Various resources developed during the course of UrbanWINS to assist stakeholders in achieving a better understanding of waste prevention and management strategies in their cities.

UrbanWINS Toolkit

One of the final outcomes of the project is the UrbanWINS Toolkit: A guide on urban metabolism and participatory processes for more efficient urban waste policies.

The UrbanWINS toolkit is divided into different parts so that you can have an easy access to the information that you consider of interest or relevant. The toolkit gathers all the relevant technical and political approaches and tools that have been used throughout the project, and values the heterogeneous experiences of the partners in order to inspire innovative urban waste prevention and management strategies able to contribute to the shift to more sustainable and circular urban economies.

The UrbanWINS Toolkit addresses various audiences that can find in the current document sources of inspiration and action to act on the improvement of the sustainability of their cities from an innovative perspective and interpretation of waste issues and policies. In order to inspire the action, the toolkit story tells UrbanWINS experiences in an easy to understand manner, explaining both the theoretical considerations behind the activities and the practical ones – the deployment side. Moreover, the toolkit includes various testimonials, case studies, resources and sectorial/thematic focus that are relevant for the understanding and replication of the approaches, as well as to get to know the people and actors behind the UrbanWINS approach.

1 – UrbanWINS Corpus of Best Practices

This part encompasses a list of 70 best practices, relevant for cities, that have been implemented across the EU, covering relevant waste streams. Their descriptions highlight innovative elements such as the use of urban metabolism and stakeholder engagement, which ease the replication.


3 – Stakeholder engagement process

This part includes a theoretical description of the stakeholder identification and engagement processes with a focus on urban waste actors, as well as detailed explanations of the participatory processes that have been carried out in the face-to-face agoras of the UrbanWINS project.

2 – Urban metabolism approaches

This part encompasses detailed descriptions of urban metabolism theoretical approaches and various tools for its implementation, such as UMAn, Material Flow Analysis, Life Cycle Assessment, urban accounts and indicators, as well as various sectorial / thematic case studies that can be used across the life cycle of waste policies.



This section contains 4 annexes detailing some important tools and aspects used in the project.

You can download the toolkit in different languages here:

