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  • Enriching the urban jungle with bees

    Poland
    Bydgoszcz

    Connecting sites for bees freedom

    Natalia Majewska
    Department of Integrated Development and Environment
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    350 000
    • Adapted by

    Summary

    Bees are rich in terms of biodiversity protection, education development and touristic attraction. Transferring the practice of Lubljana, Bydgoszcz develop its own approach of connecting sites in the city that are bee-friendly and where apiaries can be visited. This is also included in a wider campaign for bee awareness and protection.

    Solutions offered by the good practice

    Bydgoszcz is the eighth largest city in Poland, part of the Bydgoszcz–Toruń metropolitan area, set on the on the Brda and Vistula rivers in northern Poland. It is an increasingly important economic centre, but the city is well known for its water, Art Nouveau buildings, and urban greenery – including the largest city park in Poland (830 ha).

    The city has a dynamic approach to sustainable development as part of its efforts to improve the quality of life of the city’s inhabitants. Against this background, Bydgoszcz wanted to link its agricultural land and green spaces with ecological education and took a particular interest in Ljubljana’s approach to connecting sites in the city that are bee-friendly and where apiaries can be visited.

    The City started to test and promote the quality of Bydgoszcz honey and used World Bee Day to implement a campaign on the ‘Urban reality of bees and people - let’s create a more bee-friendly world’, including photos at bus and tram stops, and messages on billboards. A local biologist produced a brochure on proper human behaviour towards bees and an exhibition.

    But for ULG Coordinator, Justyna Olszewska, a highlight was local teachers getting enthusiastic about teaching children about bees. They developed a new educational programme called “With Bees Throughout the Year”, which gives children the opportunity to get to know about bees, beekeeping and related topics around health, plants and nature.

    Sustainable and integrated urban approach

    The approach undertaken by Bydgoszcz is fully aligned with the integrated approach of the Practice of Ljubljana that it transferred. Ecological practices related to beekeeping have been developed. The new EU project “Bez Lipy” introduces participatory approach to greenery development and a member of URBACT local group participates in the works.

    The practice is also focusing on children and their education and attitude towards bees. This has also meant the development of professional skills and capacity to raise their awareness and develop bee-related activities as well as the enlargement of the network of urban beekeepers in the city. The city also promotes new (touristic) products and services related to beekeeping such as educational workshops run by Dawid Kilon, a biologist, guide and draftsman and bee-keeping workshops run at WSG University of Economy in Bydgoszcz.

    Participatory approach

    Bydgoszcz municipality formed an URBACT Local Group (ULG) mixing around 30 members - beekeepers, teachers, entrepreneurs, researchers, local tour guides and interested individuals. The group identified 16 places in the city with apiaries and melliferous potential to appear on their own Bee Path map of 16 stops – from a roof on the university, through Shopping Mall with beehives, pollinator houses in city parks, sensory garden at school, Bydgoszcz Soap Works to the botanical garden.

    What difference has it made

    In 2018 the City of Bydgoszcz lifted the ban on beekeeping in the city centre. Within the project we have managed to get to know beekeepers and educators who are ready to share their knowledge – in the very 2021 there are new beehives in the city centre: in May an apiary was installed by Mateusz Andryszak in Ostromecko Park and Palace Ensemble, and in June another one was installed in the Biziel University Hospital (Mateusz guided the endeavour). There are more and more bees initiatives application within the city grants and Bydgoszcz Citizens’ Participatory Budget, e.g. in 2022 there will be a municipal beehive installed and a bee-themed playground. Bydgoszcz is also starting the promotion of the Bee Education Programme in schools and we celebrate World Bee Day by installing the exhibition on bees that is accessible and offered to download and use as an open source and to be installed in any other city that wishes to educate about bees.

    Transferring the practice

    Visiting Ljubljana in April 2019 - together with stakeholders of BeePathNet’s other partner cities - members of Bydgoszcz’s ULG were truly inspired by how they too could create their own story around bees, linking to history, architecture and natural values.

    The city hopes to install the popular bee educational programme across the whole education sector, from kindergarten up. There are also plans that Ania Izdebska with the local Tourist Office will create a ‘Bee Quest Game’ that will complement the town’s existing game for visitors.

    Finally, the city also plans to explore further business opportunities and promotion, to take advantage of the growing interest in the project - including in other towns in the region.

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  • FED

    Sweden
    Gothenburg

    Fossil Free Energy Districts - a piece of the puzzle for energy transition

    Stina Rydberg
    Johanneberg Science Park Gothenburg
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    579 281
    • In partnership with

    Summary

    Global warming has made the transition to renewable energy sources absolutely necessary and urgent. At the same time the power demand is increasing due to electrification of transport and industry and urbanisation, followed by grid constrains and risk for blackouts. 

