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 ICLEI in Europe News

   June 2011

Dear members, partners and friends of ICLEI,

We are pleased to send you the latest news on ICLEI in Europe and our partners for urban sustainability!

You can also read these news articles and find more information on the topics at

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In this issue:

  1. Member News
  2. ICLEI European Convention 2011 programme fills up
  3. Green buildings lay the foundation for the future of Local Renewables
  4. Sustainable Meeting Guide seeks case studies and best practice examples
  5. Get the latest Sustainable Procurement news from ICLEI's quarterly newsletter
  6. SCI-Network launches resource centre
  7. ICLEI report examines the partnership between Chinese and European cities
  8. Climate and energy guidance provided to Covenant Coordinators and Supporters
  9. LANDMARK project encourages social sustainability in procurement
  10. Biogas: the energy efficient alternative
  11. New German environmental award offers prize money of €50,000
  12. Book of the month
  13. New events
  14. Event reminders

1. ICLEI Member News

Report outlines Stockholm's experience as European Green Capital 2010

The European Green Capital for 2010 Stockholm (Sweden) has detailed its experiences, achievements and plans for the future in a report marking the end of its term as Green Capital. Throughout the year the ICLEI member city worked to increase the possibilities for knowledge sharing between cities in Europe and promoted good climate and environment practices.

Stockholm was awarded the title for its long-term and successful work with sustainable development and for its ambitious targets for the future. The report chronicles Stockholm’s road to the European Green Capital title starting in 2009, describing plans, promotions and projects that the city undertook both before and after its win.

The city’s aim was not just to be seen as European Green Capital 2010, but to always be the Green Capital compared with other cities. At the end of the year, the green torch was passed on to Hamburg (Germany), which the European Commission chose to be European Green Capital 2011.

For further information, click here.

Dublin bicycle scheme reaches two million journeys

A citywide bicycle hire scheme in Dublin (Ireland) has far surpassed usage expectations, with the number of journeys doubling in the past nine months alone. Over two million trips have been made since the scheme was launched in September 2009.

The Lord Mayor of the ICLEI member city, Gerry Breen, said "It took 11 months to reach one million journeys and now, just nine months later, we have reached the two million mark. The project has re-introduced the bicycle as a form of transport in the city and has encouraged both Dubliners and visitors to get more active, while supporting a green initiative."

According to the latest statistics 55,000 people have subscribed to the scheme, with approximately 100 subscribers for every bicycle available. The average duration of each journey is 13 minutes and on the scheme’s busiest day there were over 6,000 rentals. Each bike is taken out around nine times per day and 97 percent of journeys are made within thirty minutes, meaning they are completely free of charge.

For further information, click here.

Hannover joins Procura+ Sustainable Procurement Campaign

ICLEI member city Hannover (Germany) is the latest public authority to join the Procura+ Sustainable Procurement Campaign. The ICLEI-established campaign is an initiative that supports public authorities in implementing sustainable procurement and promotes their achievements. Hannover has a long tradition of working on sustainability issues and is one of ICLEI's founding members.

Since the early nineties both the city administration and its politicians have been working to include environmental considerations in public procurement and management processes. Hannover also recently linked their social responsibility and fair trade agenda to their purchasing decisions.

By joining the Campaign the city can promote its achievements and has the opportunity to exchange experiences with other public authorities internationally. Hannover is encouraging its various city departments to exchange information on the best approaches to implementing sustainable public procurement.

For further information, click here.

Helsinki aims to improve conditions for cyclists and pedestrians

Researchers in ICLEI member city Helsinki (Finland) are examining cycling and pedestrian conditions as part of a project aimed at improving traffic conditions for non-vehicle transport. The study will be used to make recommendations and provide city and traffic planners across Finland with valuable information.

The project, which is being carried out by the Tampere University of Technology, is developing tools that will enable city planners to apply successful models from other European cities. The research team travelled around Helsinki on foot and by bicycle and compared the city with ten other European cities that are seen as leaders in bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure.

The two-year study is due to be completed later this year. Citizens are also being invited to comment, and their feedback will be available for city and traffic planners. The project’s scope takes in eight Finnish cities, four ministries and a network of Finnish bicycling organisations. In addition to the project, Helsinki is also set to introduce new traffic arrangements that make crossing the street safer and will open a new bicycle lane in the coming months.

For further information, click here.

