Journal
Modifier 17 February 2021
by Amaya Celaya Alvarez

SPIRE Journal 1: get to know the latest project achievements

SPIRE, Baia Mare
This is the first journal of the Smart Post-Industrial Regenerative Ecosystem (SPIRE) since its start on 01/09/2019. SPIRE, led by the Municipality of Baia Mare, is an ambitious Urban Innovative Action aiming to manage land use in a sustainable way and integrate Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) to re-claim several (5) polluted sites in the city.
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Executive Summary

The city of Baia Mare is the epicenter of SPIRE. Baia Mare is a municipality along the Sasar River in north-western Romania. With a population of ca. 145.000 and a metropolitan area home to more than 230,000 residents, the city is the capital of the Maramures county[1]

The project tackles the challenges urban ecosystems suffer at the nexus of the economy-society-environment. It applies adaptive phytoremediation to Heavy-Metal contaminated land (environmental lens), generates a new and dynamic land-use management through participatory planning (social lens), and creates new local value systems (economic lens).

  • An adaptive approach to Nature-Based Phytoremediation and ecosystem creation on urban Heavy Metal-polluted strategic urban pilot sites is proposed.
  • A long-term strategy (2050) for land use management and economic re-profiling is co-produced with the civil society, the local administration, the private sector, and academia.
  • Cascading value chains from bio-based material and renewable energy flows are leveraged into social post-industrial entrepreneurship and new circular economic models, and changes in environment behaviour, counting on a local smart token value system (iLEU) and the SPIRE HUB.

As an inspiring and real exercise of integration of Nature-Based Solutions and phytoremediation strategies into sustainable urban design and management, it can potentially provide a model for other Romanian and European cities that still bear the burden of their industrial past.

The project deals on the one hand with the benefits of European, national and local policies for some of the matters it addresses; and on the other hand, with the lack of comprehensive policies at the national level on other issues, which allows it to seek and enable new and alternative urban governance models, learning worthy lessons to be applied in the near future.

This journal presents a detailed analysis of the UIA challenges in the SPIRE project, measuring their risk from low to high. According to this, cross-department working, and monitoring and evaluation present a low risk in implementation. medium risk is identified for leadership, participative approach, communication, and upscaling. Finally, high risk is present for public procurement challenges.


[1] SPIRE (2020), D.4.1.2, Awareness and Openness Report. Available at: http://spire.city

1. Introduction to the challenge addressed

2. How the project fits in with EU policy context, on a national and regional level

3. Implementation challenges

4. Next steps

5. Acknowledgements

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Baia Mare. Source: Baia Mare Municipality

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