Vila Nova de Famalicao - Portugal
    • Bucharest 3rd district - Romania
    • Cáceres - Spain
    • Opole - Poland




    • Phase 1: Kick-Off Meeting 1, The Hague 3-4 Oct


    • Phase 1: Kick-Off Meeting 2, Mechelen 12-14 Feb
    • Phase 2: Kick-Off Transnational meeting 1, online 7-8 Jul; Transnational meeting 2 *Stimulating Collaboration* 25-26 Nov
    • Phase 2: City-to-City Session *Scoping the eco system* 9 Sep; City-to-City Session *Scaling up local circular economy* 14 Dec
    • Transnational meeting 3 *The role of the city* 27-28 Jan
    • City-to-City Session *Circular Economy and territorial food systems* 18 Feb
    • Transnational meeting 4 *Education, Awareness & Engagement* 30-31 March
    • Transnational meeting 5 *Funding, Monitoring & Risk Assessment * 29-30 June
    • Phase 2: Final event in The Hague

    RESOURCEFUL CITIES is an URBACT Action Planning Network of ten European cities. This project seeks to develop the next generation of urban resource centres, so they can serve as catalysts of the local circular economy, by adopting a participative and integrated approach. The resource centres strive to promote the positive economic, environmental and social impacts, notably for the circular economy. Thus, the network facilitates waste prevention, reuse, repair and recycling. The centres also work as connection points for citizens, new businesses, researchers and the public sector to co-create new ways to close resource loops at the local level. By bringing together interested actors to work alongside, the goal is to promote the change of values and mindset.

    Resourceful Cities APN logo
    Spaces for circular co-creation & action
  • Rewarding re-use and recycling


    Bringing together citizens and businesses for a more environmentally friendly society

    Fejer Mate
    Project Coordinator
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    125 000

    Solutions offered by the good practice

    Zugló, one of Budapest’s 23 districts, has a reputation for clean, safe streets and good transportation. Attracting a diverse mix of residents, the area is seeing considerable development, including new housing for young families. But this increasing population density means growing levels of waste to deal with.


    The district’s waste is managed by a company (FKF) publicly owned by the City of Budapest. Before Tropa Verde, FKF already ran two modern Re-use and Educational Centres, where people could drop off useful old objects and which were frequently visited by school groups.


    However, still about half of all collected waste went to a huge landfill site, and another sizeable proportion was incinerated. Only about 10 percent of municipal waste was collected separately by households and recycled by various companies. Tropa Verde was a chance for Zugló to take a fresh approach to encouraging citizens to recycle more.


    First, a survey of citizens’ attitudes, habits, motivations and needs gave Zugló a basis to plan their new recycling reward scheme, adapting Santiago De Compostela’s platform to their own context. Next, they developed a clear online map enabling residents to find the right recycling facility for a range of waste items.


    With support from the web company who developed Santiago De Compostela’s original ‘Tropaverde’ platform, Zugló launched its own local platform, accessible via the now international tropaverde.org. Just like Santiago De Compostela’s, this links in to an awards, or hulladék.pont, system, involving a whole network of local partners.


    At designated ‘green points’, citizens can get a coupon with a code in exchange for the recyclable or reusable items they drop off. There are also rewards for composting. Points can then be redeemed on Zugló’s Tropa Verde platform – and spent in shops and organisations who have agreed to sponsor the programme.

    Sustainable and integrated urban approach

    The rewards system is an important way of engaging with both businesses and citizens about the environment. To further promote the initiative, the Municipality of Zugló launched a campaign to promote recycling jointly with FKF. And there have been environmental education events in festivals, children’s camps and schools. Other efforts have included a competition to collect batteries and used electronic devices, and a partnership with the Jane Goodall Foundation to collect used mobile phones.


    As the project supports a much wider environmental management strategy, Zugló has benefited from strong political involvement, with the Deputy Mayor a key advocate for the activities throughout.

