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ICLEI in Europe News
April 2012

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. ICLEI teams up with Earth Hour in search for City Challenge champion
  3. ICLEI, UN-Habitat and European Commission join forces to lower city emissions
  4. German Sustainability Award for cities and towns
  5. New events
  6. Event reminders

1. ICLEI Member News

Bologna wins European Mobility Week Award 2011

ICLEI member Bologna (Italy) has been announced as the winner of the European Mobility Week Award 2011. Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik and Commissioner for Transport Siim Kallas presented Bologna with the award at a ceremony in Brussels (Belgium) on 5 March 2012. ICLEI member Zagreb (Croatia) and Larnaka (Cyprus) were the runners-up.

Bologna was praised for a very ambitious programme to make citizens more familiar with sustainable means of transport. The week was packed with a colourful mix of activities featuring lectures, tours, workshops, games, walks and exhibitions. The highlight of the week was the so-called T-days, when part of the city centre was transformed into a pedestrian zone for the weekend.

At the award ceremony Cleto Carlini Director of the Mobility Department at the Municipality of Bologna said, “These two days have been the starting point of a pedestrian revolution in Bologna.” Catarina Freitas from ICLEI member Almada (Portugal) also gave a speech on the many positive developments in the city since it won the European Mobility Week Award 2010.

For more information, click here.

Birmingham’s new library hooks up to district energy scheme

Birmingham’s new library building, currently under-construction, has been connected to the city’s award-winning District Energy Scheme. The move will provide the iconic site with low-carbon heat and electricity when it opens in 2013. The initiative is part of the city’s Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan to cut CO₂ emissions by 60 percent by 2026. The introduction of decentralised district energy schemes across the whole city will help to achieve this ambitious aim.

The new city library has a number of sustainable features, including low-energy lighting, water conservation systems and ‘brown roof’ areas to encourage wildlife and biodiversity. It will host its own combined heat and power (CHP) engine, providing heating, hot and cold water, as well as electricity to the building. The carbon savings through the use of CHP are estimated to be in the region of 1,300 tonnes of CO₂ per year when compared to alternative energy sources.

The Birmingham District Energy Scheme was launched in 2007 and is one of the fastest growing local initiatives in the UK. It has received numerous awards, including the 2011 Property and Facilities Management Award for the best UK partnership of the year and the International Energy Agency’s Certificate of Superior Achievement.

For more information, click here.

Nantes’ heating system extension to reduce CO₂ emissions

The Climate Plan of ICLEI member Nantes Métropole (France) will be extended to its two district heating systems by 2017. The project aims to reduce the CO₂ emissions per inhabitant by 30 percent by 2020 with the installations fueled by renewable energy, including biomass or waste.

The heating systems will supply schools, residential buildings, businesses, and a hospital. The Urban Community of Nantes is running the initiative, which will eventually heat half the inhabitants in Nantes. It is expected that by 2017 the district heating systems will be fueled up to 41 percent by waste incineration, with wood making up the rest.

The plan also aims to cover the heating needs of social housing as a priority. Almost half of social housing residents in Nantes will benefit from a long-term drop in their heating bills.

For more information, click here. [In French]

EcoProcura 2012 registration and call for contributions now open

The online registration and call for contributions are now open for EcoProcura 2012: New opportunities to deliver sustainable procurement and innovation. The event will take place in ICLEI member city Malmö (Sweden) from 19-21 September 2012. Experts interested in presenting their ideas and experiences in sustainable public procurement and public procurement of innovation are encouraged to submit their contributions by 27 April 2012.

EcoProcura 2012 will give participants the opportunity to learn about the latest legislation, strategies, guidance and practical solutions. The conference will also promote exchange and dialogue amongst representatives from the European Commission and European Parliament, procurers from all levels of government, policy-makers, as well as suppliers, manufacturers, and multipliers. To avoid missing out, register online today.

For more information, click here.

2. ICLEI teams up with Earth Hour in search for City Challenge champion

ICLEI has joined forces with Earth Hour for the City Challenge, which encourages cities in Sweden, Italy, Canada and India to take a leadership role in the global transition towards a low-carbon economy. Managing Director of the ICLEI European Secretariat, Wolfgang Teubner, said, “The Earth Hour City Challenge gives both cities at the forefront of climate action, and cities keen to kickstart their activities, a new impetus to develop their sustainability efforts.”

Cities in the countries mentioned above are invited to submit their inspiring development plans and relevant data through the carbonn Cities Climate Registry, an internationally recognised carbon reporting platform for local authorities managed by ICLEI. Cities that submit their plans for low-carbon development will be reviewed by an international jury.

