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NiCE

Project overview

From Niche to Centre - City Centres as Places of Circular Lifestyles

City centres have long been busy places where people meet, shop and consume. This started to change fast when the Corona pandemic and growing online trade forced many shops to close. The NiCE project re-vitalises fading city centres by making local trade and consumption more circular and sustainable. The partners develop innovative urban development approaches, which focus on the creation of multifunctional resource centres and on utilising empty spaces for circular offers.

2,22m €

Project Budget

80%

of the Budget is funded by ERDF

Layer 1

8

Countries

9

Regions

9

Partners

4

Pilots

Duration

Start date

End date

Project progress

32%

About the project

We focus 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. We want to change the architecture of our consumption. We want to promote new, sustainable consumption behaviour. Educational, inspirational, and exchange formats will be introduced to municipalities, regions, providers of alternative consumption, citizen associations and policymakers. We will test business models for re-use centres in partners cites and offer know-how to city officials to set up strategic framework for the support of circular consumption

Project partnership

Project partners

Deutschland (DE)

Lead partner

German Environment Agency

Department III 1 - Sustainable Products and Sustainable Consumption, Circular Economy
Address
Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau
Country
Germany (DE)
Web
http://www.umweltbundesamt.de/en

Project partner

Address
Dykova 53/10
101 00 Prague
Country
Czechia (CZ)
Web
https://en.enviros.cz/
Total partner budget
190,844 €
Address
Griesgasse 40
8020 Graz
Country
Austria (AT)
Web
https://www.stadtlaborgraz.at/en
Total partner budget
267,509 €
Address
Slovenski trg 6
2250 Ptuj
Country
Slovenia (SI)
Web
https://bistra.si/en/
Total partner budget
228,900 €
ENEA-SSPT (Department for Sustainability)
Address
Via Martiri Monte Sole 4
40129 Bologna
Country
Italy (IT)
Web
https://www.enea.it/en
Total partner budget
192,169 €
Address
Innowacyjna 9/11
95-050 Konstantynów Łódzki
Country
Poland (PL)
Web
https://www.proakademia.eu/en/
Total partner budget
242,617 €
BME Department of Environmental Economics and Sustainability
Address
Magyar tudósok körútja 2
H-1117 Budapest
Country
Hungary (HU)
Web
http://www.bme.hu/?language=en
Total partner budget
247,943 €
Address
Kukucinova 2
040 01 Košice
Country
Slovakia (SK)
Web
https://www.cike.sk/en/
Total partner budget
264,769 €
Address
Kolejowa 29
56-120 Brzeg Dolny
Country
Poland (PL)
Web
http://www.brzegdolny.pl/
Total partner budget
200,000 €

Roadmap

1

Challenge #1 – City centres are changing

We are facing two challenges with the project. The first is about city centres. In recent decades, cities had developed into resource-intensive centres of consumption. We had structures which promote consumption, like a lot of advertising, sales, low prices, chain stores or new products. Social and cultural exchange in city centres has decreased. In other words, city centres haven’t realised their potential to play an important part for sustainable consumption and fight climate crisis. In addition, now, the online trade is growing, which increasingly shifts consumption from city centres to the digitalised sphere. In connection with the COVID19 pandemic, numerous shops had to close, especially in smaller cities. For example, the vacancy rate in Germany is at 15 % for so called 1a locations in busy inner-city streets and up to 25 % for 1b locations (IVD 2021). This means, consumption-oriented city centres are losing their functions and their attraction.

2

Challenge #2 – circular lifestyle offers remain in their niche

The second challenge refers to alternative consumption models and circular lifestyle offers, which could lead to more circularity and less resource use. These alternative offers, like repair, upcycling or sharing, they exist. But due to the current framework conditions these models usually only remain in their niche. They are only seen by "interested parties" at most. For example, over 60 % of the people in Germany have never bought second hand clothes. In addition, these offers often have to deal with uncertain financing, because they are not necessarily oriented towards growth or making profit

3

Needs and challenges of our target groups

We want to bring these two challenges together, for the benefit of both. We want to use the current transformation of cities to strengthen sustainable and circular consumption structures in their centres. And we want to do that together with the citizens and city stakeholders. Therefore, we will firstly summarise the findings from all our participating countries in a synthesis report: the needs and visions of our target groups (cities and initiatives / providers of new business models, existing networks), description of strengths, weaknesses, enabling and hampering framework conditions, analyses of differences between different Central European regions and different sizes of cities and the impact of Corona pandemics The report will include easy-to-understand and attractively designed overview graphics for communication.