    Participatory approach

    The URBACT Local Group was particularly active in awareness-raising, thanks to their diverse members from cultural and sports institutions, the city’s philharmonic orchestra – and even Budapest’s Zoo, which is in Zugló. The Tropa Verde project was presented at the Budapest Gastro Festival, where the interested could not only get information about the project, but also get involved in the program by disposing glass waste. Prior to the Covid pandemic, in 2020, experts from the municipality and project partners visited the children's day camps in Zugló several times to raise awareness about conscious waste disposal, recycling and project goals as part of awareness-raising events. Following the pandemic period the municipality, together with a number of local NGOs, launched an online series of programs where participants could learn the tricks of composting in urban and apartment environment through entertaining, playful sessions, or even build an insect hotel. They got to know how to replace disposable packaging with durable solutions in the kitchen, bathroom, learned about clothing repair and recycling practices, and also about the impact of our meals and purchased foods on our environment.


    It has to be underlined that Zugló’s implementation of the project, that started very successfully, has been strongly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and early 2021, as it interfered with all their plans, and forced to cancel promotional events and gather more sponsors.


    Zugló planned to bring the program to local and residential events and festivals, while persuading companies of joining the project. They updated the flyers and created a banner to put on the entrance of joining companies to show that they are part of our program.


    As part of long-term planning, Zugló created a communication plan, and launched the GP by using a mix of offline and online tools.


    Towards the future, as a change, Zugló plans to most be present in more events and to include more companies, to guarantee the success and sustainability of the solution.


    For such purpose, a database for those companies that could potentially be involved was created, and Zugló intended to contact them during the lockdown.


    To summarize, Zugló has struggled to get sponsors to join the project and even those who joined had to close for business before even starting to accept coupons.

    What difference has it made

    At the start of the program, 6 waste disposal sites participated in the program, which we later wanted to supplement with a minimum of 10 pharmacies and 2 donation shops, but this plan unfortunately failed due to the pandemic situation.


    In 2020, we reached about 200 elementary school students at our attitude-forming events. In the spring of 2021, we ran various awareness-raising campaigns and reached more than 6,000 people on the municipality's Internet channels.


    Within the framework of the campaign, we promoted the 2 waste disposal sites included in the program for 2 weeks with the participation of FKF, where we drew 6 horticultural vouchers among the participants.


    In an online lecture for local residents, a specialist from FKF gave a lecture on the ways of waste management in the capital with the participation of 30 interested people. In May, we held attitude-forming online programs with the participation of 5 civil organizations, 9 times, with the participation with a total of about 200 people. In cooperation with FKF, we held attitude-forming sessions in 9 kindergartens with the participation of about 1,000 children. The map containing the waste disposal sites created under the project has so far been used by almost 3,000 people.

    Transferring the practice

    Meetings with partner cities – including an event in Budapest in June 2018 – were great opportunities to exchange experiences and learn from each other, which enabled Zugló to identify similar problems in waste management and learn new skills to tackle them.


    The aim is now to get more residents involved post-COVID and hopefully to roll out the programme across all districts of Budapest.


    The hope is that each area of the city will set up its own URBACT-style local group, involving local sponsors across the city to promote the circular economy.

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  • BioCanteens

    LEAD PARTNER : Mouans-Sartoux - France
    • LAG Pays des Condruses - Belgium
    • Rosignano Marittimo - Italy
    • Vaslui - Romania
    • Torres Vedras - Portugal
    • Troyan - Bulgaria
    • Trikala - Greece



    Kick-off meeting

    Transfer Period

    End of Transfer Period + Sharing Period

    BioCanteens Transfer Network is about ensuring the distribution of sustainable school meals in participating cities as a key lever towards the development of an integrated local agri-food approach, protecting both citizens’ health and the environment. The project aims to transfer Mouans-Sartoux’s Good Practice in the field of collective school catering, to other highly committed cities across Europe. Mouans-Sartoux’s Good Practice is based on the daily distribution of meals that are 100% organic and mostly composed of local products, the drastic reduction of food waste thereby fully compensating the higher cost of switching to organic products, and the organisation of dedicated educational activities to raise children’s awareness about sustainable food.

    Education - Food - Environment - Local Economy - Governance
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  • Food for cities


    Urban food policy for an inclusive, integrated and sustainable development of cities

    Chiara Minotti
    EU Affairs Office
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    1 368 590


    Population growth in cities brings many challenges to municipalities, such as providing food in a sustainable and equal way, reducing food waste, promoting healthy diets and purchasing food which respects the environment and workers' dignity. To overcome these issues, Milan (IT) launched in 2015 the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, an international protocol focusing on food policies aiming at engaging cities in a more sustainable urban development. Thanks to the Pact, Milan experienced the regeneration of suburban areas of the city, among which the historical Lorenteggio market, which became a social integration centre, and the Cascina Nosedo farmhouse, that will be turned into a place for innovation, fostering entrepreneurship and peri-urban agriculture.