     

    Local energy systems, digitally connected to and interacting with external, existing energy systems, have the potential to solve challenges connected to renewable systems and could thus be an important piece of tomorrows’ energy system puzzle. The Fossil-free Energy Districts project, FED, was an innovative initiative aiming to find modern solutions to global energy challenges and make it work. 
    FED has built up a local energy system, coupling three energy carriers in the same system: electricity, district heating and district cooling. All three are traded every hour, on the hour, at a digital marketplace, shaving power peaks and optimising the total energy consumption, in the local system. The system is able to provide the external grid with services for grid stability e.g. flexibility aggregation, reactive power and frequency control. 

     

    The results show a 100% fossil-free energy district, where local waste heating and cooling can be utilised and with a potential for energy efficiency of up to 20%. 

    The innovative solution

    FED has proven an innovative, digital solution to meet challenges in the energy transition. It has built up a local energy system, coupling three energy carriers in the same system: electricity, district heating and district cooling. All three are traded every hour at a digital marketplace, shaving power peaks and optimising the total energy consumption, in the local system. The system is able to provide the external grid with services for grid stability e.g. flexibility aggregation, reactive power and frequency control. 
    The results show a 100% fossil-free energy district, where local waste heating and cooling can be utilised and with a potential for energy efficiency up to 20%.  After project end, the actors can offer knowledge and replication strategies to cities, or others, wishing to make use of local energy systems and smart, digital platforms for balancing and optimising local energy systems. 

    A collaborative and participative work

    The well-balanced partnership in FED was made up of actors from public sector, academia and ICT, real estate and energy business. Factors of success were the large elements of learning from each other and the joint development of new knowledge and new technology solutions. The real estate industry could not do this without the energy utility involved, nor vice versa. The research partners provided excellence e.g. regarding market design. Public sector partners added the municipal and governance dimension. The project was jointly developed in an environment, where most partners already were known to each other. Trust was already built among the partners and this, together with the local setting and use of native language, has been pointed out as keys to success. 

    The impact and results

    The FED project has moved the frontline for what is possible on the area of local energy systems. Utilise sector coupling by combining three energy carriers, in the same system and enabling trade of all three of them on a digital platform is unique. FED has done what others just talk about and we have hands-on experience from e.g. connecting more than 50 market participants to one single system, handling large amount of complex data and developing an IoT platform with “smart agents” representing each market participant. A lot of time and effort has been put into identifying opportunities and barriers for local energy systems in real life. Legislation, business models, roles and governance are issues around which a great deal of knowledge has been built. Strategies for replication have been developed. 

    Why this good practices should be transferred to other cities?

    Global warming has made a transition from fossil-based to renewable energy sources urgent, which brings about new challenges, e.g. supply fluctuations due to the weather dependencies and decreased frequency control. Power demand is increasing due to electrification of transport and industry. Strong urbanisation has in some cases lead to severe constrains in power grid, with power shortage and higher risk for blackouts. There is not a single solution to solve all these challenges but local energy systems, connected to and interacting with external, existing energy systems, could play an important role in facing the challenges. A digital solution, e.g. a system like the one developed in FED, is vital for balancing and optimizing the energy systems of tomorrow. The challenges of energy transition are a reality in several areas of Europe and initiatives and projects with smart grid and local energy systems can be found in many cities. We have implemented and demonstrated a system with high technical level and high degree of complexity. The system solution in itself is adaptable and can easily be adjusted to meet local challenges. The experience that the project parties have gained is very valuable for any other city that want to address the challenges of energy transition with the help of a local energy system. 

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  • Vilawatt

    Spain
    Viladecans

    Innovative local public-private-citizen partnership for energy governance

    Marina Jarque
    Municipality of Viladecàns
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    66 168
    • Adapted by cities from
    • In partnership with

    Summary

    VILAWATT is boosting the energy transition process in the Catalan city of Viladecans by setting up a public-private-citizen partnership (PPCP, taking the legal form of a Consortium) where citizens of Viladecans and its main social actors play a key role. Viladecans priority was to increase citizen commitment and sense of belonging to promote a sustainable energy transition process. 

     

    Main achievements so far are:

     

    Governance- Citizens have a say at the Consortium through the associations linked to it. These associations have been created thanks to Vilawatt’s participatory strategy, as they did not exist before.

     

    Energy supply– Vilawatt pools the demand for energy and provides energy to all association members (100% Certified Renewable Energy) 
    Faster energy retrofitting of private buildings - Three residential buildings (in an underprivileged district) have received 1,4 M€ investment in a process that has been boosted by the city hall. The neighbours were part of the decision making process of the retrofitting works.
    Consulting services and learning communities - targeted at 10 different social actors: schools, retail sector, companies, unemployed…
    Efficiency incentives – Vilawatt local currency - The creation of a local electronic currency linked to energy savings also revitalises our retail sector (especially innovative in pandemic times). 

