Young Climathon 2023 in Riga Develops Circular Economy Solutions

To understand the perspective of young people on the necessary format of urban resource centres and contribute to their education on the circular economy, the Riga Energy Agency (REA) presented a challenge to the „Young Climathon 2023“ hackathon, held on November 23 and 24, 2023, in Riga. The event was part of EUKI project CURE+ – Centres for Urban Resources, Reuse and Remanufacture.

Published: 30 January 2024

Fourteen teams from 11 cities and counties of Latvia participated and presented various solutions. These included the creation of different exchange points in schools for art-related waste, reusable school-related items, clothes, and social enterprises that collect textiles and create pet toys. Other solutions included smart fridges with artificial intelligence and sensors, smart deposit systems that could be applied to the existing national-level deposit system, community gardens with composting options, and innovative takeaway cups.

The winning idea was presented by the Limbaži High School team, which proposed creating a community exchange cabinet. This cabinet would improve the lives of the local school and neighbourhood community, promote the thoughtful reuse of resources through shared activities, and encourage sustainable practices.

After the hackathon, young participants shared that they gained valuable knowledge about the circular economy. They also developed skills such as perseverance, idea development, out-of-the-box thinking, and problem-solving.

Young Climathon 2023 in Riga. Photo: © Riga Energy Agency

Young Climathon 2023 in Riga. Photo: © Riga Energy Agency

REA experts and other mentors also participated in pre-hackathon webinars to explain the principles of the circular economy and help improve participants‘ problem-finding, prototyping and presentation-making skills.

The hackathon was organized by the RTU Science and Innovation Centre, and the Environmental Education Fund, in cooperation with REA, „Milzu!“, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, and the European Commission Representation Office in Latvia.

REA’s participation in the hackathon was made possible thanks to the CURE+ project – an EU Project that aims to promote and design urban practices for the effective tracking, production, reuse, repair, remanufacture, and recycling of household construction and demolition waste. The project also focuses on learning from good practices in other regions and developing locally adapted solutions that prioritize citizens‘ needs.

CURE+ partners are Riga Energy Agency, the City of Tartu, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Municipality of Kavala, and Elisava Barcelona School of Design and Engineering.

Responsible for the content of this article is EUKI project CURE+ – Centres for Urban Resources, Reuse and Remanufacture

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