UrbanWins Kick-off Conference: waste management and prevention brings European stakeholders and researchers together
“Speaking about waste doesn’t only mean speaking about waste but to also speak of who we are, what we produce, what we consume and to ask ourselves about our economic model and coexistence” (Gianluca Galimberti, Mayor of Cremona).
UrbanWins is a three-year EU-funded project that will develop and test eco-innovative strategies for waste prevention and management in eight pilot cities in Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain.
On 27th September over fifty participants - policy-makers, industries, public authorities, educational centres, local businesses and city-dwellers, amongst others- from all six countries represented in the project (Austria, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sweden) attended the Kick-off Conference.
Also representatives of cities and towns that will participate in the European Advisory Board (Gothenborg and Santiago de Compostela) and of cities that will take part in the piloting and study phases of Urban_Wins were present: Metropolitan City of Venice, Municipalities of Pomezia, Albano Laziale, Monterotondo.
The Mayor of Cremona Gianluca Galimberti opened the conference and stressed the importance of cooperation among cities at European, national and regional level. “Today we live in a complicated time for Europe. We need to build relations between European countries and territories on future projects. This is what we are doing, starting from our city, with the UrbanWins Project. We would need to imagine our cities as large social, cultural and economic laboratories and this is what also happens thanks to UrbanWins. The project’s scopes indeed are research, data analysis and choices. UrbanWins project’s theme is crucial. Speaking about waste doesn’t only mean speaking about waste but to also speak of who we are, what we produce, what we consume and to ask ourselves about our economic model and coexistence” he said.
In the following, the members of the UrbanWins European Advisory Board had the opportunity to familiarize with the objectives of UrbanWins and the concept behind it. Leonardo Rosado (Chalmers Technology University) explained how cities represent the key drivers of the economy and sustainable development in the future. Those are the places where consumption happens: they “eat” resources, that’s why we need to look at them as living organisms and to work on changing urban lifestyles and closing material loops. Giulia Lucertini (Università IUAV di Venezia) explained how strategic planning allows to overcome sector features and to develop general measures/programs (plans) which is the only way we have to reduce waste at source. Mara Pesaro (Comune di Cremona) explained the challenges of Urban_Wins and stressed the importance of reaching a wide range of stakeholders and get them engaged.
In a dedicated interactive session, the European Advisory Board members, among which representatives of the Waste Catalan Agency, the Portuguese Environment Agency, the Romanian Ministry of Environment, had the first occasion to meet project partners and to get an insight into Urban_Wins activities.
Thanks to the participation of a representative from the Technology University of Delft, first synergies were established with the project REPAiR -Resource Management in Peri-urban Areas: Going Beyond Urban Metabolism, also funded within Horizon 2020-Waste-2015.
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