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    The practice presents an integrated, holistic and sustainable solution to different problems experienced by the city of Milan, by fostering the regeneration of suburbs, the promotion of open innovation, entrepreneurship, innovation policy and labour, by reducing food waste, promoting healthy diets, encouraging the purchase of food produced in an environmentally respectful way, and by respecting human rights and workers’ dignity. It is an integrated practice because food turns out to be the main changing factor of suburban areas and society. The Pact leads to concrete actions including the restructuring of some peripheral areas of the city of historical importance (i.e. Cascina Nosedo and Lorenteggio market), and the implementation of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, the commitment to the coordination of international food policy which has been subscribed by 137 cities since its launch. The pact aims at making the city more sustainable, and addressed the urban cycle of food (production, processing, logistics, distribution, consumption, and waste) following these priorities: ensure healthy food and sufficient drinking water as a primary element for the population, promote the sustainability of the food system and consumer awareness of healthy, safe, culturally appropriate, sustainable food produced and distributed with respect for human rights and the environment, the fight against waste, and the support and promotion of scientific agri-food research.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    The practice of the City of Milan tackles the challenge of sustainable urban living over an integrated approach to solve different problems of the city. In the last years, our city showed to be a transforming metropolitan area increasingly dedicated to environmental protection, nutritional awareness, social justice and sustainability. However, if “thought food” is a key component of Italian culture, a sustainable strategy on local food systems was still lacking. In the course of Universal Expo 2015, Milan therefore started to develop specific policies targeted on the theme of food as strategic asset for urban local policies. In fact, by promoting the MUFPP, the City of Milan adopted a shared and coordinated food policy, engaging other signatory cities towards a more sustainable and fair urban development. It is evident that food is the key driver of every action presented in this best practice: food for the regeneration of suburban areas focusing on its valorisation as a factor of change, for the promotion of innovative entrepreneurship targeting the agri-food sector in particular, and food as means of fostering international cooperation, and sustainable and fair urban policies.

    Based on a participatory approach

    A quadruple helix approach was adopted by the City of Milan to confront the challenges presented by the good practice, processing a multi-level governance model. The stakeholders involved in the actions related to the implementation of the food policy and urban regeneration are mostly local actors with a solid experience in food and management, such as: Cariplo foundation, a private philanthropic grant-providing organisation; Milan Catering, which provides food for the city's school canteens; Metropolitana Milanese, responsible for public water supply; the Milanese Agricultural District, which established a special agricultural cooperative consortium to promote agricultural activities and support SMEs in the food sector; Parco Tecnologico Padano (PTP Science and Technology Park), the leading Italian Science and Technology Park operating in the agro-food sector and its incubator Alimenta; the University of Milan and Milan Polytechnic University, providing both scientific and academic support; Cineca, Avanzi Srl and Impattozero Srl involved as scientific partners; Future Food Institute as developer of food fab-labs blending culinary tools with 3D printers; two charities, Sungal and La Strada Social Cooperative; and the cultural association Dynamosopio, involved in the regeneration of Lorenteggio market, implementing activities of cultural and social interest for the people living in that suburban area.

    What difference has it made?

    Thanks to this good practice, the City of Milan improved its administrative procedures and problem-solving strategies with an integrative method. In fact, the municipality enhanced its approach in facing urban issues by starting to analyse problems, then implementing an integrated approach to solving these issues through the involvement of different levels of local government, actors and stakeholders that could provide support to find appropriate solutions. Through the development of the local food policy, the promotion and signature of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, an innovative model of governance was introduced in order to make the City more sustainable, promoting the values of social inclusion, environmental sustainability, fair trade, decentralised cooperation, change of life habits and the fight against poverty. In addition, the practice shows the potentiality of food policies in improving some needy districts of the city, regenerating urban areas (i.e Cascina Nosedo farmhouse as the future new hub of the area), and fostering the entrepreneurial development of innovative agro-food SMEs and start-ups.

    Why should other European cities use it?

