Ending on a Good Note: A Successful Project, and Final Conference

The Final Event of the RE-SEEties project was organized in Zagreb, on 9th September, 2014. The conference brought together interdisciplinary researchers developing strategies and solution concepts for efficient resource utilization. Over 100 participants have discussed how Europe must move from its current linear economic model towards a more circular one.

FEDARENE and REGEA managing director Dr Julije Domac opened the conference with the statement: "Europe's competitiveness will be determined by its ability to use resources efficiently. Therefore we must explore our existing potential to turn waste into valuable resources. Although there is no single solution for solving global climate change, cities have the ability, capacity, and will to lead. Projects like RE-SEEties have proven that cities can create an effective forum where they can collaborate, share knowledge and create integrated solutions and tools for tackling excessive energy consumption and uncontrolled waste production”.

Due to complex social and political circumstances, municipalities of the SEE region often face challenges when it comes to resource efficiency, as most cities are not well-prepared to tackle this issue in an integrated manner. “RE-SEEties project has helped in this regard by developing tools and methodologies for resource consumption forecasting and resource efficiency measures. Based on the project’s experience, a valuable methodological toolkit has been developed which can provide strategic guidance for all municipalities in the SEE region, and beyond, to improve resource efficiency and smarter city planning”, explained Dr Monica Salvia from the National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis.

Behavioural change is also of central importance in bringing about significant reductions in energy end use and reduction of waste, and the RE-SEEties project has recognized this. “To implement energy and waste measures successfully, first and foremost it is necessary to understand your consumer target groups. The RE-SEEties project tried to educate and inspire a wide range of stakeholders: from local decision makers to average citizens in order to facilitate the change of consumer habits” - said István Hunyadi, Lead Partner of the RE-SEEties project from Budapest’s 18th District.

Diversity is a crucial element for local authorities and regions, which needs to be recognised at the European level. However, what European societies need most is to work in fair partnerships to ensure a sustainable resource future.