Circular economy and decarbonization project in Tabaqueira neighbourhood in Sintra

Circular economy and decarbonization project in Tabaqueira neighbourhood in Sintra

The Municipality of Sintra presented, in the Open Presidency in the Parish of Rio de Mouro, the program "SMILE - Sintra Motion & Innovation for Low Emissions" which is taking place in Tabaqueira neighbourhood.

SMILE - Sintra Motion & Innovation for Slow Emissions, funded by the EEA Grants Environment Program promotes the development of innovative technological solutions, creating a living laboratory in the Tabaqueira neighbourhood which will be considered a test center for the mitigation of carbon emissions.

The project aims to implement improvements in the use of renewable energy sources in buildings, sustainable urban mobility and circular economy practices.

The goals of SMILE by April 2024 are:
- Test integrated technological solutions that increase efficiency and reduce energy and resource consumption;
- Mitigate carbon emissions through the active involvement of citizens, businesses, public authorities and universities;
- Promote significant improvements in the Tabaqueira neighborhood through alternative sources of energy production, more sustainable mobility and solutions based on the circular economy.

Bairro da Tabaqueira is the pilot place for this program and several activities in the different areas have already been carried out.

Thus, speaking of "circular economy and environment", an urban community garden was created, a rainwater harvesting system, composting began in schools, installation of intelligent automatic irrigation systems and waste management system.

In the area of "sustainable urban mobility" in Bairro da Tabaqueira there is now an electric shuttle, an electric mini vehicle for goods and small merchandise, and shared bicycles with electric charging station.

In terms of "energy and buildings" the installation and maintenance of a renewable energy community was conceived, and community involvement in the fight against energy poverty is promoted with an energy literacy program.

Cross-cutting activities also include a residents' assembly, community activities, and an advisory board, among others.

So far about 140 students participate in the composting competition and about 500 people are involved in the SMILE program actions. The community vegetable garden, the electric shuttle, and the shared bicycles are processes still in preparation that should go into operation in the first quarter of 2023

As a way to promote a continuous and balanced strengthening of economic and trade relations, the parties to the European Economic Area Agreement have established a multi-year Financial Mechanism, known as EEA Grants, through which Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway provide financial support to European Union member states with larger deviations from the European average GDP per capita, where Portugal is included.