    The good practice of Milan could be of great value and importance for other European cities, because it tackles common urban problems and issues experienced by a wide range of municipalities throughout Europe, proposing concrete and sustainable solutions through an integrated urban approach. Moreover, the practice raised awareness on challenges and opportunities of urban food policy, underlining the importance of food waste reduction, the promotion of healthy diets, the purchase of food produced in a sustainable way, and the respect of human rights and worker dignity. The regeneration of suburban areas is a common challenge of many European cities where Milan's good practice could be also applied. Similarly, the valorisation of food as changing factor for the development of local innovative enterprises is an important asset for cities, leading to a smart growth that improves the life of citizens. All actions related to the good practice focus on concrete problems experienced by cities, giving a practical answer to these issues in an integrated and sustainable approach. Some good practices of food policies have already been successfully developed by MUFPP signatory cities, as shown in the enclosed booklet “MUFPP Good Practice”, in particular for general healthy nutrition and a careful management of resources to avoid food waste.

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  • Spring clean-up campaign


    Engaging citizens in their city's environmental maintenance, promoting environmental awareness and volunteer work

    Monika Jasson
    Project manager
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    440 949


    Every year from April to May, the City of Tallinn (EE) holds a big Spring Clean-Up Campaign. Volunteers get together to clean salt from streets, plant trees and flowers, pick up litter from Baltic beaches. There are celebrations and a far-reaching environmental awareness campaign. In terms of waste management, the main actions are to remove self-generated landfills, collect hazardous waste and clean up roads and green areas. This involves the city cooperating with waste treatment companies, residents of city districts, non-profit associations, apartment associations, schools, youth organisations and pensioners. The Spring Clean-Up Campaign is widely publicised in Estonian and Russian, with a public screen in the central Freedom Square, coverage in district newspapers, a campaign website and a booklet "The ABC of Public Facilities and Maintenance". In 2017, the event took place for the 26th time.

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    Clean-up of roads, residential areas and green areas. Clean-up actions organised by city institutions, district authorities, NGOs, local communities, schools and residential associations. Planting of trees in schools on Earth Day. An educational project for schools: "Let’s see, know and do!" Participation in European Clean-up Day. Demonstration of environmentally friendly cleaning products. Mobile collection of hazardous wastes in residential areas.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    For each year, the city has planned a specific budget to organise the Spring Clean-Up Campaign, covering the costs for different city-wide activities related to maintenance. All the city districts are involved in the activities of the Spring Clean-Up Campaign and the needs for specific activities are discussed jointly. In addition, opening and closing events of the Spring Clean-Up Campaign are organised. In the opening event, the traditional Spring Clean-Up Campaign is officially declared open and in the closing event, the most active and industrious participants of the maintenance works are thanked and recognised. There are traditional activities, such as washing the waiting shelters for urban public transportation and cleaning urban waste and trash from roads and pavements. In addition, road salt is removed from the streets during the Spring Clean-Up Campaign. Trash piles, which have accumulated over time, are also removed.

    Based on a participatory approach

    If such events are regularly organised each year, then people want to participate and wait for the next event, so as to help keep their home surroundings in good order. The time and place of a specific event is announced in the local newspaper (Linnaleht) and the citizens are invited to participate. Posters are placed in public places and public institutions, announcing the time and place of the event, and advertisements are displayed in supermarkets informing the audience of the specific event taking place in their city district. In public transportation, if there are screens available, information about the events organised in the city is displayed. City district governments send e-mail invitations to different authorities located in the city to participate in these events.

    What difference has it made?

    Regarding the information campaign of the Spring Clean-Up Campaign, there is an animation clip that is shown on TV, on the website's home page, on Facebook, in public transportation and on the screen located at Freedom Square (Vabaduse väljak). There are also urban media, information days, outdoor posters, hanging banners. The people’s environmental awareness has increased. Satisfaction surveys of the citizens of Tallinn show that the Spring Clean-Up Campaign is well-known (69% of all citizens) and people participate willingly in many events and cleaning campaigns.

    Why should other European cities use it?

    Organising the Spring Clean-Up Campaign is a very good opportunity for local government to include city residents in the maintenance of their home surroundings. Such activities increase the satisfaction of people and help them to change their habits. Therefore, it is easier to acknowledge the importance of each person’s contribution in ensuring proper maintenance.

