Smart Inspiration Day 2023

Smart Inspiration Day 2023 - The Smart City Institute's annual event dedicated to the sustainable and smart transition of territories is back for a 6th edition, this Tuesday 16 May 2023 at BluePoint Liège. On the programme: inspiring conferences and a panel discussion, which this year will focus on the link between circular territories and sustainable and smart transition. Discover our programme and speakers now!

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Inspiring conferences and discussions // Networking
Tuesday 16th May 2023
From 14:00 to 18:30 - BluePoint Liège


Because they share a common goal, namely to provide a sustainable response to the major global challenges facing our territories, the Smart City (or sustainable and smart territory) and circular city/territory approaches are resolutely complementary. Beyond the objective they share, they also present methods that are beneficial to each other. Indeed, the circular economy is one of the axes on which sustainable and smart territories rely to support their sustainability through a creative, innovative and more inclusive economy. On the other hand, sustainable and smart transition approaches can contribute to the success of circular initiatives, notably through a better understanding and organisation of urban flows, or the establishment of collaborative ecosystems that are necessary for this type of approach.

During this event, we will discuss how these two models of territorial development can complement each other, and even amplify each other's impacts, through the experience of Belgian and international experts acting for the development of the circular economy, at different territorial scales.

To open and close our conferences, we will have the pleasure to welcome Isabelle Rawart, Smart Territory advisor at the Agence du Numérique as well as Wilfried Niessen, General Director and Dean of HEC Liège.

iconeInfo NB: all conferences and discussions will be translated into English as well as French

The conferences

European cities and territories' commitment to the circular economy    Conference with Simon Gresset, Circular Economy Project Officer, ICLEI Europe

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Like the signatories of the Circular Cities Declaration, more and more European cities and territories are committing themselves to the circular economy. Based on his experience and the lessons learned from the various European projects he has accompanied, Simon Gresset will discuss the importance of mobilising local stakeholders and their crucial involvement in the successful transition to a circular economy. It will also be an opportunity to discuss the advantages of data collection and analysis, which are essential methods for guiding decision-making, whether it is a question of acquiring better knowledge of the territory and the energy and material flows that make it work (urban metabolism), or of measuring the impact of the policies implemented (evaluation of public policies).


Simon Gresset

ICLEI logo

By Simon Gresset, Circular Economy Project Manager, ICLEI Europe

Simon Gresset is Circular Economy Project Officer at ICLEI's European Secretariat in Freiburg (Germany). Through European projects such as CityLoops or initiatives such as the Circular Cities Declaration, Simon Gresset facilitates exchanges, creates partnerships and supports the implementation of circular economy approaches at the local level. Previously a consultant in innovation management and then in charge of ecological transition for a French local authority, Simon Gresset has a background in political science and urban policy.
About ICLEI Europe 

ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network working with over 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development. Active in over 125 countries, ICLEI influences sustainable development policies and leads local actions for low-emission, nature-based, equitable, resilient and circular development.

Circular economy: where do Belgian municipalities stand?    Conference with Benoit Ruysschaert, PhD researcher at the Smart City Institute

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As part of his research on the circular economy, Benoit Ruysschaert conducted a survey among all Belgian municipalities in late 2022. The objective: to understand how the circular economy is adopted at the local policy level. This survey, a first in Belgium, achieved a high response rate, as it gathered answers from more than half of the country's municipalities.

The survey not only reveals the number of local authorities that have adopted the circular economy in their programmes. It also gives an overview of the different approaches taken. During this conference, you will discover the main obstacles, motivations, tools, ... that can play a role in the adoption of the circular economy within local authorities, in order to support their sustainable transition.


Benoit Ruysschaert - medaillon

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By Benoit Ruysschaert, PhD researcher at the Smart City Institute

Benoit Ruysschaert is conducting research as a PhD researcher on circular economy implementation in local governments. He is affiliated to the University of Liège where he is part of the Smart City Institute (HEC Liège) directed by Professor Nathalie Crutzen. In parallel, he also works at UHasselt, where he collaborates with Professor Tom Kuppens, expert in circular economy. He was recently appointed as Circular Ambassador ("Circular Ambassador Program" - Vlanderen Circulair) and is active as a volunteer in a local bicycle sharing initiative for children (city of Hasselt). > See the video explaining his research.