4

Strategy framework to enable circular lifestyles in cities

The strategy framework will show ways for promotion and establishment of circular lifestyles in cities. It will serve as a guidance for local and regional public authorities. For the strategy framework the project partners will assess’ the existing political measures, action plans, development plans, strategies and programmes that support circular lifestyles in cities. The assessment is conducted through interviews with political stakeholders, desk research and a think tank workshop. The workshop will include all project partners, our network of associated partners, representatives from NGOs and policymakers. It will take place in Kosice, Slovakia in March 2024, and will be used as a discussion board that will contribute to a draft document of the Strategy Framework.

5

Circular lifestyle monitor tool for cities

The "monitor tool" will help any city to quickly analyse status quo, challenges and potentials for circular lifestyle in their centre. It is based on the joint assessment of sustainable consumption patterns and supporting business models that play a role in the circular development of cities.

6

Testing circular lifestyles in the real world

Through idea competitions, multi-stakeholder cooperation, activation of target groups in close cooperation with the pilot city, project partners will work in transnational tandems and test four specific pilot actions in different settings: 1) Approach to initiate the re-use of spaces at central places in cities for circular offers 2) Implementation and running of multifunctional "resource centres" under living lab condition by re- using spaces in central places of cities 3) Linking sustainable online commerce with city centres, e.g. establishing multifunctional micro hubs or retail as a service 4) Activation of users for circular lifestyles e.g. for circular water management

7

“How-to” Circular Lifestyles in City Centres

On the base of our learnings and experiences during the pilot actions we will develop a Solution box. The Solution Box offers four different guides on how to establish circular lifestyles at central places in cities and re-use local space and resources. It contains: 1) A Community Guide on how to establish circular lifestyles by re-using spaces and resources in urban centers. It serves as a practical checklist and diagnosis tool for local authorities. And it includes the monitoring and evaluation framework and the transnational lessons learnt of the pilots. 2) A Methodology Kit will comprise a) the applied methods how to initiate a participatory process with local stakeholders to reactivate spaces for circular offers, b) how to engage local actors and citizens to change behaviour and c) continuation measures: how to continue circular offers and bring them out of niche 3) A Resource-center Guide: How to build, run and sustain a multifunctional resource centre 4) A Circular Water Kit addressing water re-use in cities

8

Get inspired: Virtual reality exhibition with 30 good practices of circular lifestyles

The online virtual exhibition will inspire and encourage all stakeholders and interested parties how circular business models and sustainable consumption patterns can be established at central places in cities (and ways how they come out of niches). An interactive virtual exhibition will invite audiences to discover cases and tools for citizen engagement and behaviour changes towards a circular society. At least 30 selected inspiring and motivating examples how circular lifestyles in city centres can be realised and supported (models, measures) will be presented in the exhibition.

9

Dissemination of our ideas: The Knowledge Platform

The Knowledge Platform "From Niche to Centre" will invite all interested parties to discover solutions and offers of NiCE project. It 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. It will also provide solutions for local authorities and multipliers to support the change of citizens' behaviour towards circular lifestyles. The platform will comprise the inspiring examples as a virtual exhibition, the digitalised Solution Box and the documenting pilot videos. Tools and guides will be user-friendly presented, tailored to the needs of the final users.

10

Transferability Conference

At our Transferability Conference the NiCE project solutions and policy recommendations will be presented to EU experts, networks and policy makers, together with representatives of national and regional authorities. The conference will take place in Germany. It aims will be to mainstream the solutions to targeted local communities to achieve uptake of the solution models for circular lifestyles.

News

Introducing Monte San Pietro

P2 Green

NEWS

25.01.2024

Introducing Monte San Pietro

ENEA interviewed Barbara Fabbri, Italian Councilor of Monte San Pietro Municipality for the Environment, Sustainable Development, Agriculture, Peace and International Solidarity, Mining Activities to bring the overview of their local experience of promotion of sustainability policies on waste prevention and water saving projects.

Ecodesign directive

P2 Green

NEWS

10.01.2024

Ecodesign directive

In December, the Council and the Parliament reached a provisional political agreement on the proposed new Ecodesign Directive for Sustainable Products (ESPR), marking a significant step forward in the EU’s commitment to sustainability. This comprehensive regulation aims to transform the way products are designed, manufactured, and consumed across the ...