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  • The second chance: recovery and repair


    Recovery of furniture providing recovery for people

    Maria Gonzalez
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    543 005


    A cooperation - between the Gothenburg City (SE) administration for social welfare allocation and two local IKEA department stores - was launched in 2014 to provide homeless people with a step towards the labour market. The partnership enables people who have lived with isolation and abuse to strengthen their self-esteem, gain meaningful work and furnish their homes.
    IKEA's recovery department has furniture that they can no longer sell because of transport damage to packaging or to the products themselves. Participants use a truck to pick up the discarded pieces of furniture at IKEA, fix them in a workshop, then display the repaired items. Other people in the group can then choose the furniture they need. A win-win situation: the participants, and the furniture, all get their second chance.

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    The solutions are: job training; recycling of discarded furniture; a good social context; cooperation between the municipal and the private sectors. It's good for the target group, good for the furniture company, good for the environment and good for society. It's proven that equality creates a better context for all citizens, not only for the target group of homeless people. These are solutions that are easy to copy elsewhere.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    Homelessness is a global urban problem and in the context of good practice this is an absolutely brilliant idea to give homeless people the possibility of taking the first step to the labour market. The URBACT fund is addressing common problem such as homelessness and drug abuse that are the dark side of the urban environment, but there can be great solutions to these problems. We strongly believe that a second chance is good for everyone. All people have hidden abilities that we can find if we give them a second chance, or a third or a fourth. If you believe in humanity you also have to believe that everyone can grow. This is a context where the individuals can find their own strength grow and also find their own hidden abilities. This is in line with the URBACT positive approach.

    Based on a participatory approach

    From interviews with the participants about the project, we have found out what they believe and think about the content. The majority of them see that they are more ready for work than before and they also can see that their self-esteem has increased. They see that they have got something meaningful to do and that the work they do gives other people something that is useful for them, new furniture. Stakeholders are the allocation for social welfare and the city districts, IKEA and substance abuse treatment institutions.

    What difference has it made?

    This is a part of the ordinary activities in the municipality of Gothenburg addressing the homelessness problem since 2014. It has never been evaluated externally, although this has never been a project with external funding. We don't get any money for the restored furniture as it is donated by IKEA and then given away. This is a very fruitful cooperation between the municipality and IKEA, and both parts are very happy with the cooperation we have. For the target group, this has made a huge difference in the quality of life of the most vulnerable on the outskirts of urban life.

    Why should other European cities use it?

    All the things we have done are transferable to other cities. The target group of homeless people is to be found in every large or medium-sized city. Homeless but not hopeless is something that we work by. In our case we have worked with IKEA and if other cities want to do the same, IKEA department stores are to be found everywhere in EU. We are sure that this small but smart idea can interest any city that is struggling with poverty, homelessness and vulnerability. We will be glad to show how.

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  • Areas of Commercial Coverage


    An innovative model to keep small, local markets alive and promote social cohesion

    Simona Laguzzi
    Public Area and Administrative Service
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    897 265


    When the Politecnico of Torino analysed the traditional markets of Torino (IT) in 2014, it discovered that 10 of the city’s 42 open markets were low economic performers and risked being closed. But the City of Torino, in charge of markets management, saw that even non-competitive markets were valuable for promoting social aggregation and healthy and eco-friendly habits, preventing degradation in outer neighbourhoods, and providing local services to the elderly and people with low mobility.
    So to help them stay open, the Municipality designed a new model for local markets. ACC – Areas of Commercial Coverage – define small markets (two to six stalls) that feature food (meat, fish, or vegetables) and involve a lighter management system (self-waste management). In this way, the City reduced its maintenance costs for these markets, and secured a local service for the community, boosting commercial activities and social cohesion.

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    The solution offered by the ACC is beneficial for the local community and for the administration since it reduces the management costs for a service without removing it. The City of Torino has acknowledged the low performance of a number of markets, as well as their being essential for the local communities. Since the main task of the administration is not economic profit, but the provision of services with particular attention to the most disadvantaged citizens, the solution adopted by Torino aimed at reaching a number of beneficial goals:

