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Lead Partner: Applied Research and Communications Fund
CityZen responds to the growing number of cities and regions that recognize the benefits of urban farming for living sustainably and improving revenues. It aims to promote urban farming as a successful driving force for economic and social transformation by introducing the concept to policy makers. Various regional policies on green innovation and resource efficiency, like food security, waste management, community development and adaptation to climate change, are to be improved by integrating urban farming models and practices. CityZen will explore successful and new (business) values that urban farming brings to the ecosystem and link them to innovative entrepreneurship and supply chains. The creation of a knowledge pool of urban farming policies, initiatives and business processes is meant to support decision makers and leverage the efficiency of their actions. Showcasing how improved policies impact the five European partner regions, create entrepreneurship opportunities and drive business and social transformation is set a priority of the CityZen project.
The EU is acknowledged as one of the most urbanized areas in the world, characterized by a relatively dense urban network consisting mainly of medium sized cities. The trend of urbanisation is increasing and the consequent pressure on peri-urban areas has many impacts at environmental, social and economic level: increasing soil consumption, loss of ecosystem services and reduced resilience towards climate change effects, soil speculation. All this has negative impact on economic activities, public health and life quality. Tackling natural heritage protection in peri-urban areas becomes crucial to guarantee that natural resources are not compromised by urbanization; nevertheless, natural heritage protection is often seen as a constraint to economic growth, making the two concepts antithetic. PROSPERA’s overall objective is to improve regional policies on protection and promotion of natural heritage by tackling loss of ecosystem services and improve sustainable development in peri-urban areas threatened by urban-sprawl, with the ultimate aim of preventing biodiversity loss, soil consumption and further degradation of natural assets, by in parallel leveraging on these challenges as a way to favor regional attractiveness and economic sustainable development. To this end, 7 PPs from 5 EU countries (IT-EL-SE-BE-HU) have agreed on 3 leverages as means for a shift from the traditional perspective seeing urban/rural as a dichotomy to a new perspective, where protection of natural heritage fosters economic development in peri-urban areas: 1. Wise governance 2. Eco-lo(gi)cal value chains 3. Sustainable PPP (public-private partnership) PROSPERA PPs will identify at least 15 Good Practices from 5 regions and, after a process of interregional learning based on Study Visits and knowledge exchange sessions, they will define regional Action Plans to improve 5 policy instruments.
Lead Partner: Metropolis Nice Côte d’Azur
BLUE GREEN CITY seeks to improve policies that promote Green and Blue Infrastructure (GBI) as an integral part of a local or regional natural heritage preservation strategy How will these be achieved? BLUE GREEN CITY will increase individual, organisational, stakeholder and external knowledge of the concept of ecosystem services and the value of GBI through project events, workshops and training. This will be done through interregional Policy learning process and collaboration in finding common solutions to common challenges posed by climate change adaptation and by sharing experience and exchanging good practices. OBJECTIVES assess the use of a wide range of Policy instruments and identify the potential barriers for adopting GBIdevelop and improve GBI strategies in order to create functional ecological connectivity between cities and peri-urban protected areasmap the existing GBI provisions and assess the economic and non-monetary valuation of ecosystem servicesdefining measures to be included in a Biodiversity Action Plan and a strategic spatial plan for future GBI implementation raise awareness and knowledge of the concept of ecosystem services and of the value of green and blue infrastructure in protecting, preserving and enhancing natural and cultural capitaldevelop best practice recommendations for improving Policy instruments that promote green and blue infrastructure MAIN OUTPUTS 7 Action Plans to develop/improve GBI strategies for natural heritage preservation (including  the mapping of existing GBI provision, a Biodiversity Action Plan and a Strategic Spatial Plan for future GBI implementation)Training ManualsSet of Best Practices and experienceWorking Tables, Reports on experiencesPeer-review workshop reports, Thematic expert papersStudy visit guides
Lead Partner: Alto Alentejo Intermunicipal Community
Mountains have always had a symbolic and metaphorical meaning, evoking an experience of spiritual elevation. In the latest years, they grow as a tourism destination because of their landscape which provides the opportunities to escape from the increasingly urbanized environments. However, this considerable potential for tourism remains often misused, through the mass tourism that harms the fragile biodiversity​ and the uniqueness of these areas, or unused, with the local population and businesses left alone and unable to benefit from it. RAMSAT is designed to protect the natural and cultural heritage of Remote And Mountainous areas through Sustainable Alternative Tourism. To achieve this goal, RAMSAT set up 2 Interregional Workshop, 4 Thematic Seminars and 36 meeting with local stakeholder, all along Europe: from the Pleven Heights (BG) to the Natural Park of the Serra of S. Mamede (PT), passing through the Marginimea Sibiului (RO), the Sava Hills (SI), the Iberian Sistem (ES) and the Sperrin Mountains (UK-NI). For 36 months, the project partners will transfer knowledge, identify good practices and exchange experience from regions where these policies have been already developed and put into effect, with the overall objective to preserve, promote and develop the natural heritage of their territories, while strengthening economic and social cohesion. Balancing environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects, the partners will develop action plans to protect the biodiversity and preserve the natural environment while increasing the number of visits to sites of cultural and natural heritage.