    The innovative solution

    • Boosting the shift towards a low-carbon economy: VILAWATT project has created a new organizational structure with a new set of tools to empower citizens and communities on energy saving and deep energy renovation issues.
    • Promoting citizen engagement to boost the change on the energy model: The bottom-up design process amongst all beneficiaries and involved actors (especially kids) has been essential to its success.
    • Enhancing employment possibilities: VILAWATT project has included a special focus on improving capacities of the local professionals, workers and unemployed on deep energy renovation, energy savings assessment and RES integration with thematic workshops and trainings 
    • Revitalising the local sector: With the new digital currency linked to energy transition and energy savings we are revitalising the local sector and contributing to circular economy.

    A collaborative and participative work

    • 9 partners (public and private) coordinated by the municipality of Viladecans have been involved in the project, each of them with a specific field of expertise (energy contracts, local currency, neighbours mediation, rehabilitation works...). 
    • One key achievement has been the development of a Participatory Strategic Plan that analyses the specific role played by 10 different social actors, mainly: neighbours (benefitting from all the company´s services); schools (11 schools are implementing energy-saving programs); construction companies (they exchange ideas and good practices), unemployed (they receive trainings in the energy field) and local trades (they accept the currency).

    The impact and results

    Vilawatt has succeeded on building a complex governance structure and implementing its services in a short implementation period. Some challenges were related to the effective engagement of neighbours in energy transition processes (solution: innovative communication, gamification), the implementation of the local currency, and the fiscal barriers that affected the beneficiaries of the subsidy for renovations (solution: being creative and finding fast alternatives to local barriers). Vilawatt has created so far:

    • 1 one-stop administration offering energy supply, consultancy, local currency, retrofitting works;
    • 1 Consortium governing the structure;
    • 3 retrofitted buildings;
    • 33 participative actions;
    • 14 communication campaigns.

    Why this good practices should be transferred to other cities?

    This project is lined up with the EU Energy Strategy and the policies related for a secure, competitive and sustainable energy. Viladecans Municipality seeks to speed-up its ambitious energy transition project in order to achieve the 2030 Energy Strategy targets (40% less greenhouse gas emissions, 27% share of RES consumption, 27% energy savings).
    At regional and local levels, Vilawatt is also aligned with the Energy Savings Plan 2011-2020, from Spanish Government and also the Catalan regulations on Energy building renovations.  
    Vilawatt’s approach can be interesting for medium cities willing to boost their energy transition strategy. Although Vilawatt structure (meaning its governance structure plus all its services) is complex to implement in a short period of time, some of its aspects can be replicated individually. 
    All phases of the project have been designed in a way that they can be replicated in other cities. However, given that buildings have different energy behavior depending on the geographical area, the retrofitting models & actions need to be specifically-tailored. Also local regulations may vary depending on the local/regional/national context and need to be carefully checked in advance. 

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    17067
  • OpenAGRI

    Italy
    Milan

    New Skills for new Jobs in Peri-urban Agriculture

    Rossana Torri
    Comune di Milano
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    1 352 000
    • Adapted by cities from
    • In partnership with

    Summary

    The City of Milan decided to set up an urban coalition with a series of partners (Universities, companies, associations) in order to apply for the first call of UIA Initiative, with the desire to scale up this positioning in the peri-urban agricultural industry, setting up a stable growth and creating new jobs and skills.
    OpenAgri is mainly an urban policy experimentation that follows the place-based approach, focusing on new skills for new jobs in peri-urban agriculture. The project area can be defined as an “urban fringe”, representing the transition zone between the consolidated part of the City and the agricultural lands. The challenge was to locate an innovative urban service aimed at creating new jobs, skills, start- ups and innovation in agri-food sector while increasing the level of resilience and sustainability of the City.
    OpenAgri (1) improved entrepreneurship by fostering the creation of new innovative firms and social enterprises focusing on sustainability in periurban agriculture and the agri-food sector; (2) Contributed to the overall regeneration of a fringe area promoting a strong focus on social inclusion; and (3) Exploited the potential of several food policy experiments within a single integrated.

    The innovative solution

    OpenAgri is a step forward in the capacity to deliver an innovative integrated strategy. It represents experimental initiatives in the field of labour and innovation policy. The following solutions can be offered:

    • Solution 1: Educational and training environment: competencies validation and certification, educational services delivery, business planning, linkages with educational institutions;
    • Solution 2: Experimentation Lab: explores innovative techniques in urban agriculture and engage a series of partners on making the best use of public owned 33 hectares plot of land surrounding the south Milan Parco Sud boundaries.
    • Solution 3: Entrepreneurship: The process to find innovative projects, agriculture entrepreneurs, companies and/or startups and other organized parties.
    • Solution 4: Resilient territorial development: The peri-urban transformation of Milano changed due to OpenAgri capacity to create strong, mutually supportive linkages between rural and urban areas and to engage stakeholders, like MMA spa, with the capacity to promote further investment.

