1. ICLEI Member News
Águeda Environment & Sustainability Week showcases Local Agenda 21 conceptsThe city of Águeda (Portugal) presented its official application for ICLEI membership at a ceremony that took place during its Environment & Sustainability Week at the beginning of June. The week focused on a variety of topics, encompassing the social, economic and environmental components of sustainability. ICLEI’s Ruud Schuthof spoke at the event, addressing participants on urban sustainability.
In preparation for its ICLEI membership, Águeda follows a strategy based on the tenets of Local Agenda 21, a UN initiative that facilitates sustainable development at community level. A number of events took place during Environment & Sustainability Week, including activities for schools, workshops on sustainable consumption and visits to examples of sustainability in practice across Portugal.
The week also saw the launch of an electric bikes pilot project. In addition, the city has opened an application process for an award recognising the best sustainable project proposals, called the Águeda 21 award. Both individuals and organisations can apply for the award, which will finance local actions for sustainable development.
For further information, click here. [In Portuguese]
Study shows German cities among most sustainable in Europe
A recent study has found that German cities, including ICLEI members Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg, Hannover and Heidelberg, rank among the most environmentally sustainable in Europe. The study, commissioned by Siemens from the independent research institute Economist Intelligence Unit, ranked ten of the twelve German cities examined "above average", when compared to their international and European counterparts.
German cities show particularly strong performances in the areas of environmental strategies, water, recycling and energy-efficient buildings. The study also found that despite differences in income and population, all cities performed similarly. This was attributed to federal German legislation and a high level of environmental awareness amongst German citizens.
However, the cities fall down in the areas of CO2 output and renewable energy use, which perform poorly against European averages. Today, three-quarters of all Germans live in cities – a number expected to be ten percent higher by 2050.
For further information, click here.
Zagreb launches online carpooling scheme
ICLEI member Zagreb (Croatia) has introduced an online application giving users the chance to arrange carpooling schemes with other users. The application is the first of its kind in the city and the website was designed by the Zagreb Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences, as part of its CIVITAS activities.
The idea behind the web application, named Autozasve (Car-for-all), is to create a recognisable, user-friendly system that the citizens of Zagreb will actually want to use. Carpooling has the potential to significantly reduce the impact of motor vehicles on the environment, as well as reducing congestion and noise pollution. The website also caters for companies, who are encouraged to use the application for commuting employees.
To view the application, click here.
Mayor of London launches Cycle ChallengeBoris Johnson, Mayor of London (United Kingdom), is encouraging citizens to sign up for the London Cycle Challenge. Friends, families, work colleagues and schools can organise teams and challenge others to see who accumulates the most miles. Points are awarded for miles cycled and the winners receive a prize.
Mayor Johnson said, “As part of my ongoing work to create a 'cyclised' London, the challenge is out there every year to teams to take part in this terrific event. With bragging rights at stake I would urge all teams that have not already registered to do so by the start date and give themselves the best chance of victory.”
Thousands are already taking part in the event, which runs from 18 June to 15 July 2011. New entrants can still join by visiting the Cycle Challenge website. The challenge is run by Transport for London and registration is free for anyone living, studying or working in London. Last year over 10,000 cyclists participated.
For further information, click here.