Mobility ecoticket gives greater flexibility in Bologna

Bologna (Italy) continues to make strides in greener transport, with the Mobility Ecoticket being the latest development to be introduced. Private companies taking part in municipal home-work mobility management plans can now offer their employees the Mobility Ecoticket, a discounted public transport ticket.

The ticket is targeted at occasional users of public transport, such as regular cyclists, who use public transport on rainy days. Both employers and the municipality cooperate to finance the discounted travel. 10 percent of the discount is financed by the companies in the scheme, with the city authorities contributing a further 8.5 percent

Through its participation in the CIVITAS Initiative, Bologna is introducing a wide range of measures to make urban mobility more sustainable.

For further information, click here.

2. ICLEI European Convention 2011 programme fills up

A final invitation to the ICLEI European Convention 2011 has been produced, containing the Convention programme, session description of new speakers and more. The invitation provides the latest information for those considering attending the event, which will be held in Brussels (Belgium) from 12 – 14 September. The information will be made available in all the conference languages (French, German, Italian and Spanish) in the coming weeks.

The session programme showcases the diverse range of topics that will be addressed. These topics will provide cities with the tools and inspiration needed to bring their city in line with the EU2020 strategy. The Mayors Session with local leaders will prepare the political messages that will be used to call for the recognition of local governments in the implementation of the 2020 Strategy.

The invitation also outlines the on-site visits to take place around the Brussels Capital Region, giving participants a chance to explore innovative neighbourhoods and nature sites. There is also information on the European Energy Services Award Ceremony, which honours European frontrunners in the field of energy efficiency services.

To register for the Convention, click here.

3. Green buildings lay the foundation for the future of Local Renewables

The Local Renewables 2011 Conference will delve into the hot topic of green buildings and renewable energy, which organisers have identified as the way forward in urban development. The event takes place from 27-28 October 2011 in ICLEI Europe host city Freiburg (Germany).

This latest instalment in the Local Renewables conference series will look into how sustainable energy and construction solutions can help to meet climate protection and energy security goals, examining the economic development potential in this rapidly expanding market.

The event will be held in Freiburg’s Solar Info Centre, which runs on a state-of-the-art low emission energy supply. Participants can join the renewable energy debate along with other urban planners, architects, energy and policy experts, clean technology providers and finance professionals.

For further information and to register, click here.

4. Sustainable Meeting Guide seeks case studies and best practice examples

ICLEI, in collaboration with UNEP, is developing the Sustainable Events Guide, an annex to the Green Meeting Guide 2009: roll out the Green Carpet for your participants, which will focus on events with up to 5,000 participants. The new guide was commissioned due to the phenomenal success of the original, which is currently used by all UN offices, many ICLEI members and other organisations.

The sustainable events guide will also incorporate the social and economic aspects of sustainability. It has drawn heavily from ICLEI's experience in greening events and showcases the leading examples of “green hosts” among ICLEI members.

Ways to work with external service providers is examined, as is the question of measuring how sustainable an event has actually been. The Events Organiser Sector Supplement currently being developed by the Global Reporting Inititative links into this measurement system. The guide will be produced by the end of 2011, but ICLEI and UNEP are already looking for case studies and best practices to be included. If you have a success story to share, contact

For further information, contact

5. Get the latest Sustainable Procurement news from ICLEI

The April edition of the quarterly electronic newsletter Sustainable Procurement Update has been released, providing the latest news on the Sustainable Procurement Campaign Procura+ and ICLEI's sustainable procurement activities. The newsletter looks at new projects and initiatives and upcoming and recent events.

To view the newsletter, click here.

6. SCI-Network launches resource centre

A new online tool provides resources for public authorities looking to procure innovative and sustainable buildings. The online resource centre contains a catalogue of environmental assessment tools, which can be applied in the renovation of buildings. The tool was launched by the Network for Sustainable Construction and Innovation through Procurement (SCI-Network).

Users can download state-of-the-art reports on innovative technologies, cooling concepts, heat recovering systems and multifunctional façade systems. The reports examine what is available on the market, identifying the advantages and drawbacks of each technology and providing recommendations for procurers.

Innovative approaches to the financing and contracting of public sector construction projects are also examined, recognising that the pressure on public finances is causing authorities to look to the private sector or specific European programmes for funding. Successful case studies are highlighted that address the main procurement issues as expressed by public authorities.

Read more in the SPP update, or visit the project website.