    A collaborative and participative work

    OpenAgri partnership is a good example of a participative approach, since it brings local stakeholders from education and training, agricultural, cultural, social and policymakers. It is a very complex and integrated project because it keeps together many different dimensions and makes them work in a specific place, but also in a city systematically. It was an opportunity to relate areas of competence of the administration that are very different from one another and that are used to look at problems from their single point of view. This project necessarily had to confront with the people responsible for environment, urban planning, agriculture, labour. Such an integrated project forced to create new relationships and we learned something from this collaboration.

    The impact and results

    The agro-ecological and landscape design developed by the 30-hectare Masterplan created a new locality for the city. This means designing for shared access to systems and services, planning functional infrastructures, and activating networks between people, places and products.
    The focus was on business development and innovation. The best example is the incubation and startups support that developed innovative projects in agriculture and circular economy, with particular focus on the water resource and its use within the food supply chains, along a cycle that goes from production, to transformation, to consumption, to waste and reuse of waste.
    Acting smart in the context of OpenAgri was not only about technology, but more about the smart use of local resources and amenities and finding the right balance of business diversity, to create an economy that is specialised but still resilient.

    Why this good practices should be transferred to other cities?

    OpenAgri is an experimental project that challenge existing practices and regulations in cities, regions, policy fields and local contexts. The project proved to be an excellent opportunity to experiment a hypothesis of work that is inherent to UIA program. This is very interesting because it means to start not from a regeneration of the container, but from the activation of new economic dynamics.
    It was an opportunity to relate areas of competence of the administration that are very different from one another and that are used to look at problems from their single point of view. This project necessarily had to confront with the people responsible for environment, urban planning, agriculture, labour.
    OpenAgri is now a hub for the agri-food sector but the city wants it to be a more complex hub that will work not only on the themes of peri-urban agriculture, but also on circular economy, trying to put them in relation. They have understood that there are interesting connections between peri-urban agriculture and for example the water cycle, thanks to the nearby water purifier. There is clear evidence that the core principles and components will now apply at a larger scale within Milan but also in other European cities.

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    17066
  • Arts and culture driving climate activism

    Italy
    Mantova

    You can act for climate in a different way than you thought of

    Maria Giulia Longhini
    Project Coordinator
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    48 000
    • In partnership with

    Building on the experience of Manchester’s Good Practice, Mantova has established ARC3A a new group for arts and culture sector collaboration on climate working closely with the city, designed and implemented climate-themed cultural activities to raise awareness about climate emergency and act to mitigate its effects and a range of sector support and policy measures to frame and drive sector action on climate

    Solutions offered by the good practice

    The small town of Mantova is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with fine architecture, which has a thriving creative scene and hosts hundreds of cultural events, including Italy’s most important literature festival. At the same time, addressing climate change is a key political priority for the city.

     

    The municipality wanted to encourage more cross-departmental projects and integrated policy-making within the municipality. Having worked with a group of cultural stakeholders in a previous URBACT network, they discovered a strong interest in the links between art and culture and the environment, corresponding with the aims of C-CHANGE.

     

    The cross-sectoral approach sparked a wealth of ideas and actions to reduce CO2 emissions, including small-scale activities - from reusable cups to bio-gas buses - at cultural events. The group also directly contributed to a new ‘plastic-free’ city strategy, environmental criteria in the city’s UNESCO management plan, and green public procurement processes for cultural events. Meanwhile, inspired by Manchester, small groups of stakeholders delivered carbon literacy training to their own communities.

    Sustainable and integrated urban approach

    The focus of the practice is the adaptation, if not mitigation, to climate change with the inclusion of the Art sector: art as a means and as an end. As such, it covers many areas of the work of municipalities, from social to economy, via heritage and education.

     

    The work of the ULG (see below) has also ensure active cross-departmental approach within the administration.

    Participatory approach

    Environmental experts joined city hall staff and councillors involved in environmental policy, cultural events, venues and heritage in Mantova’s new URBACT Local Group (ULG) - a twist on the MAST model. They conducted a survey on environmental practice in local cultural venues and provided support such as training on sustainable events and an online tool to track audience travel impacts.

     

    Whilst encouraging the local group to be independent, the municipality took on two roles: as sector ambassadors, pushing for sustainable solutions for cultural events and venues; and as fundraisers, securing over EUR 50 000 for additional C-CHANGE activities in the first year.

    What difference has it made

    Mantua enjoyed a C-CHANGE season of COVID-adapted events in summer 2020, including: children’s workshops; an installation on greenhouse gas emissions; a photography exhibition; an amateur photography competition; and children’s radio programmes. These events also reduced their own environmental impact, for example Festival Letteratura rethought the food it serves to its volunteers, and Woodstock MusicAcustica reduced waste and energy use, even changing its name to the C-Change Carbon Free Acoustic Music Festival. 

