INNOMED-UP: The Prato Circular City Strategy - Mobilising Different Stakeholders to achieve the Circular Economy
On the 23rd July 2020 the Municipality of Prato has organized its INNOMED-UP SWOT PEST workshop, an event that was held online due to the COVID-19 emergency, which saw nevertheless a wide participation of local stakeholders chosen as representatives of the industrial and professional associations and other organizations active in the fields of the CCIs, Textile & Clothing and the Circular Economy. The workshop was organized in the framework of “Prato Circular City”, the official Municipality-led initiative for the circular economy in the City, which looks at the circular economy as a horizontal priority within its long-term urban agenda (http://www.pratocircularcity.it/home625.html).
The 37 participants that attended the INNOMED-UP SWOT PEST workshop discussed challenges and opportunities of the CCI and T&C sector during the COVID-19 crisis and how new circular models can help revive the economy by promoting innovative products, processes and services across core functions in the cities - such as living, caring, learning, working, moving, etc. The agenda encouraged the participation, discussion and sharing among all stakeholders to develop a broader vision of an integrated circular urban system that can accelerate the transition to new CE development models.
As a matter of fact, the SWOT PEST Seminar served to capitalize the administration’s experience within the European Urban Agenda Partnership for the Circular Economy, which helped Prato to transform the local Textile & Clothing production through innovative synergies among stakeholders for concrete actions towards the CE. Based on its experience with the Urban Agenda Partnership, the Mnicipality is now acting along three lines in order to achieve:
1. better regulation & legislation to facilitate the transition towards the CE
2. better funding and ability to intercept calls and opportunities for the city and for businesses
3. better knowledge: raising the awareness at all levels of the city (data, studies, good practices)
One of the best practices introduced at the workshop was the one by Manifattura Maiano, a major local mill that uses recycled textile waste to produce applications in other sectors such as buildings and gardening. Spokewoman Ms Sara Casini explained that to deliver the Circular Economy products several actors and skills need to be combined to upcycle textile waste. A basic approach to CE products must consider: 1) the quantification of produced material 2) the quantification of its reusable portion, and 3) the identification of current and potential applications.