7. ICLEI report examines the partnership between Chinese and European cities

An ICLEI report on Chinese and European partnerships has identified that sustainable development is now the principle issue facing Chinese cities. Large Chinese cities face multiple sustainability challenges, such as wastewater management and drainage, clean energy supply and enacting energy efficiency. European cities have recognised the business opportunities available in addressing these issues and so have already played a larger role in implementing sustainable policies.

The report was prepared for the Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation, to support the Chinese-EU Forum during the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai (China). Trade agreements and economic links between Chinese and European cities are examined, as well as  the social relations various cities enjoy.

Supporting sustainability, urban planning, sustainable transport and energy saving remain priority topics amongst local governments in both China and Europe, and there are mutual benefits to engaging in a collaborative partnership.

To view the report, click here.

8. Climate and energy guidance provided to Covenant Coordinators and Supporters

On 19 May 2011 the Province of Genova (Italy) welcomed 120 participants to the second International Workshop for Supporting Structures (SSt). The workshop was organised within the framework of the ENERGY for MAYORS (E4M) project, as part of a series of training events organised for SSts. These are now called Covenant Supporters and Covenant Coordinators of the Covenant of Mayors (CoM).

At the workshop various new tools were unveiled. Giorgia Rambelli of ICLEI Europe presented the newly launched Toolbox for Climate and Energy. This online database contains resources and methodologies for SSt. In addition, a new Support Package has been released, offering practical guidance to SSts.

The need for strong support of local climate and energy action by national governments, through supportive frameworks was highlighted. This angle is addressed in the LG Action project, where interesting benchmarks of local-national dialogues have been released. These will soon be followed by 30 Country Profiles offering an overview of the context local governments operate in. Both ENERGY for MAYORS and LG Action are co-funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe programme, feeding into a brand-new project called Covenant capacity, to be launched on 1 June 2011.

For further information, click here.

9. LANDMARK project encourages social sustainability in procurement

A new social justice project, titled LANDMARK, is involving local authorities to ensure fair and decent working conditions in global supply chains, focusing on workers in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The project strives to equip local authorities and other public sector buyers with knowledge on how to implement social sustainability requirements in their purchasing policies and practices.

The project has three primary aims: To establish suitable verification schemes for public procurement that allow for the purchasing of products and services produced in a socially-responsible way, to enable public servants to implement socially responsible procurement by providing the necessary know-how through training programmes, and to raise awareness of development issues related to decent work and fair trade in Europe.

The project targets European local authorities, trade unions, manufacturers' suppliers and retailers in developed and developing countries. It aims to encourage the purchase of fairly traded products, such as work wear, ICT equipment, construction materials and food.  ICLEI member city Bremen (Germany) is a partner, with fellow ICLEI members Helsinki (Finland) and Barcelona (Spain) associate partners.

For further information, contact

10. Biogas: the energy efficient alternative

Significant renewable energy projects are being implemented by cities and regions as they move to advance their climate protection and sustainable energy agendas. As part of the recent EU Green Week in Brussels (Belgium), the Swedish City of Gothenburg held a seminar outlining their ambitious biogas development projects, in which waste and forest products are used as a renewable energy source to produce biogas for transport and district heating. 

The MAKE-IT-BE project contributed the example of Güssing (Austria) to the workshop discussions, which has used bioenergy to transform itself to one of the most prosperous municipalities in the country. ICLEI’s Ian Shearer reminded partners of the importance of supply-chain partnerships, which are essential components of a successful regional bioenergy programme.

To view the press release, click here.

11. New German environmental award offers prize money of €50,000

The inaugural Georg Salvamoser prize will be awarded on 13 October 2011, and is set to be one of the most financially significant environmental prizes in the German speaking area. The award was jointly created by the Salvamoser family, Lord Mayor of Freiburg (Germany) Dieter Salomon and the 100 percent Renewable Energy association. The prize recognises those who promote and utilise renewable energy, with €50,000 going to the winner.

Applicants should demonstrate original and innovative approaches to making 100 percent renewable energy a reality. The prize is open to individuals, businesses, local governments, associations, institutes, and all those whose work advances this vision.

The award is named after Freiburg native Georg Salvamoser (1950-2009), the founder of Solar-Fabrik and a visionary environmental entrepreneur. Maria Salvamoser, wife of the late Georg, encourages applicants to apply who, “through their projects promote economic activity based on 100 percent renewable energy." Applications must be made online before 30 June 2011.

