Local stakeholders in Barcelona discuss environmental impact assessment

The Biocircularcities pilot partner Metropolitan Area of Barcelona brought together local stakeholders for the 3rd time during an online Local Living Labs. Participants were invited to discuss the importance of environmental impact assessment and decision-support tool. First, Biocircularcities partners ENEA and LIST presented the results of the life cycle analysis performed on the municipal biowaste value-chain considered in the Metropolitan area, and the decision-support tool to support with the choice of technological solutions for the recycling of bioresidues.

The feedback provided by the participants reflected the diversity of the panel, with research-oriented participants being more used to take into consideration the environmental impact of new projects than the participants involved in decision-making. Environmental impact assessment is usually performed due to legal requirements, yet it is also useful to justify political decisions. Besides, several participants also recalled the economic considerations generally come second after legal requirements.

Most participants were not familiar with decision-support tools focusing on biowaste management. These tools are regarded as interesting but also challenging to use as they generally require much information, and limited considering that they don’t usually include aspects on citizen acceptance. Other important aspects were mentioned regarding the decision-making process for new treatment plants: available space, proper urban classification, proximity to citizens, to name a few. In general, political decision-making was described by participants as a complex process. Participants also offered ideas to improve the Biocircularcities webtool, by including more information on the different variants for the selected technologies, on the available economic incentives, or linking it with a tool to map stakeholders.