As previously reported, BME researchers are working together with the German Federal Environment Agency on a new Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Programme related to the concept of circular economy.
The project “NiCE: From Niche to Centre – City Centres as Places of Circular Lifestyles”, submitted to the first call of the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Programme (2021-2027) and selected for funding, starts in May 2023 with the participation of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences, Department of Environmental Economics and Sustainability. The consortium of nine partners is led by the German Environment Agency.
The first partner meeting of the project was held between 25-26 May 2023 at BME. In addition to the German Environment Agency, the project includes the environmental consultancy ENVIROS (Czech Republic), the ‘StadtLABOR’ CityLAB Innovations for urban quality of life (Austria), the Scientific Research Centre Bistra Ptuj (Slovenia), the ‘ENEA-SSPT’ Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic National Authority Development (Italy), the BME Department of Environmental Economics and Sustainability (Hungary), the Research and Innovation Centre Pro-Akademia (Poland), the Creative Industry Košice creative agency (Slovakia) and the municipality of Brzeg Dolny (Poland).
At the opening of the two-day partner meeting, professor Dr. Gyula Zilahy, head of department and supervisor of the project (BME Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences, Department of Environmental Economics and Sustainability) greeted the participants, then introduced the University and the Faculty. The next speaker at the opening ceremony was Anna Sirocco, Programme Officer of the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Joint Secretariat, who gave a brief background on the 2021-2027 programme. The participants were also greeted by Richárd Barabás, deputy mayor of Újbuda, who briefly talked about the sustainability efforts and achievements of the 11th district. Anna Orosz, the Member of Parliament representing Újbuda greeted the participants, then gave a presentation about the history and present of Újbuda, as well as about good and not-so-good practices and projects from the point of view of sustainable development. At the end of the opening speeches, Dr. Gyula Zilahy highlighted the history of various policies related to circular economy, an pointed out how the issue of social involvement and responsibility has become more dominant in determining the directions of intervention, in which urban spaces as a place of interaction between people, civil society groups and businesses are also increasingly emphasized.
In the first year of project implementation, the scientific background of pilot actions supporting sustainable consumption patterns is being established – this work is led by the BME Department of Environmental Economics and Sustainability. During the workshop held on Friday by Dr. Mariann Szabó, assistant professor and professional leader of the project, the partners jointly identified the topic areas on which the collection and coordination of good practices and the status quo analysis work in the partner cities can start. During the partner meeting, the guests took part in a BME Campus walk, visited the Kopaszi dam and the Béla Bartók Boulevard / Cultural Quarter to learn about specific developments for urban initiatives aimed at enforcing the circular economy.