    Transferring the practice

    Mantova enjoyed a C-CHANGE season of COVID-adapted events in summer 2020, including: children’s workshops; an installation on greenhouse gas emissions; a photography exhibition; an amateur photography competition; and children’s radio programmes. These events also reduced their own environmental impact, for example Festivalletteratura rethought the food it serves to its volunteers, and Woodstock MusicAcustica reduced waste and energy use, even changing its name to the C-Change Carbon Free Acoustic Music Festival.

     

    An “inspirational” trip to Manchester introduced Mantova to members of MAST. They discovered examples of climate awareness raising, from a live energy display in a studio lobby, to sustainable food-sourcing on menus, and Carbon Literacy certificates.

     

    Already looking beyond C-Change, the URBACT Local Group took on a new identity as ARC3A in summer 2020. ARC3A’s journey as a unifying force for supporting the crucial role the arts and culture sector has for improving climate resilience has only just begun.

     

    In addition, Mantova is now set to transfer its adaptation of the C-CHANGE Good Practice to up to seven more Italian cities, thanks to the 2021-2022 URBACT National Practice Transfer Initiative.

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    16448
  • A municipal farm to supply local canteens

    Bulgaria
    Troyan

    Paving the way for city leadership in local food production

    Ivanka Dzhabrailova
    Project Coordinator
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    33 500

    Summary

    Troyan developed the first municipal farm of Bulgaria, with the aim to producing food for its school canteens. During 2.5 years, it got inspired by the Good Practice of Mouans-Sartoux which enabled empowering an already on-going transformation at city local level.  In the long-run, 15 ha of publicly owned land, including 200 m2 of greenhouse tunnel will produce food for the 500 children in the town’s kindergartens.

    Solutions offered by the good practice

    Troyan is a town in the hills of central Bulgaria known for its strong plum brandy and with strong ambitions for its agri-food sector. Its 2014-2020 Municipal Development Plan already prioritised organic farming, support for young farmers, and conservation.

    Troyan aimed at delivering fresh organic products to its school canteens and started working with a research institute to plan the development of organic fruit and vegetable production – including locally-adapted plum and apple varieties. To support this, in 2018, the town announced that 15 ha of publicly owned land would be dedicated to a municipal farm, with areas for vegetables, fruit trees and cattle grazing. Troyan joined the BIOCANTEENS network to help develop an operational process to carry this out.

    Troyan’s municipal farm is the first of its kind in Bulgaria. To achieve this, the town took a step-by-step approach - initially aiming to provide half of the vegetables required in local canteens, then expand production later.

    In March 2019, a meeting with Rozalina Rusenova, Deputy Mayor, confirmed the new farm’s overall infrastructure: three 200 m2 greenhouse tunnels, with an irrigation system and space for a fourth tunnel; and farm building facilities including a hall, storage space, refrigeration chambers and a preparation room for end products.

    Whilst the pandemic and the cold 2019 winter slowed the municipal farm’s development, good progress has been made. Local farmer Maya Genkova was recruited to run the farm – including both production and educational visits.

    Organic fruit orchards and first vegetables were planted in greenhouses at the end of 2020. These are expected to supply fresh organic fruit and vegetables to all 500 children in the town’s kindergartens during the course of 2021. Activities will also be organised for children on site.

    The organic certification process was also launched with the National Food Agency - an essential step before serving the food in school canteens.

    Sustainable and integrated urban approach

    Troyan’s approach followed the main integrating axes of the good practice it was transferring, Mouans-Sartoux:

    • Horizontal integration: by supporting smart land use, organic production and local agri-food systems development, the project has a strong environmental dimension. It also has an economic dimension through the creation of 1 farmer job. From a social aspect, the activities organised on the farm will enable raising awareness of children on local organic production and healthy eating. Production is 100% organic.
    • Territorial integration: the project is totally integrated in the overall strategy of the city as owned by the municipality and directly linked with school canteens provisioning.

    Troyan’s transfer process benefited from a particularly positive situation: the strong political involvement of Mayor Donka Mihaylova to improve the quality of city school canteens; no major financial barriers to set the farm, the city owning a provision of suitable land in a region with good assets for agriculture; a city canteens system relying on “traditional” independent kitchens organized to prepare fresh vegetables and fruits; a good mobilization from start of stakeholders in the ULG involving Heads of all city schools and kindergartens, civil servants and representatives of parents association; last but not least, a BioCanteens’ project that raised the enthusiasm in the local stakeholders ecosystem.

    Participatory approach

    This process was supported by an URBACT Local Group involving heads of all city schools and kindergartens, civil servants, parents’ association, local producers and representatives of children associations.  During the course of the project, 10 ULG meetings with stakeholders’ involvement were held in Troyan. The main subjects discussed during the meetings were the Municipal Farm Platform, the Kitchen Micro-good practices and the organic demand and supply.

    What difference has it made

    • The Municipal Farm has been made with minimum resources;
    • Children are provided with fresh organic vegetables and fruits’;
    • The amount of money parents pay per month for daily kids food at the kindergarten was made cheaper;

    With that difference of that payment, we invest in more quality products.

