From Niche to Centre – City Centres as Places of Circular Lifestyles (NiCE)
Interreg Central Europe project
European city centres used to be busy resource-intensive centres of consumption, but due to Corona pandemic and shift to online trade, numerous shops had to close, and the supply chains were interrupted. Alternative and sustainable consumption models leading to more circularity and sufficiency increase, but due to the current framework conditions, these models usually only remain in their niche. Consumers therefore lack a central and easily accessible offer of alternative forms of consumption.
The NiCE project focuses on two main challenges – a transformation of central places in cities that make it easy for their inhabitants to implement sustainable lifestyles and at the same time to (re)animate centres in a more circular way.
The partnership will show various practical approaches in different settings that strengthen new forms of consumption and make them visible in urban centres while bringing all relevant stakeholders together.
Educational, inspirational, and exchange formats at transnational, national and regional level will transfer the project results to municipalities, regions, providers of alternative consumption and business models, citizen associations and policymakers and invites for further joint activities to establish circular city centres throughout Central Europe.
As part of the project, the primary task of the Department of Environmental Economics and Sustainability at BME is to provide scientific background, to lead the first workpackage (Workpackage 1) on the topic of circular economy, as well as to support the preparation of pilot projects, monitor their implementation and develop an indicator-based framework for performance evaluation.
- Status quo assessment and needs analysis of the target groups to assess sustainable consumption patterns and support circular business models. It will result in a “monitor tool” which will help to quickly analyse status quo, challenges, and potentials for circular lifestyle in cities and in a synthesis report of our findings.
- VR exhibition – Concept development, preparation, and implementation of a virtual exhibition of 30+ inspiring examples of how sustainable lifestyles have been established in urban centres supported by presentation of at least 15 helpful tools to promote, support and sustain them.
- Joint development of a strategy framework for the promotion and establishment of circular lifestyles in cities/city centres that will serve as a guidance for local and regional public authorities.
- Transnational development of the pilot approaches, implementation, evaluation, and assessment
Partners will work in transnational tandems and test 4 specific approaches in different settings:
- Approach to initiate the re-use of spaces at central places in cities for circular offers
- Implementation and running of multifunctional “resource centres” under living lab condition by re-using spaces in central places of cities
- Linking sustainable online commerce with city centres, e.g. establishing multifunctional micro hubs or retail as a service
- Activation of users for circular lifestyles e.g. for circular water management
Pilot cases will start with a local kick-off event. Its implementation will take several months and include living lab phases to observe its development and acceptance and will be closed with a local event to gain full attention. Partners will evaluate the pilots and specific findings will used for the development of the “Solution Box”.
- Development of 4 transferable “Solution Box” based on the pilot experiences:
- A Community Guide serving as a practical checklist and diagnosis tool for local authorities.
- A Methodology Kit
- A Guide: How to build, run and sustain a multifunctional resource centre
- A Circular Water Kit addressing water re-use in cities
- Roll-out of NiCE solutions – a knowledge platform which will include a set of innovative solutions needed to enable the transition from city centres to circular city centres by re-using spaces and resources
- NiCE capacity building measures and networking offers – The aim is to raise awareness and competences how to establish circular lifestyles at central places in cities.
- 4 study visits for multipliers
- A series of 8 webinars
- A series of 4 transnational workshops for networking and co-designing ideas
- 8 national trickle-down events to enable national transfer of our solutions and pave the path for uptake of our pilot activities by local communities and national multipliers.
- Mainstreaming and uptaking solutions: From local decision makers to European networks
- Partners will organise altogether at least 20 one-to-one meetings with local opinion leaders and decision makers to improve policy instruments that enable circular lifestyles in circular cities.
- an adaptation of the strategy framework and the joint development of a policy position paper based on lessons learnt.
- the presentation of NiCE’ multifunctional resource centre and circular lifestyle models to representatives from EU, national and regional authorities on a “transferability conference”.
- Circular lifestyle monitor tool for cities
- VR exhibition
- Transnational Think Tank workshop
- Strategy framework for circular lifestyles in cities
- Status Quo Reports of pilot cities
- Pilot implementation
- 8 pilot blogs and 8 documentaries about pilots
- Documentation report on each pilot
- Pilot Evaluation Report and lessons learnt
- Solution Box
- Transnational partner’s meetings
- Knowledge Platform
- Educational materials on behaviour of citizens
- Four transnational study visits
- 8 transnational webinars
- 4 transnational workshops
- 8 national trickle-down events
- 4 local action plans
- Policy paper
- Final Press Kit
- Closure Conference
- Continuation Plan
- German Environment Agency (DE)
- ENVIROS (CZ)
- CityLAB Innovations for urban quality of life (AT)
- Scientific Research Centre Bistra Ptuj (SI)
- Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (IT)
- Research and Innovation Centre Pro- Akademia (PL)
- Budapest University of Technology and Economics (HU)
- Creative Industry Košice, n.o. (SK)
- Municipality of Brzeg Dolny (PL)
This project is supported by the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Programme with co-financing from the European Regional Development Fund.