The project is to support regions and cities in promoting the bio-based circular economy
The CITISYSTEM consortium has been present in the Smart City Expo World Congress, the biggest event for cities and urban innovation, held in Barcelona from 7-9 November.
Catalan agents and stakeholders involved in the European project CITISYSTEM gathered on 9 November 2023 with representatives from all other CITISYSTEM partner countries at the Smart City Expo World Congress to learn from a dissemination event where experiences, good practices, and new strategies to strengthen circular bioeconomy were shared.
As presented by Katerina Medkova, CITISYSTEM’s Lead Partner from LAB University of Applied Sciences, Finland, the project aims to develop circular bioeconomy on the systemic and stakeholder levels and, by sharing knowledge and potential solutions, allow everyone to capitalize on already tested solutions.
Sharing Catalan Expertise
In representation of the Department of Climate Action, Food, and Rural Agenda, Miriam González showcased the 2030 Catalan Bioeconomy Strategy (EBC2030), defining it as an opportunity to advance toward economic, social and environmental sustainability while guaranteeing territorial balance.
EBC2030 is coordinated by a cross-cut technical unit and fosters complicity between stakeholders to take actions such as spearhead R+D+i and technological transfer, encourage the use and consumption of bioproducts, bioenergy, and biomaterials, or strengthen the role of the administration to adapt policies in favour of circular bioeconomy,
Already in motion, the 1st Action Plan focuses on improving forest management, creating resilient agroforestry landscapes, and recovering coproducts and byproducts from the food chain and livestock dejections and organic waste to be reused as, for instance, biogas and biomethane or innovative organic fertilizers.
Representing Strategic Planning of the Catalan Waste Agency, Director Francesc Giró addressed Catalan policies regarding waste collection. In 1993, Catalonia’s Waste Law already obliged its citizens to separate biowaste: then, separate biowaste collection was 1.4%; in 2022, it had risen to 47.2%. Nevertheless, there are still many challenges to overcome: from advancing in efficient separate collection systems in large cities and densely populated municipalities to facing the appearance of compostable materials in the collection and treatment of biowaste.
Thus, as of 2023, a new law is being drafted on waste prevention, management, and efficient use of resources, and a Circular Economy Roadmap is being developed to tackle these challenges and continue taking steps toward a greener society.
Towards a better future
The event concluded with a dynamic round-table moderated by Lluis Rovira, CERCA’s director, and Maria Jäppinen, LAB’s communication officer, who put forward insightful and thought-provoking questions that sparked debate and left everyone involved invigorated and motivated to continue working towards creating healthier and more sustainable cities for future generations.