Testing the CIRCULAR Urban Living Lab concept in Cugir Romania

On Tuesday, 27 June 2023, RDA Centru organized - together with Cugir Municipality and the Institute for Research in Circular Economy and Environment "Ernest Lupan" from Cluj Napoca - a working meeting to test the functionality of a living lab in Cugir and to draft a concept note for the Open Innovation Platform, the strategic project developed under RP Centru, the policy instrument addressed within COLOR CIRCLE project. This event aimed to facilitate dialogue between local administration, academia, private sector and civil society and to provide the foundation for designing CUGIR URBAN LIVING LAB - a community circular economy hub which will provide trainings in the fields of sustainable tourism, handicrafts, sustainable use of the resources, circular economy and green infrastructure.

During the meeting, the nearly 30 guests (representatives of local government, civil society, private sector, academia) identified the main strengths and the constraints that do not allow to make the best use of existing resources, as well as the opportunities for development of Cugir community through sustainable tourism, crafts and tradition taking into account the circular economy.

This meeting established the beginning of a dialogue between all the interested parties (local administration, secondary schools and high schools of Cugir, the town hospital, local and county NGOs, private and academic environment), being only a first step in a longer-term approach that will contribute to the sustainable development of Cugir. In order to create a healthy community, during the event participants drafted a concept note for an urban garden – a knowledge hub for urban nature. This concept note will be revised and submitted under the Open Innovation Platform developed under RP Centru.

This meeting was the last regional event organized in the context of COLOR CIRCLE and was an excellent opportunity to test the replicability of the living lab concept in small communities from the Centru Region.