The Circ-NSR project aims to bring the North Sea Region on a path to a stronger Circular Economy (CE). Key instrument for reaching this aim is to bring in focus and promote better CE governance structures. Circ-NSR goes beyond implementing singular pilot activities, focusing instead on success factors and mechanisms for upscaling, transferring and mainstreaming circular solutions in regional economies and installing a circular mindset among public and private stakeholders.
To do so, Circ-NSR follows a two-folded approach.
1. Partners carry out 8 pilot activities in 5 different regions on different CE topics and promote and analyse the governance structures.
2. Partners interview and survey other CE projects and initiatives to capture transferable mechanisms and success factors. From both streams of activities, experiences are captured in a governance transfer centre including an online toolbox targeted at municipal, regional & sectorial actors beyond the partnership to inspire them for adapting practices and improve governance structures.
The Circ-NSR project intentionally focuses not on one particular topic of the CE, but on systematically capturing governance implications and successful, transferable mechanisms of a wide array of projects and initiatives as well as the pilot implementations to demonstrate and make this knowledge available.
Finally, it leads to reduced CO2 emissions, higher committment and increased capacity of actors for the CE and a greener North Sea Region.
The pilot project
Leiedal, an intermunicipal organisation of 13 cities and municipalities in South-West-Flanders (Belgium), will focus in the Interreg Circ-NSR project on “Verticalisation”. As the demand for new businesses and industries is rising in our region, Leiedal wants to create a vertical business park to tackle the amounting shortage of resources such as space and water. As Leiedal is a key actor in the development of business parks in South-West-Flanders, we are in a unique position to implement circular principles and to promote sustainability on industrial sites. In Circ-NSR, Leiedal will focus on the business park ‘Evolis’ which is an innovative business site in full development. During Circ-NSR, Leiedal aims to:
- develop and launch a tender for a vertical and circular business park, in the form of a Public Private Partnership substantiated by a good business model.
- Prepare the market to build and invest in a vertical business park through Living Labs in which there will be a continuous interaction between experts on CE and local practice
- Conduct thorough research on 7 specific themes, namely 1) lifecycle analysis, 2) engineering, 3) architecture and design, 4) water, 5) renewable energy, 6) mobility, 7) legal aspects. The team that will be selected for this research will be composed of experts from knowledge centres and private consultancy firms.
- Increase the know-how on circularity at Leiedal, and
- Disseminate this know-how in the region
Leiedal wants to convince private investors to realise vertical business sites by thoroughly investigating all aspects of ‘verticalisation’. This requires know how on architectural and technical dimensions, but also on material life cycles, water, renewable energy, mobility and legal aspects. In a first phase, Leiedal will investigate current market demand and stimulate interest of public and private investors in ‘verticalisation’ during existing networking events. In a second phase of the pilot project, private investors and SME’s should become actual stakeholders in the pilot project so a tender for research and design can be launched in the form of a Public Private Partnership. Finally, research and pilot findings will be communicated to inspire further potential followers. Knowledge on vertical business sites will not only be interesting for the pilot project ‘Evolis’. A blueprint needs to be made for other projects on circularity and verticalisation in the region of South-West-Flanders.