    Transferring the practice

    Troyan has been part of the BIOCANTEENS Transfer network led by Mouans-Sartoux (France) together with other 5 European cities LAG Pays des Condruses (Belgium), Vaslui (Romania), Trikala (Greece), Rosignano Marittimo (Italy), and Torres Vedras (Portugal).

    The success of Troyan is in part due to a transfer process in the framework of an URBACT network arriving at the right time to boost and implement an ongoing policy orientation toward healthy and sustainable food in the city: this is certainly a lesson learned for URBACT transfer process who best apply when empowering an already on-going transformation at city local level. 

    Beyond the inspiration and guidance provided by Mouans-Sartoux, one of the most valuable network activities was a network workshop on public procurement. This helped Troyan understand what it is possible to achieve with the right plans, procedures and award criteria.

    The transnational meeting hosted in the city itself in July 2019 also had an important local benefit in reinforcing support for the municipality’s agri-food strategy. The involvement of the Mayor Donka Mihaylova in this meeting was key.

    While work with school kitchens and on the municipal farm continues to develop, Troyan is starting to apply new ideas and perspectives on Public Procurement to improve supply to school canteens. Further next steps include an initiative to support the preparation of meals inside school canteens, and expanding the supply of local, healthy organic food to the municipality’s elderly residents.

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    16282
  • Rewarding re-use and recycling

    Hungary
    Zugló

    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.

    Main Theme
    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    16260
  • AGRO CITY - MAC

    Italy
    Pozzuoli

    Agro-Urban Landscape to combat poverty and redevelop the urban environment

    Roberto Gerundo
    Comune di Pozzuoli
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    81 824
    • In partnership with

    Summary

    MAC proposes a series of activities with the aim of redeveloping the urban environment and, at the same time, fighting poverty in the Monterusciello district in Pozzuoli, where the current problems of the social context are combined with a difficult urban environment, characterized by isolation, anonymity and decay of public spaces. The overall objective of the MAC project focuses on the residents' poor economic conditions such as low income and unemployment, the lack of business activities, large abandoned green areas and unused public buildings, as well as a lack of quality relationships and trust between citizens and the administration. Through a process of economic, entrepreneurial, and social development, MAC is creating a new Agro-Urban Landscape based on an interconnection of urban areas and agricultural land. About fifty hectares of Municipal owned open areas are transformed into farmland, developed with the innovative techniques of permaculture to spearhead an economic process and urban growth as a means to combat poverty. The project is based on 4 four pillars: the launch of agricultural activities based on the principles of permaculture and organic urban agriculture; the improvement of the urban environment; professional training; encouraging entrepreneurship and employment.

    The innovative solution

    Urban agriculture is going to offer job opportunities, training, and quality products, while the city will benefit from renewed common spaces and green areas. Along with architectural, urban, landscape and agricultural investments, professional training courses.  The MAC project has put in action a strategy coordinated from a new Agro-Urban Center, which will increase the municipality role in the neighbourhood involving the residents in better identifying local issues and solutions. It has transformed thirty hectares of unused areas through the implementation of innovative agriculture while promoting work in the area  and developing new skills. The project has also developed the local economy through the Laboratory of Ethical Production and Rural Marketing, trained new innovative business enterprises and supported new start-up companies which will be hosted within the Business Incubator Centre.  It developed the Km0 local market through a network with other local producers, hence improving the current open-air week markets. Mac has also acted on the quality of the urban spaces such as architecture interventions and activated spaces within the existing and un-used public buildings for the laboratories and the Agro Urban Centre. Last but not least, it has provided areas for events, a bike path, walkways and seating areas, all to be set along the agriculture areas overlooking the greenery. 

    A collaborative and participative work

    Through the construction of the AGRO URBAN CENTER (AUC) the MAC project installs on the territory, right in the central square of Monterusciello, a space of continuous communication between the municipality, the residents and the key local actors for the identification of local urban problems and the construction of solutions. Participation constitutes a foundation of the present and future actions of the MAC. The principle of local rooting is considered essential for defining co-design processes that lead to the realization of projects accepted by the local community and therefore sustainable. Together with the AUC, the MAC project developed the Consulta Urbana. This is a tool to better structure the process of sharing choices and to give a renewed centrality of the territorial requests within the decision-making processes.

    The impact and results

    Agriculture, and therefore Urban Agriculture, operated at a considerable scale and organized through professional work and means within an urban context, is an economic activity that can continue to be carried out even in periods where many productive activities must to be stopped, undeniably (e.g. the COVID 19), it becomes crucial for the well-being of the whole community: a key resilient economic activity. The contemporaneity of urban planning must look to a new green deal, in this sense, solutions based on nature, and in their integration with the training and production sectors, together with an innovative and shared conception of public spaces, as promoted within the MAC project, make a difference in the quality of life and in the development opportunities offered to citizens.

    Why this Good Practices should be transferred to other cities?