Once reporting closes on 19 November 2012, the jury will select five national champions and one Global Earth Hour Capital of the year to be announced in March 2013. ICLEI member city Malmö (Sweden) took top honours in the Earth Hour City Challenge 2011. More than 6,525 cities, towns and municipalities in 150 countries worldwide turned their symbolic lights off action this year into an ongoing commitment to a sustainable planet.  

For more information, click here.

3. ICLEI, UN-Habitat and European Commission join forces to lower city emissions

UN-Habitat and the European Commission have signed a major agreement on lower-emission city growth from 1 March to 31 August 2015, with several ICLEI offices around the globe involved as implementing partners. The Promoting Low Emission Urban Development Strategies in Emerging Economy Countries (URBAN-LEDS) project aims to take decisive steps to lower cities’ emissions – even as they expand.  

Activities of URBAN-LEDS will proceed in Brazil, South Africa, India and Indonesia – with ICLEI Europe working with selected European cities to support planning and monitoring by sharing experiences and know-how. The global initiative will help model cities in these countries to adopt low-carbon strategies, and to share experiences within their countries and beyond. The project will also facilitate a broader interaction between local authorities and global climate actors.

ICLEI Secretary-General Konrad Otto-Zimmermann said, “We need to demonstrate that shifting urban development to a low-emission path can offer both a better urban livelihood to billions of people and yield immediate, direct, cost–effective and scalable greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Through its vast experience and capacity on stimulating local climate action worldwide, ICLEI is glad to contribute and support this historical partnership.”

For more information, click here.

4. German Sustainability Award for cities and towns

The fifth edition of the German Sustainability Award is now officially open for entries. For the first time the award is not only open to businesses but also to German cities and municipalities.

The directors of ICLEI’s Sustainability Management and Urban Governance team will be involved in selecting the shortlist for the competition. A jury, which includes Executive Director for ICLEI Europe, Wolfgang Teubner will then choose the winner. The results of the contest will be presented at a formal gala in Düsseldorf on 6 December 2012, which is also German Sustainability Day. The closing date for entries is 31 May 2012.

For more information, click here. [In German]

5. New events

Creating landmarks at networking meeting on sustainable public procurement

A networking meeting on sustainable public procurement (SPP) will take place in Norderstedt (Germany) on 23 April 2012. The Creating Landmarks event will aim to serve the networking of decision-makers and procurers interested in green public procurement in Northern Germany. The exchange of experiences between local authorities will strengthen environmentally-friendly public procurement in the future.

The one-day-meeting is one of three taking place in different regions of Germany as part of the Landmarken setzten – Creating Landmarks project. Input from ICLEI Europe and the German competence centre on SPP will be followed by round tables, where presentations on good practice with regards to guidelines, e- procurement and innovative construction procurement will be held. The first meeting, which took place in Munich (Germany) in December 2011, has already led to positive results locally. Those interested in learning more and getting involved in the seminar are invited to register immediately as places are filling up fast.

For more information, click here. [In German]

Upcoming Urban Mobility conference in Vienna

Urban Mobility - Smart Technologies and Services for freight traffic, logistics and individual traffic in urban regions will take place from 24-25 May 2012 in Vienna (Austria) under the organization of the City of Vienna, the Austrian Ministry of Transportation and Business Circle.

The main focus of the conference will be on enhancing the dialogue between stakeholders and decision-makers from politics, public services and solution providers. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from experts such as Mr Robert Smith, Managing Director, Power Holding Graz / Graz E-Mobility and Alexander Schmid, Head of Mobility Concepts, Volkswagen AG Germany.

All ICLEI members can participate for the special price of 290 euros - regular price 799 to 1299 euros. The conference language will be German, and the programme is available here. [In German]

For more information, contact

6. Event reminders

Resilient Cities 2012
12-15 May 2012, Bonn (Germany)

capaCITY Trainer Workshop
15 May 2012, Sofia (Bulgaria)

capaCITY Stakeholder Involvement Workshop
16 May 2012, Sofia (Bulgaria)

Global Town Hall
13-22 June 2012, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

ICLEI World Congress 2012
14-17 June 2012, Belo Horizonte (Brazil)

EcoProcura 2012
19 – 21 September 2012, Malmö (Sweden)

Local Renewables 2012: Cities and regions explore smart grids and smart solutions
25 – 26 October 2012, Freiburg (Germany)

7th European Sustainable Cities and Towns Campaign Conference
17-19 April 2013, Geneva (Switzerland)

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: Miren Hurtado, Sean Carroll, Ciara Leonard (responsible).

Comments and questions are welcome - please write to Miren Hurtado 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 2012 ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH, Freiburg, Germany. All rights reserved.