From 10 to 12 April the city of Turku in Finland hosted the first workshop (Policy Lab) that focused on different policy approaches to involve the cultural and creative sectors and industries (CCSI’s) in local circular transitions.

Participants, representing the cities of Aarhus, Gdynia, Kiel, Riga, Tallinn and Turku, explored how cities can leverage policy tools to facilitate the transition to a circular economy, recognizing the pivotal role that local governments play in engaging CCSI’s to drive sustainable change.

In the opening speech, the Regional Director of the Danish Cultural Institute Lizaveta Dubinka-Hushcha pointed out that the circularity mindset, lying at the heart of the CCC project, aligns perfectly with the Nordic design principles of sustainability, minimalism, and functionality. “The Nordic countries have long been known for their commitment to sustainable design, and the Baltic Sea region stands as beacon of excellence in this regard,” said Dubinka-Hushcha.

The mayor of Turku, Minna Arve, delivered a powerful keynote speech that emphasized the city’s unwavering commitment to sustainability. For 2029 Turku has made two commitments – becoming a carbon neutral city and hugely investing in culture. “Culture gives pleasure, brings harmony, it brings issues forward for discussion, but it is also a very strong transformational power in city development,” Arve emphasized.

The dynamic three-day workshop was led by circular economy experts Vojtech Vosecky (The Circular Economist) and Marco Segovia (Circular Change), who delivered inspiring expert sessions and facilitated group discussions.

“Cities are at heart of what is driving the climate crisis, but also at the heart of solving it. […] The biggest challenge is about building the cities of the future because 7 billion people will live in cities in 2050. Imagine all the concrete, glass, steel, and plastic – all the resources that will be needed to accommodate the future generations. If we do it in the old way, we are not going to make it, the planet is not going to take it,” said Vojtech Vosecky highlighting the need for a change in approach towards circularity.

Discussions and activities at the Policy lab revolved around fostering effective cooperation, enhancing stakeholder engagement, and implementing circular economy principles within the CCSI’s. Taking inspiration from the expert sessions but also discussions amongst each other, participants were actively working on refining their citizens engagement and circular business pilots.

Through the lens of case studies like the Turku Circular Economy Roadmap and the Zero Waste Kiel strategy, attendees gained practical insights and best practices tailored to this field.

The CCC Policy Lab marks the beginning of an exciting journey, as it is the first of four labs scheduled to take place in the project’s participating cities. The following multi-day workshops will focus on business incubation, citizen engagement, and strategy development to involve the CCSI’s in the transition to a circular economy.

“Creative Circular Cities” is co-funded by the EU’s Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme to promote circular transition at local level by involving the culture & creative sectors and industries.

Source: Danish Culture Institute
Source: Danish Culture Institute