Lead Partner: NOVA University Lisbon - NOVA School of Science and Technology
CAPonLITTER aims at improving policies and practices that can help in preventing marine litter that results from coastal tourism and recreational activities. More specifically, the project will focus on key fractions of waste, such as plastic food and drink containers originating from beach facilities and recreational events, due to improper behaviour of consumers but also to lack of incentives and structures for prevention, collection and recycling of waste. The project involves authorities and organisations from Portugal, Spain, France, Croatia, Greece, Bulgaria and Germany, territories in which coastal tourism is a key economic activity, which is not only highly impacted by marine litter but can also put significant pressure on local infrastructures and generate large amounts of unmanaged waste. Through an interregional process of exchange of experiences and mutual learning, partners will explore ways to improve their regional policies and promote the implementation of best practices, with the active participation of key stakeholders. The interregional process will result in 7 regional Action Plans that will set into motion the operationalisation of the lessons learned in two ways: on one hand initiating the implementation of the practices in the territories concerned, through the policy framework the partners operate on; and on the other aligning them with other policy instruments, such as operational programmes and specific structural funds that can finance them. Across these regions, CAPonLITTER will result in various communities of stakeholders commited to zero plastic waste, beaches and coastal events with zero waste management plans in place to prevent marine litter, including significant improvements toward waste prevention, collection and recycle at these coastal sites.
Lead Partner: Municipality of Rethymno
CURBING PLASTICS WASTE AND LITTERING IN EU REGIONS The widespread plastic pollution necessitates a strong reaction from EU regions, to address growing environmental and health concerns. PLASTECO, in line with the “European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy”, will support participating territories to take the steps necessary for a transition towards a “new plastics economy”. The focus of the project will be on advances in waste management, eradication of single-use plastics from regional value chains, and spurring growth through eco-innovation. PLASTECO will cover the areas of waste management, public procurement, funding/investments, secondary raw materials, and awareness raising. OBJECTIVE PLASTECO will support 8 partners from 8 EU countries, through joint policy learning efforts and exchanges of experiences, to benefit from the momentum of the EU plastics strategy and achieve their goals in terms of protecting the environment, increasing resource efficiency, alleviating health effects, and boosting innovation. PLASTECO will enable partners and key stakeholders to: assess the current situation, potential, and barriers in their regions;identify pathways for sustainable growth in plastics value-chains;design and put into effect new policy measures and regulations. EXPECTED IMPACT The implementation of PLASTECO will:  - Lead to increased capacity of 180 staff of public administrations to effectively support new growth trajectories & energy security - Potential 19 million euros unlocked to support projects on plastic reuse, eco-innovation, alternative technologies - Increased awareness & consensus building among plastic producers and consumers/the public MAIN OUTPUTS & BENEFICIARIES - 8 action plans to improve the addressed policies, benefiting managing authorities & stakeholders - 4 interregional workshops, 2 study visits, and 2 joint policy planning and strategic review procedures, to promote capacity building among partners and stakeholders - 3 joint thematic studies on territorial needs and good practices
Lead Partner: Turku University of Applied Sciences
Circular economy changes the methods and revenue models of business. Instead of traditional ownership, consumption is based on the use of services: sharing, leasing and reusing. The new method challenges countries and regions to develop and construct new business models that can be used to respond to the global climate crisis, among other things. The REDUCES project funded by Interreg Europe aims to identify the best business models in six European regions and to research and critically assess their climate impacts and sustainability. The project covers six European cities and regions: Southwest Finland, Valencia (Spain), Manchester (UK), Utrecht (Netherlands), Maramures (Romania) and Bulgaria. The project aims to find suggestions for each city or region to guide them towards sustainable circular economy business. The work is based on both interregional and regional collaboration between the partners and the stakeholders. The project will continue until the end of July 2023.