    1. Avoiding the risk of unemployment for stall operators, mostly immigrants, by giving them the possibility to remain in the ACC or to move to another market;
    2. Keeping the public space alive and used by local citizens, including both the marketplace and neighbouring green spaces, leisure areas, etc.;
    3. Keeping outer districts active from a commercial and social point of view (both markets and local shops, cafés, etc);
    4. Granting the daily provision of fresh food in all city areas by having a widespread market network;
    5. Giving the responsibility to each stall to dispose of its own waste, meaning less cleaning costs for the municipality;
    6. Avoiding trips to distant commercial places, thus reducing traffic and CO2 emissions;
    7. Improving the commercial attractiveness of the ACCs by rationalising the former stalls distribution;
    8. Avoiding depriving the elderly and low mobility people from their gathering place.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    The ACC experience combines many aspects connected to the sustainable and integrated urban development approach, since it deals with jobs protection, sustainability measures and the smart use of the public space, giving positive externalities to the surrounding urban tissue. The low performance of a number of markets in Torino represented a risk to all the small companies working in those markets, as well as to the commercial activities/retailers based in the concerned areas. The decision to reshape the markets according to actual customer requests and to give them a lighter management structure was the solution to avoid job loss and urban and social degradation. An important reason to create an ACC instead of closing up a market was the environmental impact that would have been generated by forcing people to move from their neighbourhood to do their basic daily shopping. The compulsory presence within each ACC of vegetables and other foods represents the provision of a basic service for people with fewer possibilities. Moreover, this measure is particularly attentive to raising the environmental and public responsibility of the stall operators so that they are required to dispose of their own waste by bringing it to a specific collection point.

    Based on a participatory approach

    The whole process has been developed according to Art. 47 of City Council Regulation no. 305 of 21 February 2005 regulating retail in public areas. The concerned article sets up the “Forms of representations for the market operators” by establishing Market Committees and a Technical Advisory Committee. The latter is formed by the Deputy Mayor in charge of Commerce, a representative of the local police, the head of the Markets Department of the City of Torino, the representatives of the trade associations and the representatives of the consumer associations. Paragraph 4 of Art. 47 states that the Technical Advisory Committee must be summoned to take decisions concerning retail in public areas. That is why the decision not to close down low performing markets, but to establish ACCs instead, has been taken with the involvement and agreement of all the relevant stakeholders represented in the committee. The involvement of all relevant associations is also established in the Protocol of Intent signed on 20 January 2015 between the City of Torino and the main associations. Moreover, the process was also shared with the concerned city district local governments (Circoscrizioni). In each city district a public meeting was organised to present the project and each assembly voted to approve the initiative. Finally, each stall operator has been given the choice to join the ACC or to move to the nearest market area.

    What difference has it made?

    The main reason for undertaking such an initiative is the preservation of the role of community markets as places of identity and social gathering. This initiative has prevented negative effects from the suppression of a local service which might have caused the degradation of the public space previously devoted to markets, the generation of more trips to reach other commercial areas, the decline of the shops and commercial activities located in the market area. Moreover, the stall operators have been granted the possibility to keep their own regular customers, since fidelity is one of the main drivers of the seller-customer relationship. Finally, the users of the concerned markets/ACCs have perceived the role of the public administration as the “keeper” of the common good, regardless of the economic priorities. The first result that can be documented concerns the savings by the city administration connected to the waste management costs of the ACCs, calculated at more than €100,000 for 2016, and €340,000 per year when at full power.

    Why should other European cities use it?

    The good practice implemented by the City of Torino might be very interesting for many types of cities. Mediterranean cities are particularly concerned by the phenomenon of open-air urban markets and might face the same challenges as Torino in terms of commercial competition and loss of purchasing power of a remarkable portion of citizens. They might be interested in developing the model of ACCs by adapting it to their local and national regulations, public spaces, commercial and social habits. Moreover, ACCs can be implemented in cities of various sizes since they are very locally based, and are not affected by the overall dimension of the city. City administrations might consider ACCs as a good instrument to reinforce their relationship and dialogue with those citizens living in peripheral and/or more disadvantages areas, by committing to a project that unites the administration and its citizens around the challenges of common issues: employment, affordability and proximity of services, environmental protection.

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  • Tropa Verde, rewarding recycling!

    Santiago De Compostela

    Boosting environmental responsibility through gaming and rewarding

    Milagros Castro Sánchez
    Environment counselor
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    97 260
    • Adapted by cities from


    Tropa Verde is a multimedia platform set up by Santiago de Compostela (ES) to encourage environmentally responsible behaviour. Using a game-based web platform, citizens can win recycling vouchers and exchange them for rewards from the City Council and local retailers.
    The project started after a 2015 survey showed that many inhabitants were reluctant to recycle due to habit and a lack of information. In under two years, recycling had soared: more than 115 local sponsors had delivered 800 rewards, from hotel accommodations to beauty treatments. Citizens received these gifts or discounts in exchange for 16,000 "recycling actions" in social and civic centres and green points.
    There were also workshops, street actions and other promotional activities. School campaigns have collected thousands of litres of used cooking oil and 3,299 electric appliances. Today, Tropa Verde is active in at least six cities.