    The MAC is a composite project in which the theme of urban agriculture (UA) defines the plot of a regenerative path that includes several components such as the redevelopment and re-functionalization of the public space, the requalification of public lands abandoned for years and their transformation in a productive asset, but also, of an enlarged public space: The community space. It also includes the redefinition of a cultural landscape: a modernist new town that returns to dialogue with those spaces and functions that it had cancelled with its birth in addition to the recreation and reinforcement of a local community disillusioned with public action, which begins to interact with the project, when the first results are seen. Lastly, it consists of the training and creation of job opportunities for many young people from Monterusciello, those most affected by the problem of stagnant unemployment.

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    15987
  • McAuley Place for older people

    Ireland
    Naas

    The game changer in city centre revitalisation

    Sonya Kavanagh
    Director for Services, Economic Development, Kildare County Council
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    20 002

    Summary

    To ensure the quality of life of its older people and their independence, Naas (IE) developed an alternative model to the institutional residential care one. McAuley Place is a non-medical, intergenerational and not-for-profit housing association located in the city centre, its 53 apartments are allocated both socially and privately to 60 people. McAuley Place aims at bringing older people to the heart of the vibrant Naas community. Activities such as the popular Arts and Crafts programme, by attracting inhabitants of all age, ensure the social inclusion and integration of the tenants. Since 2008, McAuley has been providing an environment in which all stakeholders, residents, workers and volunteers (often students), can connect.

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    McAuley Place offers the following: • It indicates the primary importance of operating to a Value-System. This is seldom the case in urban plan-making. Stating a value-system up front means you have to carry it through into policy, plan, and operational life; • McAuley is driven by the UN Principles for Older People, indicating clarity in its philosophy and ethos, but also indicating how these principles are put into practice; • McAuley offers a model of sustainable urban living, with a town centre location and a mixed-use campus, where culture operates as a critical platform, accessible to both resident and visitor alike; • It has been achieved through networking a cross-institutional approach and leveraging vertical integration through support from government, local authority, local business, and community groups; • In terms of both policy and operational fronts, McAuley Place strives to achieve horizontal integration through synthesising strategy which links social, economic and environmental perspectives; • McAuley illustrates inter-generational participation through activities which draw in all age groups into an intentionally mixed programme.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    • McAuley Place is guided by a holistic thrust. It works to achieve an awareness of the total systems it operates within, is inspired by its vision of the shape of future success, and applies strategy, action and tools to achieve it; • While working within a systems approach, which acknowledges the complexity of urban places, a thematic framework helps to structure this complexity, and suggests the need to achieve sustainability under key headings, e.g. social sustainability, cultural sustainability, economic sustainability, environmental sustainability, movement sustainability, and the spatial sustainability of urban form; • Key areas of performance include the re-use of under-used and vacant town centre sites, the application of mixed land use, combining the diversity of complementary activities in a mixed programme; • McAuley reduces the need for vehicular use, through its town centre location, which prioritises pedestrian access through walking and cycling; • McAuley Place achieves environmental objectives through recycling, water conservation, sourcing local food products for its tea rooms, and by providing ecological green spaces.

    Based on a participatory approach

    Openness, transparency, and communication. It strives to create an environment in which all its stakeholders, residents, workers/volunteers, can communicate, connect, and collaborate. • McAuley Place encourages and relies on a wide range of support from local government, local business and community group stakeholders; • It is the practice in McAuley Place to encourage a wide cross-section of stakeholders to become available for interviews for media/research, etc.; • High levels of participation in its Arts and Crafts programme reflect the critical importance of creativity, and help build a culture of social contact.

    What difference has it made?

    • The UN Principles on Older People hang in the foyer, the mixed-use campus sits around you; tea rooms, 53 apartments, Arts Hub, community centre, walled garden and Health through Learning Project [Phase 1]; • The events programme is real, varied, and very well supported; • The tea rooms are a huge success, a bustling meeting point for the town, where young and old mingle, where wonderful food is served, and where up to 35 volunteers support the full-time staff; • McAuley is a huge positive statement in a town centre which has suffered economically, and where there are many vacant buildings; • It illustrates how top-down governance, and bottom-up community energy can combine to tackle what appear to be intractable social issues, e.g. the isolation and poor quality of life suffered by older people; • The model of McAuley Place has drawn much interest from media and TV, and has been endorsed by the President of Ireland; • Evidence of huge ongoing community support. Evidence of lived lives.

    Why should other European cities use it?

    • The relationship of society to its older generation is a universal issue. McAuley Place shows how this issue can be approached, and how existing poor practice can be challenged; • It demonstrates an inter-disciplinary and inter-sectoral approach embedded in a campus where the mix of residential, Arts Hub, community centre, restored garden and tea rooms creates the kind of rich ecology which produces daily minor miracles, and sustains mental health and human existence; • McAuley is socially innovative, it has created a new kind of infrastructure, and it has done this by working in a cross-institutional manner, building bridges between top-down governance and a bottom-up “can-do” mindset; • It has used a hard infrastructure from a past legacy and fused it with the soft infrastructure inspired by a value system expressed in the UN Principles for Older People; • McAuley Place is an innovative contemporary institution which attracts and retains an impressive contribution from volunteers; • Every city and every neighbourhood would benefit from a McAuley Place.