NiCE Living Labs

P2 Green

NEWS

18.12.2023

NiCE Living Labs

Living labs do not just exist on paper, but create experimental spaces in a real context with and for local people. In this way, research approaches and implementations from the pro-ject are tried out and can be experienced by the people concerned. The project NiCE uses Living Lab approaches to ...

How municipalities and producers have been preparing for new EU waste textile regulations

P2 Green

NEWS

31.10.2023

How municipalities and producers have been preparing for new EU waste textile regulations

The European Union pushes for an increase of recycled fabrics and textiles in clothing by 2030. One of the targets is also higher durability, reparability and recyclability.

NiCE project Partner meeting in Bologna

P2 Green

NEWS

31.10.2023

NiCE project Partner meeting in Bologna

Next partner meeting of the NiCE Project will be organized by ENEA in Bologna from the 9th to the 10th November 2023.

Events

Study visit Kosice

P2 Green

EVENT

Slovakia

In Person

06 - 07.03.2024

Study visit Kosice

Associated partners and stakeholders from our partner's cities will have the opportunity to meet in Kosice, exchange their experiences, approaches and operational models, as well as to see good practices from Kosice, meet the local promoters of circular and sustainable consumption and discuss with them fresh ideas, challenges and ...

BME Workshop for the status quo assessment and needs analysis of our target group

P2 Green

EVENT

Hungary

In Person

26.10.2023

BME Workshop for the status quo assessment and needs analysis of our target group

BME Department of Environmental Economics and Sustainability organizes a workshop for the assessment of needs and visions of university students.

Kreislauf finder freie Flache

P2 Green

EVENT

Austria

In Person

17.10.2023

Kreislauf finder freie Flache

Networking event with vacancy owners and circular economy actors in Graz

Workshop: Local strategies for the retail sector in EU cities

P2 Green

EVENT

Belgium

In Person

12.10.2023

Workshop: Local strategies for the retail sector in EU cities

As part of the European Week of Regions and Cities, a workshop will be held on 12 October 2023 from 11:30-12:30 on strategies to make city centre retailing more sustainable in the future. The workshop will take place on site in Brussels, exclusively in presence.

Pilot actions

Outputs

Joint development of strategy framework

Based on a) a joint assessment of existing political measures, action and development plans, strategies and programmes, b) good examples that support circular lifestyles in cities and c) our needs analysis findings, we will develop in transnational workshops a strategy framework for promotion and establishment of circular lifestyles in cities / city centres. The strategy framework will be published and be guiding document for uptake and further adaptations in cities throughout (Central) Europe.
Type of output: Strategies and action plans
In development

Pilot cases to establish circular lifestyle offers at central places in cities by re-using local space and resources

We will jointly develop specific pilot approaches in small groups or tandems and test them in different settings: 1) A participatory approach to initiate re-use of local spaces for circular offers 2) Running multifunctional "resource centres" under living lab conditions and re-used city spaces 3) Linking online trade and circular offers (e.g. establishing multifunctional micro hubs, retail as a service) 4) Activation of users for circular lifestyles e.g. for circular water management
Type of output: Solutions
In development

Solution Box to establish circular lifestyles at central places in cities and re-use local space and resources

Our "Solution Box" will be based on pilot experiences and the evaluation and comprise: 1) A Methodology Kit: How to re-use spaces for circular offers, how to activate civil engagement and how to (economically) sustain offers and bring them out of niche 2) A Guide: How to build, run and sustain a multifunctional resource centre 3) A Community Guide (Checklist and diagnosis tools) with focus on how to link online trade and circular offers 4) A Circular Water Kit
Type of output: Solutions
In development

Jointly developed action plans

Based on our strategic framework (Activity 1.3, output 1.1), we will jointly develop two action plans (see deliverable D3.3.1). This can be done back-to-back to a partner meeting, e.g. in period 5 in Brzeg Dolny, PP9, or based on our tandem work between partners. The action plans will help to take up our solutions and to contribute to more circular city centres by re-using local spaces and local resources for circular offers.
Type of output: Strategies and action plans
In development

NiCE

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Project Contacts

Project Manager

Jan Gimkiewicz
Phone: +49 340 2103 3305

Finance Manager

Theresa Luber
Phone: +49 89 277 8124 05

Communication Manager

Marko Popovič
Phone: +421 948 912 921