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ICLEI in Europe News
October 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

Don't hesitate to send your news and information to

  1. Member News
  2. Local Renewables 2011 to put spotlight on sustainable urban development
  3. Potočnik to award biodiversity capital winners at tenth Breakfast at Sustainability’s
  4. ICLEI Europe once again on jury for Green Capital Award
  5. Europe’s cities celebrate sustainable mobility
  6. CIVITAS Initiative launches brand new website
  7. Funding opportunity for water infrastructure research
  8. Oxford wins energy management prize
  9. Book of the month
  10. Event reminders

1. ICLEI Member News

Local governments call for support and recognition in creation of a sustainable Europe at ICLEI Convention           

Deputy Secretary-General of ICLEI Gino Van Begin addresses convention participantsOne of the many highlights of the ICLEI European Convention that ran from 12-14 September 2011 was the release of the ICLEI European Convention Declaration. Cities and towns across Europe came together to call for greater support and recognition of their contribution to the creation of an economically smart, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable Europe.

The convention was an outstanding success, with over 300 people taking part. Participants had the opportunity to address many high-level speakers including European Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik, and discuss what they think is needed to ensure local authorities are equipped with the tools needed to implement the Europe 2020 Strategy at a local level.

For the duration of the three-day event, Hamburg’s Train of Ideas  welcomed visitors on board to explore its exhibition on exemplary urban sustainability projects from cities across Europe. The Brussels Sustainable City exhibition provided a further opportunity to experience the convention’s themes in action.

For further information, click here.

Cameras roll in Green Capital 2011 HamburgCity of Hamburg, Copyright: LuxTonnerre (Flickr)

In recognition of its work finding green solutions to urban challenges, Hamburg (Germany), was named European Green Capital 2011. On a continent where over 75 percent of the population lives in towns and cities, the ICLEI member city has become a symbol of urban sustainability.

To share its achievements and show a sustainable city in motion, Hamburg has developed an innovative video. The video highlights examples of alternative modes of transport and environmentally viable leisure activities, and is an attention grabbing way to pay tribute to Hamburg’s achievements in balancing economic and environmental development.

Another of the city’s initiatives, the Train of Ideas, has been travelling across Europe since April. The train is home to an exhibition with examples of sustainable development projects from a number of European cities. The train is now back where it began in Hamburg after five months, 18,000 kms and 17 cities in 13 countries. ICLEI followed its progress through the Member in the spotlight page, which focused the ICLEI member cities the train stopped in.

For further information, click here.

Freiburg develops sustainability management unit

Freiburg's eco district Vauban, Copyright: fotalia

Today’s urban lifestyle is likely to change dramatically in the coming years. As such, astute policies and practices regarding urban sustainability are vital to preserve a good standard of living for future generations. ICLEI member, the City of Freiburg (Germany), is playing its part by establishing a Sustainability Management Unit within the municipality.

Freiburg has a long-standing reputation as a green city and has introduced several innovative measures related to urban sustainability. In 2006, the city signed the Aalborg Commitments and 2008 saw the establishment of a Sustainability Council, which has so far achieved more than 60 urban sustainability goals in 12 key policy areas.

The newly-established Sustainability Management Unit aims to continue the city’s commitment to durable urban living by pooling past experiences and developing the skills necessary to face environmental challenges. The Unit views sustainability as a cross-sectoral issue closely linked to areas such as education, business, culture and finance. It further underlines the responsibility of each citizen in the movement towards a more viable future.

For further information, click here [in German].


Biodiversity action plan for Leicester approvedCopyright: Davide Simonetti (Flickr)

A ten-year action plan that sets out how natural habitats in Leicester (UK) will be managed has been given the seal of approval by the city mayor. The Leicester Biodiversity Action Plan 2011-2021 is focused on helping wildlife to survive and thrive in different areas around the city.

The plan involves ongoing support for the ICLEI member city's popular Bioblitz events which give volunteers the chance to join experts in recording the variety of wildlife living in Leicester. Several community wildlife events will be organised by Leicester City Council in the coming months, with the next major Bioblitz taking place in May 2012.

Biodiversity in Leicester is high, with a recent survey identifying 80 species in just one day. The city has numerous nature reserves and the newly approved plan aims to establish a network of green sites. Although knowledge of the distribution of wildlife species in Leicester is patchy, the public are being encouraged to engage as observers and recorders, particularly of species such as foxes, bats, hedgehogs and birds.

For further information, click here.