For further information, click here. [In German].

12. Book of the month

The meat crisis: Less meat for more future

This powerful and challenging book starts with a foreword of R. K. Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC, who encourages eating less meat, saying ‘you would be healthier and so would the planet’. Rather than trying to convince people to become vegetarians this book is a call to policy makers, academics and citizens to take steps to reduce meat production and consumption to sustainable levels.

The reasons why are evident and frightening: Globally 60 billion farm animals are used for food production every year. Methane emissions from cattle and other livestock are major contributors to greenhouse gas levels and to climate change – more than transport globally! The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) predicts a doubling of meat and milk consumption by 2050, with particularly rapid growth occurring in the developing economies of Asia, which could raise the number of farm animals used annually to nearer 120 billion.

The brilliant writers explore what this will mean for the health and well-being of those animals, of the people who consume ever larger quantities of animal products, and for the health of the planet itself. Several chapters explore the related environmental issues, from resource use of water, cereals and soya, to the impact of livestock production on global warming and issues concerning biodiversity, land use and the impacts of different farming systems on the environment.

J. D'Silva/J. Webster (eds.) The Meat Crisis: Developing More Sustainable Production and Consumption, Earthscan, 2010

13. New events

Clean fuels and clean vehicles take centre stage at CIVITAS conference

Switching to cleaner vehicles has significant benefits for citizens, including improved health through cleaner air. The introduction of biodiesel or biogas fuels also carries numerous benefits, such as reducing the impact of transport on the environment and greater energy independence from economically volatile fossil fuels. A CIVITAS conference will be held in Donostia - San Sebastián (Spain) to discuss these issues, focusing on the practical deployment of clean vehicles and fuels strategies in cities.

The conference, titled “Clean Fuels, Clean Vehicles, Clean City”, will take place from 15 – 16 June 2011 and is co-organised by BIOSIRE, CIVITAS ARCHIMEDES and CIVITAS VANGUARD. Two workshops will be held at the event, focusing on how to establish policies and implement measures concerning electric vehicles and biofuels, and on collecting used cooking oil in tourist regions.

The event is aimed at representatives of local government, CIVITAS forum network cities interested in the topic, mobility professionals and representatives of regional governments and municipalities working in the field of electric vehicles. The participation at the event and the training sessions are both free of charge. Registration is open until 8 June.

For further information, click here.

Informed Cities Forum 2011 to examine local performance and the role of research

Thousands of European local governments have signed up to the Aalborg Commitments, the Covenant of Mayors and other local sustainability schemes, but what are the tangible results? For local governments to deliver on their commitments, more is needed than tools, schemes and frameworks. Can research provide the missing piece of the local sustainability puzzle?

The second Informed Cities Forum will bring together local policy makers, researchers working on urban sustainability and the representatives of European local sustainability schemes to take stock of local governments’ achievements so far and outline a new vision for local sustainability, in preparation for the Rio+20 Conference in 2012.

The conference, which will be held from 26-27 October 2011 in Naples (Italy), will build on the success of the 2010 event, continuing the discussion on the cooperation between local policy makers and researchers. The experience and data gathered during a European-wide explorative application of two sustainability management tools will inform the discussion.

For further information, contact or click here.

Conference focuses on innovation in public procurement

European conference Public Procurement of Innovation: Facing Societal Challenges, Delivering Better Public Services & Supporting SMEs to Innovate, will engage around 250 innovation actors from across Europe, including public procurers, policy makers, SME representatives and the European Commission. The event will be held in Turin, Italy from 27 – 28 June 2011.

On the afternoon of Tuesday 28 June, the SCI-Network will host two sessions looking at innovative and sustainable construction procurement in the public sector.  Innovative products and services offer a huge opportunity to improve public services and aid businesses.

The European Commission intends to provide guidance and to set up a financial support mechanism to help contracting authorities to implement procurement of innovation, pre-commercial procurement (PCP) and first commercial procurement (FCP). Funding is available for public authorities to join the conference.

For further information, click here.

Hannover Rio+20 Congress to examine future challenges to sustainability

'Rio+20 Kongress - nachhaltig vor Ort!' will be held in ICLEI member city Hannover (Germany) from 7 – 9 December 2011. The congress marks the 20th year anniversary of the Local Agenda 21 process, which began at the Rio+20 conference in 1991. The congress is being held in conjunction with the German annual convention 'Netzwerk21', now in its fifth year. The results of this event will be adopted in a final declaration to be tabled in the national preparatory process for the Earth Summit in Rio in 2012.

