The long awaited Guidelines, one of the essential outputs of the URBAN-WASTE project are now available on line, as its author, ACR+, published them this week.
Europe’s cities are some of the world’s greatest tourism destinations. The socio-economic impact of tourism is extraordinary in terms of jobs it creates, the contribution to local economies and much more, but it brings at the same time a range of negative externalities, including high levels of unsustainable resource consumption and waste production. In comparison with other cities, tourist cities have to face additional challenges related to waste prevention and management due to their geographical and climatic conditions, the seasonality of tourism flow and the specificity of tourism industry and of tourists as waste producers.
These Guidelines were drafted and published in order to support city managers and policy makers in replicating the URBAN-WASTE strategies in tourist cities. The Guidelines summarise the work that the project consortium done over the last 3 years including the initial mapping and identification of local stakeholders involved in waste management and tourism processes, community-based decision making, implementation of eco-innovative measures and the final environmental, social and economic impact assessments. These guidelines will allow city managers, including decision and policy makers, to understand the underlying liaisons between tourism and waste management processes and enable them to recreate some of the URBAN-WASTE processes in order to improve their local waste management practices and adapt them to their local tourism patterns.
Over the last three years, URBAN-WASTE supported policy makers in answering these challenges and in developing strategies that aim at reducing the amount of municipal waste production and further support re-use, recycle, collection and disposal of waste in tourist cities. While doing so, URBAN-WASTE adopted and applied the urban metabolism approach to support the switch to a circular model where waste is considered as resource and reintegrated in the urban flow. All this was done in order to bring together the local authorities with the key actors in the local tourism industry and waste management in order to allow them to cooperate, complete each other and act for a more sustainable tourism in their local environments.
A number of different researches, exercises and processes during the project’s lifetime and partners who worked on them helped understanding the key links between urban metabolism, waste management in tourism and what added values do healthy ecosystems bring to urban areas. These findings helped the cities to assess their own baseline scenarios and certain things and links work in their own local or regional reality. Local and regional reality in the project’s 11 pilot cities and regions: Copenhagen, Dubrovnik – Neretva County, Lisbon, Nicosia, Ponta Delgada, Florence, Tenerife, Santander, Kavala, Metropole Nice – Cote d’Azur and Syracuse. The findings served as the basis for discussions with local and regional stakeholders who were brought together in Communities of Practices. The Communities were the place and opportunity to map, locate, identify and define each stakeholder’s role in these processes and define the eco-innovative measures the pilots and their stakeholders would implement later on.
The fact that these 11 pilots were stretching from the easternmost part of the Mediterranean Sea to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and from the subtropical island of Tenerife to the Nordic capital of Copenhagen means that the local realities were all but the same. This is why the project looked at these pilots through different categories in order to be able to understand their local characteristics better. These categories were reflecting the pilots’ type of tourism, touristic offer, tourism seasonality, geographic and topographic characteristics and more.
The reader of these Guidelines will be walked through different phases of defining and creating waste management strategies, suggested methodology and expected outcomes of such strategies. It will provide them with the necessary knowledge, findings and observations that were done in the 11 pilots and proposed approaches and methodologies for reproducing and multiplying the URBAN-WASTE project’s achievements.