Successful start of the conference
The EUROCITIES conference started in Ljubljana with circular economy as its main theme. There are approximately 700 participants from around Europe in attendance.
In the introduction conference participants were addressed by Mayor Zoran Janković who underscored the importance of cities in ensuring the quality of life for citizens also for future generations and pointed out two main challenges we are currently facing: climate change on the one side, wars and terrorism on the other. He added that we can only fight with these challenges through cooperation.
Daniël Termont, President of EUROCITIES and Mayor of Gent, accentuated in his introductory speech the future significance of the transition to circular economy and emphasised that cities show more ambition in this field than countries. He added that in future cities will have to reorganise themselves and cooperate with each other to attain the set sustainable goals. »Cooperation is key,« Termont stressed and added that cities are willing to learn from each other and mutually adopt good practises to help their citizens.
Conference participants were also greeted by Secretary General of EUROCITIES Ana Lisa Boni who specifically thanked Mayor Zoran Janković for transforming Ljubljana into a sustainable jewel. Among other things she emphasised that 2017 represents the door into the future and that it is important to presently react to the changes we are witnessing while stressing that the European Union has to work together with cities and their residents. »Together let's shape our future!« said the Secretary General in the conclusion of her introductory address.
In the introductory part of the conference »Good morning Ljubljana« we presented a circular economy good practise case in Ljubljana, the free-of-charge clothing library Kabiné Šerinjon lending clothing and fashion accessories by Slovenian fashion designers and vintage clothing from the Reuse Centre.
With this project, in which the public waste management company Snaga and some faculties in Ljubljana are working together, we want to point out the traps of fast fashion and expose its dark side. »It's not about fashion, it's about people!« was one of the main points emphasised in the discussion as the main aim of the project is to offer individuals, in this case especially teenagers, a different, better option and by doing so promote the significance of circular economy.
Further on Janez Potočnik, Co-chair of the UNEP International Resource Panel and former European Commissioner for Environment, presented the role of circular economy in the resource story and the cities. Among other issues he stressed that there is no sustainable future without sustainable cities, and he encouraged conference participants to act as leaders.
The conference continues with Circular Talks during which lecturers Matej Čer and Iza Login will discuss how we can live without noise, pollution and car ownership and why there is no more time to postpone sustainability.