During the Cities Forum 2017 organized by the European Commission and the city of Rotterdam, the Partnership on Circular Economy was given the opportunity to organize a workshop on the first day of the conference. With participants from relevant stakeholder organizations, cities and Member States this provided the partnership with a unique opportunity to share and present our work and some of our proposed actions and get valuable feedback.
The workshop was held at the BlueCity, which is a remodelled tropical swimming pool that now functions as a location for circular businesses around the city of Rotterdam. BlueCity is an incubator for circular entrepreneurs, and provided a great example of how development of spaces for new businesses and social entrepreneurs can be an important driver towards the circular economy. There were mainly two themes that were addressed in the workshop, namely “Consumption and Waste prevention” and “Governance”. The Partnership had organized for two separate group sessions, discussing the proposed actions on both themes.
Firstly Håkon Jentoft, coordinator of the partnership gave the participants an introduction to the Urban Agenda Partnership on Circular Economy, both with regards to the focus of the Partnership and the process. After this, David Berg, Director of Urban Management in the City of Rotterdam gave an interesting introduction to Rotterdam’s own approach to the circular economy. By sharing with the participants how they work to turn Rotterdam into a living lab for the circular economy, Mr. Berg provided an inspiring framework for the workshop.
After this, the City of Oslo presented their current work on a strategy to reduce material consumption and turn the focus from a linear to a circular way of consuming within a city. Then the work on waste prevention within the Partnership was presented. How can cities work to improve the focus on waste prevention at citizens’ level? And also, how can cities contribute to a better Private-Public collaboration and develop circular markets and services within a city? These were some of the questions raised during the first part of the workshop and group discussions.
After a local and warm lunch, the topic of Governance within the circular economy was addressed. The main question was how to break structural walls between thematical, organizational & political silos to realize the circular transition. The Partnership presented proposed action on Better Knowledge and Better Funding, for the participants to discuss and give feedback on. This was the first time the Partnership presented some of the very early drafts of the potential actions and it was exciting to get feedback from relevant stakeholders present at the workshop.
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