EURE showcases good practices in recycling, energy efficiency and air quality monitoring

Often considered as an example in Romania when it comes to sustainable development projects, the city of Alba Iulia shared good practices and case studies with its fellow partners of the Interreg Europe EURE project during an online study visit. Participants also had the opportunity to follow a panel on the importance of the European funds in increasing the administrative capacity of eligible beneficiaries. 

Alba Iulia, Romania The Interreg Europe EURE project enlarged its pool of practices and experiences thanks to an online study visit in Alba Iulia that took place on 28 September 2021. Those practices are a key tool in the project’s goal of improving the environmental performance of EU peripheral urban spaces, in particular of small and medium-sized cities, and the way the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) addresses their environmental urban challenges. This time, partners’ attention focused on practices in recycling, energy efficiency and air quality monitoring. 

In the past years, the ERDF enabled Alba Iulia to bring positive environmental changes by contributing to the financing of three projects: the improvement of the integrated waste management system to reach better performances and comply with European requirements; the increase of energy efficiency in public educational buildings such as the Sports High School; and an in-depth air monitoring throughout the city.

One of the reports developed by the EURE project concludes that all cities and groups of cities should implement the necessary actions to reach goals marked in the EU Circular Economy Package, but they should not be alone in the process. National and European advice and financial support should be available to encourage urban actions. To illustrate this and show that small and medium-sized cities can be a vector of innovation in the transition to the circular economy, should they be provided the adequate support, Alba Iulia showcased three case studies. In 2020, the PlastiCircle project piloted there its innovations in plastic packaging collection, waste transport (using an IoT cloud platform), and with effective recycling. Another pilot action in Alba Iulia was ran by the Interreg Europe Social Green project, this time to test and monitor the results of installing smart-metering devices in social dwellings for boosting energy efficiency. The broader strategy is Alba Iulia Smart City encompasses more actions aiming to turn Alba Iulia into a Zero Waste City, an Innovative City for the Future, a Resilient and Healthy City, and a City with Opportunities for all.  

Participants of the study visit also had the opportunity to follow an interesting panel discussion on the importance of the European funds in increasing the administrative capacity of eligible beneficiaries. Discussions echoed the conclusions made by the EURE partners in their Joint Report “For a better and sustainable quality of life in European cities”. The report provides an overview of the reasons why the EU is, and should continue intervening in urban areas as well as how urban areas actors perceive the EU intervention.

A recording of the study visit and more details are available on the project’s website.

On the following day, partners met for a steering committee of the project. They exchanged on the progresses of the project and agreed on upcoming outputs, such as the publication of a guide compiling all the good practices identified by the project during the next year. Until then, more regional reports will be available, in addition to the ones on Spain-Portugal, the Lubelskie Region, and Tuscany. The regional reports map the situation on partners’ territories regarding urban environmental policy instruments.

More information: | | @EureInterreg | Newsletter subscription

The EURE project Effectiveness of Environmental Urban policies to improve Resources Efficiency proposes the exchange of experiences as a way to improve the environmental performance management of EU urban spaces, including the urban areas with a low population density.