Albertslund provides expertise on good livingThe Good Living festival places the emphasis on individual and collective well-being, Copyright: Any-Photo

ICLEI member, Albertslund (Denmark) will participate in the Italian festival, The Week of Good Living, “La settimana del buon vivere”. Albertslund city planner Bjorn Jensen will share the city’s experiences in sustainable urban development as part of a session entitled, The town I wish to live in. A model of sustainable development, Albertslund has introduced numerous green measures over the years, not least an extensive, traffic-free bicycle network.

The Good Living festival runs from 3-9 October 2011 and each of the seven days focuses on a different theme that is fundamental to ensuring that citizens have a high quality of life. Topics related to the public sphere, such as welfare, cohesion and ethical economics, will be up for discussion, as well as issues affecting the personal life of the individual, like nutrition and well-being.

The week revolves around the idea that it is impossible to conceive progress and economic development without wellbeing. Expert speakers will discuss issues such as identity, relationships and roles in society, and examples of sustainability in action will be explored on day three.

For further information, click here.

Calling on all ICLEI members to vote now

ICLEI has continuously grown in the last 20 years and now has over 1,ICLEI members are being encouraged to vote now200 global members. To maintain this growth, the current governance structures need to be updated to meet new demands. All ICLEI members are called on to exercise their right to vote on the amended charter by 17 October.

The governance reform seeks to continue to place ICLEI and its members at the forefront of local sustainability and local action, while allowing the organisation to adapt and to answer the call for innovation, agility and flexibility to better serve its membership. It is planned to launch the new governance model in June 2012 at the ICLEI World Congress in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, but to do so all members need to get active and vote now.

To vote, click here.

2. Local Renewables 2011 to put spotlight on sustainable urban development

The eagerly anticipated Local Renewables 2011 is just around the corner. Taking place from 27-28 October, the conference is a must-attend event for those interested in sustainable urban development and greening existing buildings. The conference is hosted and co-organised by ICLEI member city Freiburg (Germany), a pioneer of progressive development and world-renowned green city.

An impressive line-up of speakers will give their insight into a diverse range of topics, including the current political framework for sustainable building, as well as the latest technological developments in the field. Renewable energy will take centre stage with the presentation of innovative heating and cooling systems. Best practice examples of renovation and of the design of zero emissions districts will also be showcased.

In order to allow participants to experience the conference’s themes in practice and to explore the model host city, several study tours are being organised on Friday 28 October. Local Renewables 2011 has something to offer everyone involved in both the planning and implementation stages of sustainable development, and those interested in taking part are invited to register immediately.

For further information, click here.

3. Potočnik to award biodiversity capital winners at tenth Breakfast at Sustainability’s

The programme for the tenth event in the Breakfast at Sustainability’s (B@S) series will make it one to remember as it includes the award ceremony for the European Capitals of Biodiversity competition. These small workshops are hosted by different representation offices and are organised by the ICLEI Brussels office.

The event takes place on 24 November and is entitled, Capitals of Biodiversity - European municipalities lead the way in local biodiversity protection. It will be hosted by the Liaison Office of South Tyrol, Italy in Brussels, Belgium and co-organised by ICLEI and Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.. European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik will present the 2010 and 2011 winners. Discussions will focus on how to best link biodiversity policy to local implementation, with experts such as Hans Friederich, IUCN’s Regional Director for Europe taking part.

While the town Puebla de Sanabria has already been announced as the Spanish capital of Biodiversity 2011, the winners in France, Slovakia and Hungary have yet to be announced. Registration is free and can be done by contacting by 18 November 2011.

For further information, click here.

4. ICLEI Europe once again on jury for Green Capital Award

Gino Van Begin, ICLEI Regional Director for Europe has been announced as a member of the jury for the European Green Capital Award 2014. ICLEI has been represented on the jury since the award began in 2010 and joins representatives from other organisations, such as the Committee of the Regions, European Commission and European Environment Agency.

The cities shortlisted for the award will present their vision, action plans and communication strategy to the jury, which will assess the shortlisted cities based on various evaluation criteria, including its overall commitment, vision and enthusiasm and the city’s capacity to act as a role model to inspire other cities, promote best practices and spread the green capital model further.

Previous winners of the award include ICLEI members Stockholm (Sweden), Hamburg (Germany), Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain) and Nantes (France). Cities can apply via an online application form before the deadline on 14 October 2011. The winner will be announced in June 2012.

For further information, click here.

5. Europe’s cities celebrate sustainable mobility

Cyclists take to the streets for European Mobility Week, Copyright: europeanmobilityweekEuropean Mobility Week (EMW), Europe’s most extensive sustainable mobility event ran from 16 to 22 September 2011, encouraging urbanites across Europe to embrace public transport, cycling and walking. The 2011 edition marked the tenth anniversary of EMW whose popularity continues to rise, with a record 2,221 local authorities getting involved in 2010.

