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Invasive alien plant species are one of the biggest challenges in European ecosystems. They displace local vegetation, destroy agricultural land and cause damage to European economy in billions of euros every year. In Slovenia there are no special landfills for invasive alien plant species, so all collected biomass is taken to incinerators or is composted. Ljubljana, as a “Zero waste City”, recognized the potential of setting up a systematic participatory model that uses collected biomass to develop new sustainable products.

APPLAUSE project introduced a completely new approach to the challenge. Invasive alien plant species (IAPS) were considered as a RESOURCE and starting point of a NEW BUSINESS MODEL: through large-scale educational and awareness raising campaigns citizens were encouraged to participate in IAPS harvesting and use. Collected IAPS fed three main ways of their further transformation that has been performed at home (e.g. food, dyes), at tutored workshops (e.g. to produce wood or paper products, to manufacture innovative products with market potential in social enterprises, employing vulnerable groups – introducing new technologies) and at collection points (e.g. Povšetova near a municipal waste collection center). Furthermore, ICT technology was used to address target groups and to produce open data, new knowledge and develop new services like IAPS monitoring with data from aerial orthophotos and Sentinel-2 satellites.

During its implementation, the UIA project has capitalised on its experience so that it can be shared with peers. The outputs displayed on this page are the result of this process.

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Location
Ljubljana, Slovenia
About UIA
Urban Innovative Actions
Programme/Initiative
2014-2020

The Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) is a European Union initiative that provided funding to urban areas across Europe to test new and unproven solutions to urban challenges. The initiative had a total ERDF budget of €372 million for 2014-2020.

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