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    Tropa Verde is a multimedia platform that aims at promoting recycling and environmental responsibility among the citizens by rewarding good environmental practices; increasing recycling rates; promoting the environmental awareness of the citizenship applying gaming and rewarding techniques. It uses a game-based web platform at where citizens can exchange recycling points for rewards from the City Council and local retailers. The website connects the elements necessary to achieve the objective: the places where citizens can dispose of waste and where they will be rewarded if they do so (green points, civic and social centres, recovery points, etc.), and local businesses that collaborate by providing gifts or discounts, such as retailers, restaurants, outdoor activities and shops. For successful implementation, all players are required. Tropa Verde is led by Santiago de Compostela, developed by local technology company Teimas Desenvolvemento, and now adopted by more than six cities.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    Tropa Verde directly aims at encouraging and increasing re-using and recycling, bringing up significant savings for the cities and contributing to efficiency in the use of the resources and to the improvement of environmental quality, fully in line with the objectives of the EU2020 Strategy and its Resource Efficiency Flagship Initiative. Its benefits are clear for the municipalities and other stakeholders:

    • It encourages re-use and recycling, facilitates efficient waste collection, and reduces waste disposed, which brings savings for the councils.
    • It facilitates compliance with the Waste Framework Directive and Circular Economy related Directives, allowing increasing rates of reduction, reuse and recycling of waste.
    • It facilitates recycling, increasing the number of collection points for some waste products that are especially difficult to collect, such as used cooking oil or electrical and electronic equipment.
    • It reduces the environmental impact and the costs associated with waste management.
    • It has a positive impact on the citizen behavior, as it offers direct rewards to environmental responsible actions.
    • From a political perspective, thanks to its innovative and participatory approach, it offers a great potential of visibility of the environmental efforts carried out by the municipalities

    Based on a participatory approach

    There is a strong involvement of local stakeholders in the development and implementation of the practice in Tropa Verde. The collaborating entities in this project are: Santiago's City Council; civic and local social centres; Urbaser, the municipal solid waste (MSW) management company; and Teimas Desenvolvemento, in charge of the technological side of the project as well as the promotion and the marketing plan. Local sponsors include retailers, restaurants, shops and other businesses; and the citizens of Santiago de Compostela. Schools participate in environmental education campaigns.

    What difference has it made?

    Tropa Verde has been implemented in this city since 2015 with great success: 4065 users in 5 years, with 29 recycling points located throughout the city and issuing vouchers; over; 150 sponsors; 2,302 rewards offered; more than €15,000 in prizes and rewards; over 15,168 vouchers given; close to 2000 Facebook followers; more than 820 Twitter followers; and over 1500 rewards delivered. There have been several workshops for children: Recycle, Reutilise and Play with Tropa Verde to commemorate the European Environment Week and two school campaigns "Recycling at school is rewarded". The campaign consists of the collection of used cooking oil and electrical and electronic appliances involving 20 different educational centres, with a total of 2,416 students. In the school campaigns, a total of 2,356 litres of used cooking oil and 3,299 electrical and electronic appliances were collected. From the beginning of the initiative, the involvement of citizens towards recycling has been highly increased, with a higher volume of visitors at the waste collection points. Tropa Verde's initiative has improved environmental quality and, consequently, the citizens’ quality of life, while at the same time promoting the local economy.

    Transferring the practice

    Santiago de Compostela led the Tropa Verde Network over 2.5 years, transferring its practices to 5 other cities: Guimarães (Portugal), Dimos Pavlou Mela (Greece), Urban Community Nice Côte d'Azur (France), Opole Agglomeration (Poland) and Zugló (Hungary). You can, in particular, check Zugló ‘s Good practice here. The approach was based on 2 stages: the Core transfer learning stage (Understanding and adapting), the mature stage – Reuse (testing), covering the stages followed by Santiago for its own process.

    Main Theme
    Is a transfer practice
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