#BeCircular Annual Meeting 2018
Tour & Taxis, Brussels, 24th October 2018
In Brussels it was held the annual meeting of the Circular Economy Regional Program entitled « Bruxelles, Région pionnière en économie circulaire». This conference wanted to show the different actions that make the Brussels-Capital Region a pioneering in the topic.The circular approach represents a concrete chance for the European Union. It would generate new economic advantages that will regard business competitiveness, innovation, and job opportunities.
At the same time, closing the loop will help Europe to reduce the damages produced by an economy that exceeds the environmental capacity. These achievements are strongly related with the EU priorities mentioned in the treaties. The art.3 (3) TEU laid down that the Union “shall work for the sustainable development of Europe based on balanced economic growth and price stability, a highly competitive social market economy, aiming at full employment and social progress, and a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment. It shall promote scientific and technological advance.”
The Circular Economy Regional Program represents, thus, a means to enhance EU policy initiatives. The meeting was an opportunity for several stakeholders to debate, exchange ideas, and express the progress made after two years from the inauguration of the program.
At the beginning of the conference, D. Gosuin and Fadila Laanan presented the political efforts already done toward circularity in Brussels. Then, the participants had the possibility to look closely at new economic activities developed in the area, and to directly speak with their actors. The enterprises were involved in different domains: Construction, New Economic Models, Food, Zero Waste, Logistic, Design.
In the case of construction, it was organized a visit to the “Centre Culturel et Sportif Tour à Plomb”. The aim was to briefly present how the circular economy concept can be implemented within the renovation of constructions.
The centre was an old metal factory, which has been abandoned more than 20 years ago. Accordingly, the municipality of Brussels decided to renovate it, by taking advantage of the existing structure and the old facades. In this way, any virgin material was extracted. Additionally, by avoiding the demolition process, it was prevented the generation of debris.
The interior of the place looks comfortable for the visitors. It has various openings, which provide natural light.
Part of the structure reused with some reinforces to be appropriate for the new use.
The building was projected to integrate a variety of uses. For example, it involves cultural, sports, and learning activities. Or, the public school located next to the building can use the installation to give classes to its students. For all these reasons, the project represents effective instruments to raise awareness within the community about circular economy processes.
In the second part of the conference, several experts intervened. Between the others, Julia Vol, a representative of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, concluded that in order to face city’s impacts it is necessary to create a collaborative network which unifies public government with private business. She said that we need to: “Manage the ecosystem of the business in environmental issues, with collaboration between neighborhoods and government getting a city with innovation, creating more revenues and jobs.”