Feedback and responses

1. Identify the most positive aspect of the toolkit:
  • Urban metabolism, resource (waste) policies and circular economy;
  • (Urban Metabolism) gives the big picture on how waste is being generated;
  • The Toolkit gives context and is well tailored in EU legislation. It also explains the Urban Wins approach very well;
  • The description of the Thematic Focus “Food Waste”;
  • Great contents; very understandable and useful for many people;
  • Contribution to the European research and innovation leadership in urban waste prevention and management based on urban metabolism approaches;
  • DPSIR-LCA complementarity;
  • Putting in perspective the status-quo of the UW project in all cities;
  • Detailed description of stakeholder engagement strategies;
  • Improvement of the innovation capacity;
  • Very useful strategic planning system;
  • It is well described, although the information is highly technical;
  • If understood by the decision maker, it will be a very good starting point for shaping the policies in waste prevention and management; the example for DIPSIR was very relevant to understand the tool;
  • The theory is easy to understand, the links for more information are well appreciated;
  • The idea and the process are very useful, as well as the links to all the work done in the project; it has relevant information for any municipality to use the process in any policy making;
  • The toolkit can contribute to increase environmental resilience in urban areas and improve the quality of life, by giving the decision-makers a perspective that places waste prevention and management activities in the wider context of urban development, based on sustainable and circular production and consumption choices;
  • The perspectives given by DPSIR model make users have a wider view on a discussed and analysed topic, ensuring a much realistic approach when drawing up a strategy, planning an action or taking a decision;
  • The list of Waste Indicators and Circular Economy Indicators is very useful to all stakeholders striving to improve their waste prevention/management activities or contributing to a more responsible and sustainable economy;
  • The toolkit shows the progresses towards more sustainable production and consumption patterns a community can record, as well as to improvements that can be made in waste recovery and recycling;
  • DPSIR model has been used during the participatory processes of UW, proving its efficiency and leading to results (starting point for SPF and LSAP) otherwise difficult to obtain;
  • It is a very useful tool for everyone interested in strategic planning;
  • The entire process of how the SPF on waste prevention and management has been adopted was very interesting and helpful, proving that SPF can be useful long time after UW ends;
  • SPF developing process and steps are clearly described and explained;
  • The multiple instrument types used in the SPF and LSAP (regulatory/voluntary/awareness raising) make easier the searching process, in case an organization is interested in finding and applying similar tools. Excellent explanations on how these tools work, in some examples from Italy;
  • The methodology for identification and selecting the relevant stakeholders, based on a complex matrix, is very helpful and improves the output quality;
  • The interactions between stakeholders is a success factor in the collaboration process. It leads to finding better solutions and making better decisions, as a result of this process. Their involvement in decision-making processes constitutes a strength in their afterwards engagement in the actions’ implementation;
  • Also, the challenges in stakeholders’ engagement were transparently presented in the toolkit;
  • Consultation and co-working process in UW were very well explained in the toolkit (from stakeholders’ identification to concrete actions in which they are involved);
  • The description of face to face agora steps explaining the Bucharest case;
  • The structure of the planning process that enables to move from the city strategy to the planning of relevant and implementable actions;
  • The fact that connects smoothly the introduction in the UrbanWINS project framework with the UM approach and also shares facts about food waste.
2. Identify the most negative aspect of the toolkit:
  • Usability and design. A toolkit needs to be easy to use; we can be users of this but if it’s hard for us, it will be harder for many other potential users coming from other expertise;
  • I think a toolkit is a collection of tools, in this case the tools could be a software, excel file, input/output balance calculator, LCA software, etc. The tools can be supported by users’ manuals. What you have is a collection of guidelines, or documents aligning specific methodologies;
  • The results require improvement. I believe that they are not possible to be verified;
  • This part of the toolkit (UM) is very dense. Urban metabolism chapter and UMAN model data management is difficult to read for people who are not familiar with Urban metabolism approach;
  • The toolkit in general it’s too long, look for more simplification;
  • The approach to “urban metabolism” is difficult to implement by a municipality that has not been involved in the project. Might be needed in the future the creation of a shortened and easy to use version, in order to be used on a large scale;
  • It is not focused enough on the practical aspects; it is too theoretical;
  • Some practical info on LCA would be much appreciated;
  • The participatory process seems too long, maybe 4-5 agoras in total would be more appropriate; the online agora is not relevant for the process, the information would be more visible on the social media;
  • It is not a very easy-to-use toolkit for small localities which have local decision-makers not connected to the complex approach of urban metabolism (of course, there are exceptions);
  • The model DPSIR is less known and used in some EU countries (eg. by comparison with SWOT model). Therefore, it will take some time to reach a larger public who can benefit by such a useful tool;
  • Some approaches are rather too technical for a niche of stakeholders which might be interested in using the tool; if the participatory process is carried out during a long period of time, stakeholders might lose their interest in the action.
3. Suggestions regarding the approach and the structure of the contents:
  • Maybe the use of graphics or icons would improve the efficiency;
  • Some results coming from UMAN model should be incorporated as an example;
  • Great structuring of main points and relationship with the implementation process;
  • Since the pilot cities produced strategic frameworks without urban metabolism studies being finished and they were able to prioritise actions without it, that is a useful result – it is possible to take important steps without analysing the metabolism. That is not apparent in the toolkit;
  • The topics are very relevant for waste prevention and management well defined and easy to understand;
  • In UW post-project activities, continue, if possible, to analyse how the UW guidelines on UM, MFA and LCA tools inspired other cities to use them in drawing up their SPFs and LSAPs and how they improved the use of resources;
  • Results from a DPSIR-analysis are very useful, though they might have a greater impact if presented in a chart together with existing explanations;
  • UW pilot cities should continue using SPF and action planning in their activities even after UW ends;
  • Encourage more the exchange of ideas and collaboration between stakeholders, even outside the framework of a defined participatory process.
4. Additional comments and observations
  • Good and interesting job. We just think that needs to focus in publishing and be more easy for non-academic people;
  • We are interested in the tools and users’ manuals, however, such tools can only be used by people having a certain level of knowledge in the topics;
  • Creating an online platform where authorities can enter a series of data to run a simplified form of UMAn model;
  • I would like to see how cities make progresses in identifying their consumption models for material and energy resources and use them in their effort to implement circular economy;
  • Case studies such as those presented – Leiria (LCA impact of consumption) and Manresa (DPSIR) are very useful to extend the tool use to other cities;
  • The identification of new actions to be transposed in the municipalities’ LSAPs would encourage stakeholders to contribute to the planning and execution processes;
  • Very good examples given by the toolkit – eg. stakeholders’ cooperation in case of Cremona bio-energy factory – multilateral engagement, with detailed roles of stakeholders involved.

UrbanWINS Toolkit Content

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