U-SOLVE in Cyprus works on entrepreneurship ecosystem mapping to tackle sustainable urban development challenges in Nicosia


U-SOLVE’s Cypriot partners, the Cyprus Institute and the University of Cyprus have actively collaborated to map out the ecosystem for entrepreneurs which advocates creative solutions for urban sustainability in the city of Nicosia. The Cypriot U-SOLVE team is engaged in identifying connections between ecosystem stakeholders and their ways of working that can boost the ecological and social impact of entrepreneurial sustainable urban development.  

The U-SOLVE project utilizes the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurship (ANDE), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development-Eurostat (OECD/Eurostat) and Leendertse et al ecosystem mapping frameworks and related methodology to determine the indicators, relevant to an ecosystem, to support entrepreneurial activity for urban sustainability. Data was collected between mid-December 2021 until the end of February 2022 through surveys and personal interviews from a number of local stakeholders who occupy a significant place within statistics. These stakeholders represent civil society, start-ups/SMEs, local authorities, policy makers, academic/research organizations, business support organizations, cultural agencies and governmental organizations. The data was used to identify: (a)the major urban sustainability challenges for the city of Nicosia; (b) the ways in which the current ecosystem functions; (c) the connectedness and level of interaction between the actors involved in the ecosystem; (d) the current impact of these actors on sustainable urban development.  Three major urban sustainability areas have been identified, namely, sustainable mobility and built environment, sustainable energy and waste management. 

The ecosystem mapping process was also supported by complementary data collected through desk research and previous studies and reports on sustainable urban development. 

Focus groups, planned between mid-April – beginning of May 2022, will use the initial findings from the above-mentioned surveys and interviews to stimulate discussions amongst group members on the identified challenges related to sustainable urban development in Nicosia.  The aim of these focus groups is to analyse further these challenges and discuss how the creative industry can be involved in the co-design of possible solutions, as creativity and culture can initiate behavioral and structural changes in the city and facilitate practices that bring forward urban sustainability. 

Key stakeholders from the academic world, professional industries and civil society will have the opportunity to network and exchange their views about specific challenges to urban sustainability with different members of the creative sector who work in media, press, digital applications and platforms, gaming, the arts, and performance.