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  • URBAN-WASTE: Urban strategies for waste management in tourist cities

URBAN-WASTE: Urban strategies for waste management in tourist cities


Switch to circular models

Analysis of the state of art of urban metabolism in 11 pilot cities

Reducing municipal waste production and supporting the re-use, recycle, collection and disposal in tourist cities

Some cities in Europe are greatest tourism destinations worldwide. During the high season, some of these touristic cities have to cope with a residing population that contributes to reach from two to ten times their usual number of inhabitants. The socio-economic impact of these visitors is extraordinary, therefore urban tourism, with the economic and employment opportunities it creates, has become a key factor in overall urban planning. However, at the same time tourism brings a range of negative externalities, including high levels of unsustainable resource consumption and waste production.

Thus, touristic cities have to face additional challenges related to waste prevention and management: their geographical and climatic conditions, the seasonality of tourism flow and the specificity of tourism industry and of tourists as waste producers. These challenges threaten, amongst other things, the preservation and conservation of those ecosystem services – sea, beaches, natural parks – offered by tourist destinations, which are at the basis of the environmental survival of tourist cities and of their attractiveness.

The URBAN-WASTE objective was to help develop strategies aimed at reducing the amount of municipal waste production as well as strategies to further develop re-use, recycling, collection, and disposal of waste. In doing so URBAN-WASTE adopted and applied the urban metabolism approach to support the switch to a circular model where waste is considered as resource and reintegrated in the urban flow.

The project developed eco-innovative and gender-sensitive waste prevention and management strategies in cities with high levels of tourism in order to reduce the urban waste production and improve municipal waste management. These strategies facilitate the reintroduction of waste as a resource into the urban metabolism flows and address waste management, risk prevention and land-use as an integral part of urban development.

11 pilot cities and regions were on the frontline of the project, implementing the developed tools and strategies: Tenerife (ES), Tuscany region (IT), Kavala (GR), Copenhagen (DK), Lisbon (PT), Metropole Nice Cote d’Azur (FR), Nicosia (CY), Ponta Delgada (PT), Santander (ES), Syracuse (IT) and Dubrovnik-Neretva County (HR).

The participatory approach was structured in a mobilisation and mutual learning action plan for waste prevention and management in tourist cities and attracted a number of non-partner cities, too.


  • A set of ICT tools, namely the WasteApp mobile application
  • Communities of Practice that gathered key stakeholders along the tourism and waste value chain.
  • The “Charter of Commitments for Sustainable Material Resources Management and Circular Economy” as a manifesto aimed at local and regional authorities who wanted to express their intentions to adapt their tourism sector to the given environmental capacities of the area of interest and further develop and enrich their tourism offer with eco-innovative strategies and measures which will turn tourism more sustainable and environmentally-friendly.
  • Guidelines for city managers and policy makers together with 22 eco-innovative measures which served as manuals for the implementation and multiplication of eco-innovative measures to improve their local waste management practices and adapt them to their local tourism patterns.
  • 6 webinars organised as a part of the capacity building activities of the project on the following topics: 1) Waste and tourism: how to set a participative approach; 2) Implementation of innovative waste management measures in tourism: who and why?; 3) Communicating good practices and innovative measures to appropriate target groups; 4) Quantifying the environmental impact of waste management practices in tourism; 5) URBAN-WASTE and ConsumeLess Med: teaming up for sustainable tourism; and 6) URBAN-WASTE: Guidelines for City managers.



GOBCAN (España)

TUD (Holanda)

ACR+ (Bélgica)

AU (Dinamarca)

ADS (España)

BOKU (Austria)

CPH (Dinamarca)

CIT (España)


UCPH (Dinamarca)

SI (Italia)

ORDIF (Francia)

BIOAZUL (España)

SLU (Suecia)

DUNEA (Croacia)

CE (España)

AGORAH (Francia)

LI (Portugal)

ULPGC (España)

AI (Italia)

ASHOTEL (España)

MNCA (Francia)

EPI (Grecia)

FRCT (Portugal)

LU (Suecia)

NI (Chipre)

RT (Italia)


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Status: Finished

Funding program: H2020

Contract nº: 690452

Duration: 01/06/2016 – 31/05/2019 (36 meses)

Budget: 4.248.782,50 € (financiación CE: 4.248.782,50 €)

Contact person: Gerardo González (ggonzalez@bioazul.com)