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ICLEI in Europe News
August 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. ICLEI Member News
  2. ICLEI survey on urban sustainability concludes cities are embracing sustainability goals
  3. Rio+20 speeches and interviews available online
  4. Successful dialogue on cities’ adaptation challenges in Ancona
  5. European Mobility Week’s Best Practice Guide 2012 now available
  6. ICLEI launches global initiative on urban resilience action
  7. Registrations open for CIVITAS Forum Conference 2012
  8. Charity race in Freiburg raises substantial donation for children
  9. Book of the month
  10. Events news
  11. Event calendar

1. ICLEI Member News

London 2012 hosts world’s first sustainable Olympic Games

ICLEI member Greater London Authority (United Kingdom) is holding the world’s first sustainable Olympic and Paralympic Games from 27 July to 12 August 2012. Focused on the areas of venues, travel, food and waste, the City of London has developed several initiatives based on the principle that the world should live within its means, such as the guide Towards a One Planet 2012.

In terms of transport, the Active Travel programme is using the impact of the Games to encourage people to walk and cycle across the UK. The city is currently conducting an investigation to look at barriers to cycling in London, and to analyse how effectively improvements are being delivered, as well as to identify solutions. The main aim will be to collect concerns about cycling in London, and assess the feasibility of implementing national and international best practice. Citizens are invited to express their views and comments at a public hearing on 11 September 2012.

For more information, click here.

Rotterdam enhances public swimming pool energy efficiency

In an effort to make cost, resource and energy savings, ICLEI member Rotterdam (the Netherlands) has taken steps to make public swimming pools more energy efficient. As the level of potential energy savings were uncertain, an Energy Performance Contract was used, under which contractors are only paid for actual energy savings achieved. The move also seeks to improve swimming conditions for users and lower CO₂ emissions, in line with the city’s ambitious emissions strategy.

The tender covered nine swimming pools over a ten year period and required guaranteed energy savings, improvement in the quality of the swimming pools and comfort for users in terms of water and air temperature, humidity and chemical concentrations. The award of the contract was based on the energy savings offered by the bidders and the maintenance costs. The tender incentivised contractors to use energy efficient heating, lighting and ventilation systems, all of which have been proven to significantly reduce energy usage.

For more information, click here.

Bicycle Library allows users to borrow a variety of bikes

A company in ICLEI member Copenhagen (Denmark) has come up with an innovative way to let consumers try out a variety of different bicycles without having to purchase them. The 'Bicycle Library' allows users to put down a 500-krone deposit and take out a bike of their choice for a few days. The library selection includes cargo bikes, electric bikes, folding bikes, recumbents, and even velomobiles. The idea behind the library is to give people the opportunity to test ride different bikes so that they can make a more informed judgement on whether or not to buy one.

Lasse Schelde, Manager of the Bicycle Innovation Lab, said that the company, “[is] about exploring the possibilities of bicyclism — it is an ‘ism’ because it’s not just a bicycle but a question of infrastructure, liveable cities, health, the relationship between you as a person and society.” The City of Copenhagen is considered one of the most cyclist friendly cities in the world, with one third of commuters travelling by bike.

For more information, click here. [In Danish]

2. ICLEI survey on urban sustainability concludes cities are embracing sustainability goals

The results of the survey Cities views on urban sustainability, jointly issued by ICLEI and the European Metropolitan Network Institute (EMI), have revealed that European cities prefer general and broadly-formulated goals when it comes to sustainable projects. The survey focused on urban sustainability and addressed issues such as cities’ understanding of the concept, their ambitions concerning sustainability, as well as their goals within the European Union framework.

The aim of the survey was to identify the needs of European cities in terms of further implementation of urban sustainability goals. The survey was sent to city officials and policymakers across Europe, including ICLEI's Informed Cities Network and EMI’s pool of cities, researchers, practitioners and decision-makers. The findings show that while the implementation of urban sustainability policies remains challenging for cities, mobility strategies are more successfully implemented than other measures.

To view the full survey report, click here.

3. Rio+20 speeches and interviews available online

ICLEI Europe has posted a series of videos from Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which took place from 20 - 22 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). The videos feature interviews and speeches from high-level figures, such as Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, David Cadman, President of ICLEI, and Ulrike Höfken, Environment Minister for the German State of Rheinland-Pfalz.

Mr. Cadman, addressing a high-level segment of Rio+20, called upon the audience to move towards a multi-level governance strategy for sustainable development and to recognise local and subnational governments as important governmental stakeholders in the development of international legal frameworks for sustainability. Ms. Figueres challenged ICLEI members to make their work more transparent and comparable, improve their measuring and verification efforts and to gather lessons learned, sorting those that were successful and those that weren’t for the benefit of others.

To view the videos, click here.

