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When it comes to innovation and environmental policies, Europe is ahead of everyone else by far. One of the latest initiatives, the Circular Cities and Regions Initiative (CCRI), aims to support a green climate change plan by boosting circularity at a local and regional level. This outstanding initiative is part of the larger Circular Economy Action Plan promoted by the European Commission. The CCRI plan aims to drive economic growth all across Europe and increase collaboration and knowledge sharing between EU cities and regions.
The CCRI also aims to enhance upscaling and boost innovation, allowing the circular economy to become more widespread and go mainstream. This means that this platform can be utilized to share replicable best practices that can be used by cities and regions not just in Europe, but in the whole world, to find concrete Circular Systemic Solutions that suit their own needs.
Of course, given the current economic and political climate, delivering concrete solutions can prove challenging, especially as the value chains and services vary greatly across Europe’s cities and regions. Nevertheless, this initiative successfully combines the technical and financial support needed to assist stakeholders across Europe’s cities and regions, and mainly focuses on the 12 pilots and 25 fellows.
The Rationale Behind the CCRI
The Circular Cities and Regions Initiative is focused on ensuring Europeans can maximize their cities in order to prosper. The idea is that large cities and regions across Europe are sources of innovation and socio-economic transformation, empowering citizens to live successful, secure, and happy lives. Many European cities and regions are already creating their own plan to improve the value chains, enhance their services and boost circularity. Still, there remain certain gaps in knowledge, skills, awareness, and innovation that these cities and regions need to thrive.
CCRI aims to increase and expand Europe’s transition towards a greener environment by enhancing circularity at both a local and regional level. By increasing collaboration and knowledge sharing between key cities and regions across Europe, CCRI’s goal is to drive economic growth and positively impact Europe’s citizens.
Pilots & Fellows Part of this Program
Back in April 2022, the European Commission launched a continental-wide call for finding cities, regions, and territorial clusters willing to be part of the CCRI and to become pilots & fellows. After over 100 applications, the Commission selected 12 pilots and 25 fellows. Some pilots are Munich, Uppsala, Gothenburg, or Castilla y Leon. In terms of fellows, we can mention Leuven, Berlin, Bergen, Sofia, and the Metropolitan Region of Amsterdam. For the full list of pilots and fellows, you can go here.
The pilots, for starters, are showcasing the current potential of their circular ecosystems, benefitting from:
- Constant monitoring from the CCRI consortium, which closely follows their transition using a modern self-assessment tool
- Tailored guidance from CCRI, being supported in creating, implementing, and improving specific circular economy action plans
- Knowledge sharing and technical support
On the other hand, the fellows are guided to learn from the pilots and the rest of the CCRI network. Even though they receive no direct support or assistance from the consortium, they have access to:
- First-hand information regarding stakeholder mapping, thematic news, or repository of critical reports and publications
- Knowledge sharing, including tools & resources that can address certain issues
- Increased collaboration opportunities, enabling them to expand their networks and identify relevant partners
- Enhanced visibility across Europe
The CCRI website acts as a central hub for pilots and fellows, enabling them to share their experiences and create a complete knowledge base that can be used by every city and region in Europe.
Between 10-13 October 2022, the CCRI consortium will host the European Week of Regions and Cities. At this event, the specialists from the European Commission will dive into the importance of implementing coherent European governance. If you want to participate in this event, you can register at this link.
Our Part in this Project
The CCRI website aims to become the key repository tool for the knowledge and information resulting from the CCRI-CSO activities. Its main goal is to offer the methods, coordination, and advisory support required by the representatives of cities, regions, and circular territorial clusters as part of the project. All of this is required for a transition to the circular economy, ensuring excellence and innovation as well as becoming the main channel of communication for the CCRI.
Tremend was an integral part of the CCRI project, being responsible for developing and maintaining the platform. We work closely with our lead partner, Ecorys, with our Knowledge partners – Tecnalia, EGEN, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology & Prognos, and with our Network Partner – ERRIN, CCRE CEMR, ACR+, EEB, to ensure the CCRI website runs smooth and is updated regularly.
Our company is a key partner of the European Commission, being part of multiple projects such as the Digital Skills & Jobs Platform, eTwinning organization, Beacon, Epale, Graphomaly, and Humanoid. You can find out more about our public sector expertise here.