ICLEI member cities Bologna (Italy) and Budapest (Hungary) were among those getting into the spirit of things. Under the slogan “Bologna is moving – Let’s move”, the city’s residents took to the streets on two wheels with the three central main streets restricted to pedestrians and cyclists. For its part, Hungary’s capital hosted an urban traffic competition where three teams (public transport users, cyclists and car drivers) compared how fast they could get from one place to another.

Entries are being accepted for the European Mobility Award, designed to reward achievements within the framework of EMW. Local authorities are being invited to apply for the award before 1 November 2011 for the chance to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner, ICLEI member city, Almada (Portugal).

For further information, click here.

6. CIVITAS Initiative launches brand new website

The CIVITAS Initiative has unveiled its revitalised website, which contains a wealth of information on sustainable urban mobility. Still available at, the website is a platform for the exchange of information, case studies and good practice on sustainable urban mobility.

Those with an interest in the topic are invited to take a look and leave feedback to help the site’s continuing evolution. ICLEI is a supporter of the CIVITAS Initiative, which works with cities from across Europe to achieve more sustainable, clean and energy efficient urban transport systems.

For further information, click here.

7. Funding opportunity for water infrastructure research

Water infrastructure in Leipzig, Copyright: ErnieBert (Flickr)Water is an essential component of the basic infrastructure in a highly urbanised country such as Germany. In the short and mid-term the sector will require significant reinvestment, with resource efficiency and ecological sustainability at the top of the list of priorities. In light of this, the German Ministry for Education and Research has launched a funding scheme for applied research on water infrastructure.

The programme aims to investigate intelligent and multifunctional infrastructure systems for sustainable water supply and sanitation. It covers themes such as innovative concepts for settlements and infrastructure, technologies for sustainable infrastructure systems and innovative management instruments.

Local government institutions are among those eligible to take part and the application process is structured in two phases, with the deadline for concept notes on 15 November 2011.

For further information, click here. [In German]

8. Oxford wins energy management prize

A participant in ICLEI's Cities for Climate Protection campaign, Oxford City Council is celebrating becoming the first UK local authority to be awarded the BSI Kitemark for Energy Reduction Verification. Councillor John Tanner says the Kitemark shows that, “Oxford City is committed to reducing its energy use as a milestone on our agenda to tackle climate change.”

The city has already achieved a 25 percent reduction in operational carbon emissions at the end of March 2011, in comparison to 2005/6. The city hopes to reduce emissions by a further 3 percent each year.

Oxford is well on track to achieve this, as the Council has taken steps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions associated with its energy and fuel consumption. These include the introduction of low energy lighting systems and building insulation, as well as the development of active energy management approaches.

For further information, click here.

9. Book of the month

Emerald Cities: Urban Sustainability and Economic Development

Emerald Cities: Urban Sustainability and Economic Development Fitting a comprehensive review of cities driving innovative energy and climate solutions into one book is no mean feat. A diverse array of complex topics, from renewable energy to competitiveness and economic development, must be taken into account, as well as the many actors and institutions that play a role in the green economy. Fitzgerald takes on this challenge, integrating aspects related to research, policy and politics as well as knowledge of academic discourse on new economic processes.

In this respect, the book as a whole contributes to theoretical and conceptual debate, providing material for anyone active in the field of sustainable development with an interest in learning from the past in order to move towards a better future for American cities. However, the call for models and actions to further green economic development, particularly in cities, remains a challenge that demands continued research, innovative policy formulation and action.

This book is a well-written text for those engaged in policy studies and provides substantial material for researchers, policy makers and international agencies. The arguments are expressed in a readable and straightforward manner and that the book can be recommended on many grounds, particularly as an entry point to a wider debate.

J Fitzgerald, Oxford University Press, 2010, ISBN 9780195382761

10. Event reminders

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

LAKs Final Conference
14 October 2011, Reggio Emilia (Italy)

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

1st World Congress on Mobility for the Future of Sustainable Cities
22 - 24 October 2011, Changwon (Korea)

Informed Cities Forum 201: Rio+20, local performance and the role of research
26 – 27 October 2011, Naples (Italy)

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

Eco-Region conference
16 November 2011, Gdynia (Poland)

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: Angela Kennedy, Ailish O'Donoghue, Ciara Leonard (responsible).

Comments and questions are welcome - please write to Angela Kennedy 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.