There are 23 German organisations participating in the event, along with more than 600 local sustainability actors, including local governments, NGOs, associations, businesses, and media outlets. The congress will provide a critical review of what has been achieved in the process and will also examine the challenges that lie ahead. Questions to be addressed include, what can communities do to make their financial policies sustainable? What role does the economy play? And what goals must cities achieve in the future?

The parallel working groups cover a wide variety of topics, including Energy efficient living, Mobility, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Economy, Urban Development and Climate Impact Management, and Sustainability in Education. To register and sign up for the congress newsletter, click here.

For further information, click here.

International Water Week promotes integrated solutions to urban water challenges

Amsterdam (Netherlands) will host the first International Water Week (IWW), from 31 October - 1 November 2011. IWW highlights integrated solutions throughout the water cycle. The conference “Water Cities in Transition, Inspiring solutions in integrating urban design and water challenges” will take place during the week of the event.

The event will serve as a platform where urban planners and water managers can focus on the latest developments in water city transitions, such as coping with climate change-related challenges, linking them with socio-economic issues and inspiring integrated solutions in urban design and practice. Cities are where a wide range of water challenges converge, and the conference will allow participants to share, compare and learn from one another about strategies and solutions to these challenges.

Organisers invite parties from around the world to share their knowledge in linking water challenges to sustainable urban development, smart financial concepts and local governance solutions. ICLEI will be represented by Barbara Anton, who also sits on the programme committee. In total five conferences will be held during the IWW on the topics of water technology and water management.

For further information, click here.

Solar panel exhibition looks at the future of German energy

PV ENERGY WORLD exhibition is being held at Intersolar Europe in Munich (Germany) and is the world’s largest solar industry exhibition. The exhibition has been designed to highlight the growth potential of solar power in the German energy mix and illustrate the measures, technological advances and political conditions necessary to achieve the future development and improvement of photovoltaics.

Taking place from 8 – 10 June, 2011 it will feature over 2,000 international exhibitors and over 75,000 visitors from around the world. The exhibition will demonstrate the steps necessary to increase the market share of solar power and will present the German energy mix of the future, illustrating the size of the role that photovoltaics could play in it. Expert presentations and panel discussions will be hosted in the Exhibition’s central forum.

For further information, click here.

14. Event reminders

3 – 5 June 2011, Bonn (Germany)

29 June 2011, Brussels (Belgium)

Stockholm World Water Week
21 – 28 August 2011, Stockholm (Sweden)

12 – 14 September 2011, Brussels (Belgium)

Changing the Energy System to Renewable Energy Self-Sufficiency (RESS)
15 – 16 September 2011, Freiburg (Germany)

UITP - Urban Governance: Getting people on board
5 - 7 October 2011, Gothenburg (Sweden)

CIVITAS Forum conference
17 – 19 October 2011, Funchal (Portugal)

Informed Cities Forum 2011: Rio+20, local performance and the role of research
26 – 27 October, Naples (Italy)

Local Renewables 2011: Green Buildings and Renewable Energy
27 – 28 October 2011, Freiburg (Germany)

Bonn 2011 Conference: Water Resources in the Green Economy
16 - 18 November 2011, Bonn (Germany)

Feedback? Questions? Let us know! If you have any further questions, would like to give feedback on ICLEI's work in Europe or would like to be taken off this mailing list, contact us at:

The ICLEI in Europe newsletter is produced by the European Secretariat of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability. Copies are available on request. Editor: Sean Carroll, Ailish O'Donoghue (responsible).

Comments and questions are welcome - please write to Sean Carroll at, Leopoldring 3, 79098 Freiburg, Germany,Tel: +49-761/36 89 2-0,

ICLEI is a membership organisation of local governments and their associations. To date more than 1,000 municipalities and municipal associations of all sizes from around the world have made a unique commitment to sustainable development by joining ICLEI. They support the work of ICLEI through their membership fees as well as through their experience and creativity in the development and implementation of projects and campaigns to address the globe's biggest problems. Within the organisation they are part of a network of peers that can profit from each other's knowledge. For membership information please have a look at our website or contact:

Copyright 2011 ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH, Freiburg, Germany. All rights reserved.