    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    9544
  • All united for more biodiversity

    France
    Eurometropolis Strasbourg

    A charter to manage green spaces in a eco-friendly way

    Mina Charnaux
    Project manager Zero pesticide & Nature in the city
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    484 157

    Summary

    Strasbourg (FR) is steadily working on improving its environmental impact, and on promoting biodiversity. In 2008, it stopped using pesticides and integrated plants into the urban landscape. The charter “All united for more biodiversity”, launched in 2012, constituted another step in this direction: it gathers 75 signatories which are both professional and non-professional organisations. They commit to biodiversity by taking actions such as reducing light pollution or setting up green walls. Through the charter, all stakeholders are given the opportunity to work together, thus strengthening an eco-friendly network and multiplying its impact on the territory.

    The solutions offered by the good practice

    Supporting nature and biodiversity is an absolute necessity. The charter “All united for biodiversity” can help answer some issues faced by cities nowadays. By engaging all willing stakeholders in the territory, the charter is strengthening the existing ecological network. This is a significant improvement: the actions of the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg are limited to some areas, but with the help and good will of many stakeholders, the impact can be multiplied. Moreover, the stakeholders are accompanied when they sign the charter. They have to choose between six actions of various types that are listed by categories. For example, “Preserving the environment” equals abandoning the use of pesticides, “Save energy and resources” means reducing watering or light pollution, “Planting for biodiversity” is implementing local species and meadows for bees, and “Protect and develop the ecosystem” includes installation of biodiversity shelters and green walls and/or roofs. All of these actions can truly improve biodiversity around the firm that chooses to sign, and thus improve the possibility of a strong ecological network.

    Building on the sustainable and integrated approach

    The project “All united for more biodiversity” is based on sustainable development and participatory approach. The commitment of a wide panel of stakeholders all along the territory is making the city greener and more ecological. By reconnecting the spaces of nature, this ecological network will be useful to make the city more resilient and better integrated into its environment. By sharing nature-friendly managements, it is also improving the global natural health of the territory. Another important asset of this project is the commitment of all: businesses, organisations, sponsors, social housing, administrators and developers, as well as the communes within the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg can be involved and act for more biodiversity.

    Based on a participatory approach

    The charter “All united for more biodiversity” is a participatory approach. Firstly, all stakeholders on the territory were given the chance to work together for the first time, thus developing a global and coherent approach and connecting ecological spaces responding to each other. This process has a real strength, as it shares experiences. The stakeholders can exchange their successes and problems, therefore creating another type of network. Moreover, the Eurometropolis is supporting the change of management in a real cooperation between the local administration and private or public bodies. Secondly, the actions proposed in the charter often create a new dynamic. Employees of the signatory structure might be invited to participate, and many examples show that they are genuinely interested in the procedure. 88% of the concerned structures decided to involve their staff. Managing green spaces in a sustainable way is not only an environmental matter, it also creates new opportunities to develop social links inside the firm.

    What difference has it made?

    Upon its creation in 2012, the Charter was signed by 23 stakeholders, which is already something. Today, five years later, we have the pleasure to count 75 signatories, a real community reunited for biodiversity, and for all of them, the signature had positive consequences. One of the main measures has been the abandonment of pesticides in the management of green spaces. While 89% used them when signing, this commitment truly made a difference. 84% of the signatories have pledged to plant local species, whether meadows, natural hedges or fruit trees. Many detailed examples can be found in the guide printed recently, but here is an example: Mondelez International (Suchard factory) signed the charter in 2012. Its first decision was to involve the staff: the choice of the first six actions was made in cooperation with a group of motivated employees. Among the first decisions were the ban of pesticides, a fauna/flora diagnosis, and the implementation of 19 beehives. Many other projects followed: a shared garden, the installation of 16 nest boxes (both specialised and unspecialised), etc. There are more future projects: shared composting, the implementation of a school orchard and fruit trees, the creation of a pond...

    Why should other European cities use it?

    This project is unique because it not only involves the citizens and the public stakeholder, but also the professional area. They have a real allowance on the territory, but paradoxically, they are less often involved in biodiversity projects. This good practice can be very interesting for other European cities because the loss of biodiversity and the sustainable city is not an issue faced only by France, but by all other big cities in the world. An ecological network at a different scale could also be imagined: European cities working together to improve the place of biodiversity. Since the Paris COP 21 climate change conference held in December 2015, 175 countries committed to reduce climate change: no doubt, increasing biodiversity and ecological management is part of the process.

    Main Theme
    Is a transfer practice
    0
    Ref nid
    9542