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Urban metabolism is the key to build Innovative Networks and Strategies on Waste Management

UrbanWINS’s project main objective is to develop and test methods and methodologies to elaborate and implement innovative and sustainable strategic plans of Prevention and Waste Management in six European countries (Austria, Italy, Romania, Portugal Spain and Sweden).


Launched in June 2016, it is a three-year EU-funded project, in the context of the Horizon 2020. Aims at developing and implementing Eco-Innovative Strategic Plans for Prevention and Waste Management that will boost the urban environmental resilience and contribute to develop more sustainable standards of production and consumption. Acts at the level of use of urban materials in various urban contexts recurring to innovative, interdisciplinary and participatory approaches. These Strategic Plans will be developed based on a better understanding of the factors that influence the metabolism of cities, as well as how these factors can lead to technological, non-technological and governance changes.

Specific Objectives:

•    Design of instruments for the involvement of stakeholders targeting the development of new solutions.
•    Development of a set of recommendations and innovative instruments for waste prevention and management.

•  Deepen the understanding of the state of the art about urban waste management strategies and the connections with the approaches to urban metabolism, based on the analysis of 24 cities in 6 EU countries.


How to get involved?

Through the wide involvement of stakeholders (key actors) in the Agoras.
Along the project presential meetings (Local Agoras) will be held and created a virtual forum (Online Agoras  - for debate involving all, from citizens to waste managers.
The key idea is to engage everybody in dialogue promoting brainstorming, sharing of ideas, concerns and possible solutions. Open participation will happen in different phases of the process: analysis, policy planning, action planning and implementation. 

Main outputs:

•  Reference model for the study of urban metabolism;
•  A virtual community and 8 physical communities, the “agora” created to guarantee the involvement of stakeholders contributing with ideas and innovative actions;
•  Pilot-strategies and actions for prevention and waste management in the 8 pilot cities;
• Online tool kit with the experiences of the 8 pilot cities to capacitate the decision-makers on improving their policies of waste prevention and management. 

Expected results:

•    Collaborative processes in decision making;
•    Mutual learning among the cities involved;
•    Collective solutions for an eco-innovative urban management;
•    Awareness on resource constraints, waste prevention and management;
•    Better understanding of the links between resilience of the urban environment and quality of life;
•    Reduce barriers to ensure a circular economy, understanding waste as a resource;
•    Strategic plans for prevention and management of replicable urban waste;
•    Progress towards more sustainable patterns of production and consumption.

Key elements

Collaborative Governance: collaborative decision making targeting the establishment of new public policies in urban waste management.
Circular concept: the project develops around the circularity idea namely the urban metabolism and circular economy.

Pilot Cities


There are 27 partners from 6 different countries (Austria, Italy, Romania, Portugal, Spain and Sweden), including municipalities and local authorities, research centers and universities, companies, NGOs.​​

The 4 partners at the national level:

The Team

FCT NOVA / MARE NOVA (Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences)​​

Faculty Researchers involved: Lia Vasconcelos (coordinator of WP3), Graça Martinho, José Carlos Ferreira, Ana Silveira, Joaquim Pina​Grant Researchers: Flávia Silva, Filipa Ferreira; Ana Pires, Ana Gomes, Mário Ramos, Pedro Santos

Where to know more? 

Visit our website – and subscribe to our newsletter!

Visit our social networks and participate on the debate: #UrbanWINS


National Contacts:



Phone: +351 21 2948500, ext: 10174

General contact:

Mara Pesaro, Coordinator of the UrbanWINS project
Municipality of Cremona (Italy)

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