Lead Partner: DPZ Provincial Government of Zaragoza
                MOMAr means providing strategic thinking to the use of cultural and natural resources, incorporating all the actors involved in its management and creating models of economic and social development and territorial sustainability with them all, fostering the rural areas identity without copying or moving models from other environments, but tailoring them. The project highlights the existence of territories with problems - depopulation, ageing, no use of resources- whose identity is however marked by a rich heritage, exceptional in some cases - UNESCO heritage - and whose management entities have either not finished defining their models of action in terms of cultural and natural resources or directly borrowed models that do not correspond to the territorial reality. MOMAr will serve to improve policies and programmes addressing heritage in rural territories, taking into account the peculiarities and cultural identities of places where rurality determinates a mode of action. The inhabitants -who maintain the territories alive- will be a central part of the strategies and new projects designed. Although since 1965 Europe has recognised that culture is a basic principle in the construction of a European identity based on individual identities, with few exceptions the most unpopulated rural territories in Europe have felt excluded from the programmes in force, due to their inability to address them from an appropriate perspective. Interreg Europe programme makes possible through MOMAr that a representation of rural territories with singular heritage to think strategically, with a common objective and through a interregional exchange work before addressing the design and execution of actions. It makes also possible to incorporate certain territories and their inhabitants into Europe. MOMAr represents, in summary, the need of rural territories for a specific management of cultural and natural resources impacting the inhabitants and improving their quality of life.
Lead Partner: County Administrative Board of Östergötland
OptiWaMag focuses on innovation of waste management in urban spaces and in households. The project supports the waste infrastructure, develop the awareness of waste collection and improve the well-being of citizens. OptiWaMag involves 6 EU regions with a shared ambition to accelerate the scaling up of waste management innovation that can support active and innovative environment and resource efficiency and secure the triple win of economic growth, more sustainable ecosystem services and improved well-being of Europe’s citizens. Focusing on these scopes, the policy project’s primary goal is to improve Structural Funds’ policies and implementation related to waste management and enhance regional and interregional ecosystems. OptiWaMag recognizes that effective, policy shaping outcomes require enhanced cooperation between involved stakeholders. The policy project will thus incorporate interregional collaboration, involving a wide range of expert stakeholders, which comprises exchange of good practices, mutual learning, peer assessment, knowledge transfer, targeted coaching and collective, co-designed policy development. It will deliver its results through interlinked project activities and outputs during 3 sequential steps: 1) Identification and Analysis; 2) Interregional Mutual Learning; 3) Knowledge Transfer and Action Planning. Steps 1 and 3 also include assessments of policy enhancement and learning performance. Wide dissemination of good practices and lessons are the backbone of OptiWaMag. The primary outputs include: - The project self, peer and expert assessment tools and findings focused on regions’ strengths, weaknesses, policy priorities and policy enhancements - A Framework Strategy for developing evidence based and co-designed policies, programmes and implementation methods and for identifying the best method to improve policy instruments; - 6 Regional Action Plans (informed by the Framework Strategy, pre and interim self-assessments and Advisory Board case study) to enhance the implementation of regional policy instruments across Europe.
Lead Partner: Resources Recovery Regional Agency
Local, regional, and national authorities are working hard to manage in an always more sustainable way their waste and implement a comprehensive and circular approach. They consider new approaches and technologies to reduce, reuse, recycle, and recover waste. They attempt to fit these into a comprehensive and circular approach. SMART WASTE wants to improve public policy instruments supporting innovation within waste management procedures. The final result? Smarter, more effective, sustainable, and cost-efficient waste management, benefiting all territorial stakeholders. But what are the results of their actions? Are these measures having a concrete impact? Could their implementation be more effective?  The SMART WASTE project is born to answer these questions. To make a long story short, the SMART WASTE project evaluates to what extent current national, regional and local policies have promoted successful innovation in waste management. It then proposes interregional solutions to address policy weaknesses. How will partners proceed? The project aims to understand the real impact that innovative policy measures have on the effectiveness and sustainability of waste management procedures. To do so, the five regional project partners chose one policy instrument to be assessed and improved. More information about the chosen policy instruments can be found below. The first step for the regional partners is to develop a shared methodology to evaluate, in close collaboration with local stakeholders, innovation in their waste management policies. Through this policy analysis, they will identify interregional Good Practices and assess them to find solutions to address potential failures in their selected policy instruments. These good practices will be applied to partners’ regional policy contexts through concrete Action Plans aimed to address not only their policies of interest but also long-term recommendations for future policies. They will then implement their Action Plans with regional or national resources and with continued stakeholder engagement. What are the expected results? Each regional partner can expect to achieve several results. First, they can expect to have improved their policy instrument in terms of smart and innovative waste. Second, thanks to continuous engagement with their stakeholders, they can expect to have increased professional capacity among these stakeholders. Finally, they can also expect to have increased the awareness of the public about the importance of innovation in waste management and of related public policies.