The panel discussion

Circularity as a lever for action in Smart City approaches    Panel discussion with Ariane Bouvy (City of Wiltz), Giulietta D‘Ugo (Circular Wallonia) and Elke de Taeye (VVSG)

See this panel discussion in details

After the presentation of several European initiatives and an overview of the situation in Belgium, this panel - placed under the sign of experience sharing and best practices - will be the opportunity to discuss the two Belgian regional initiatives in terms of circularity, but also to discover the actions implemented within the city of Wiltz (Luxembourg). Through their exchanges, our panelists will talk about the steps taken in their respective territories to support the circular transition at the regional/local level, the challenges encountered, or their approach to the Smart City and how it can be integrated into their circular reflections. With the participation of :


Ariane Bouvy

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Ariane Bouvy, Manager of the Circular Innovation HUB - Circular Economy Department of the city of Wiltz

Graduated from the University of Liège in environmental sciences and management, Ariane Bouvy started her career as an environmental advisor for small and large Walloon companies. She then worked in the construction sector in Luxembourg, where she specialised in sustainable building certification and the circular economy. Since 2021, she has joined the municipality of Wiltz to develop the activities of the Circular Innovation HUB and to work on circular economy pilot projects.
About the city of Wiltz

Designated as the first "Circular Economy hotspot" in Luxembourg, the municipality of Wiltz (7,533 inhabitants) has defined its ambition in a commitment charter for the circular economy. Circularity is then put into practice in all the projects carried out by the municipality through the following 6 fields of application: health and well-being, innovation and capacity building, water and energy, spatial planning and development, local economy and resources and finally services and logistics. A " circular economy " service has also been created to support the other departments in the implementation and monitoring of progress.


Giulietta D‘Ugo

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Giulietta D‘Ugo, Attachée qualifiée – Economic Policy Directorate - Public Service of Wallonia (SPW)

Giulietta D'Ugo works in the Coordination Unit of the Walloon Strategy for the Deployment of the Circular Economy : Circular Wallonia. The Coordination Unit ensures the strategic and financial steering and advises the project leaders in order to deploy all the actions. The unit also ensures that the Strategy's partners are put in contact with each other, participates in the development of the mechanisms and anticipates the actions to be planned.

About Circular Wallonia

The Circular Wallonia Strategy aims to coordinate, reinforce and amplify the regional dynamics in circular economy. In a context of increasing scarcity of resources, supply risks and volatility of raw material prices, Circular Wallonia responds to Wallonia's ambition to evolve towards a resilient, carbon-neutral, regenerative economy in the use of resources, by activating the levers of innovation and digital transition.


Elke de Taeye



Elke de  Taeye, staff member circular economy – VVSG/Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities

Elke de Taeye works for VVSG as director circular economy for local authorities. She  is a member of the economy, environment and climate department within VVSG. With her work she focuses on the role of local authorities in the circular transition and how circular economy principles can help them in different policy areas. She is co-author of the book "Lokaal en Circulair, werken aan de toekomst" [Local and Circular, Shaping the Future]. With more than two years’ experience in the Climate Network (VVSG) and the development of the Local Energy and Climate Pact, she has good understanding of the barriers cities and municipalities encounter and the power they hold. Elke de Taeye is committed to strategic policy innovation and a cross-cutting implementation of circular economy at different policy levels.
About VVSG 
The VVSG is the advocate, knowledge provider and network developer for the local authorities in Flanders. This means that the VVSG represents and defends local governments in numerous policy dossiers.The VVSG supports and strengthens local governments with advice, training publications, communication. And the VVSG brings together local governments and their partners together and ensures the cross-fertilisation of knowledge and good practices.
iconeInfo Elke de Taeye replaces Elmar Willems (Circular Flanders), previously announced in the programme.

NB : Elke de Taeye' speech will be in English. An interpretation service (EN->FR) will be provided during his speeches. All the conferences and discussions will be also translated from French to English.

The networking

Finally, after the conferences and discussions, we invite you to take part in a convivial networking drink from 16:45 to 18:30.

How to register

All registrations are free (but required) and must be done online, via our registration form, until Monday 15 May 2023.    iconeAttention  Limited number of places

Contact and questions : if you have any questions about the content of this event and/or your registration, please do not hesitate to contact us: 


> Register now


Event partners 
02 - DW Official Partner WBI-logo-noir ULiege-logo-banner-site Logo - Benoit Nihant - SIDay 2022 logo-Oodima-RVB Plan de travail 1 copie 18
With the support of Wallonia in the framework of its Smart Region programme, part of its Digital Wallonia strategy.
updated on 4/28/23

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