4. Successful dialogue on cities’ adaptation challenges in Ancona

The second EU Cities Adapt Stakeholder Dialogue, hosted by ICLEI member Ancona (Italy) on 11 July 2012 gathered over 60 participants from various European countries to discuss the main adaptation challenges faced by cities and regions, as well as viable solutions. European cities and experts from the European Environment Agency and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction presented their input on topics, such as adaptation triggers, barriers and financing.

The one-day event brought together researchers, scientists, private sector professionals, national governments and representatives from the cities of London (UK), Venice (Italy), Burgas (Bulgaria), and Ghent (Belgium) amongst others. The balance between presentations and group discussions enhanced the meeting’s 'dialogue' quality, and enabled participants to go into detail on vulnerabilities and adaptation options.

The dialogue came at around the same time as the report Seven Climate Change Lessons from the Cities of Europe was released, revealing that increasing numbers of European cities are developing adaptation plans to climate change as risks become increasingly severe. The cities surveyed include ICLEI members Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Berlin (Germany), Rome (Italy), and Helsinki (Finland). The survey found that 77 percent of the cities have completed, or almost completed, risk assessments to understand the effects of climate change.

For more information, contact

5. European Mobility Week’s Best Practice Guide 2012 now available

The EMW’s Best Practice Guide 2012 featuring short case studies from different European cities which demonstrated good practice during EMW 2011 is now available. Under last year’s theme ‘Alternative Mobility’, which emphasised the importance of sustainable modes of transport, the brochure includes EMW’s innovative campaign activities, its cooperation with stakeholders and media work, as well as a wide range of permanent measures launched to encourage citizens to adopt more sustainable travel behaviour.

The EMW is the most widespread campaign on sustainable mobility in the world. It takes place every year from 16 to 22 September with the aim of encouraging European local authorities to introduce and promote sustainable transport measures. Each edition the EMW looks at a different sustainable mobility related topic. This year’s theme Moving in the right direction focuses on sustainable urban mobility planning to encourage local authorities to develop sustainable urban mobility plans, and to organise activities to raise awareness on the topic among citizens

To view the EMW’s Best Practice Guide 2012, click here.

6. ICLEI launches global initiative on urban resilience action

ICLEI and partners have launched the Global Initiative on Urban Resilience (GIUR) to push forward urban resilience action worldwide. The initiative, which was unveiled during the Global Town Hall at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, bolsters disaster resilience, one of the conference’s key themes.

The GIUR will focus on eight areas, including the setting up of a core group of organisations to coordinate stakeholders and provide global reach to the initiative, utilising the green building movement to promote inclusion of resilience as a new category when evaluating building performance, and the development of financial incentives for local governments on resilience.

For more information, click here.

7. Registrations open for CIVITAS Forum Conference 2012

The registration for the 2012 Annual CIVITAS Forum Conference, which will take place in ICLEI member Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain) from 24 – 26 September 2012, is now open. Those interested in taking part in the event can register until 20 September 2012. Under the theme 'MANAGING MOBILITY: Planning for Sustainable Cities', the Forum Conference will explore successful aspects of sustainable urban mobility and public space planning.

As the conference marks the end of the CIVITAS Plus phase of the Initiative, CIVITAS Plus cities will introduce the project’s achievements in realising sustainable urban mobility. The event will also be a significant occasion for high-level representatives of the European Commission to share news and information on its policy and programme initiatives, and to hear the views of local politicians, mobility practitioners, academics, and non-governmental organisations.

To view the draft agenda, click here.

8. Charity race in Freiburg raises substantial donation for children

ICLEI member Freiburg (Germany) hosted the 24 hour Run for Children’s rights to raise money for local projects dedicated to children. The ICLEI European Secretariat participated as one of the 45 teams, completing 648 laps (259.2 km), and collecting a total of €1,600 for children’s projects. The event saw staff running as a relay team for an unbroken 24 hour period. At least one team member was on the track at all times.

Throughout the run ICLEI staff updated a live-blog on Facebook, which included news, lap figures and photographs. Many local enterprises provided great support to the ICLEI team, in both donations and services. The logos of these businesses were represented on the team’s T-shirts. 41 teams took part in the event and over 11,500 kilometres were run around a 400 metre track. Over €30,000 was raised for 25 separate youth projects by the event.

For more information, click here.

9. Book of the month

The Political Economy of Energy in Europe: Forces of Integration and Fragmentation

The Political Economy of Energy in Europe explores energy as an economic and political factor that concerns industry, the transport sector, the environment and citizens’ quality of life. The EU relies heavily on imported energy, and Gunnar Fermann’s book argues that to ensure future energy security and independence it must develop a common energy policy. This, the book states, would enhance the EU’s political and economic role in the global world. European cities need to engage in a common energy policy to establish a politically and economically stable EU.

The book discusses external energy strategic options for the EU to achieve energy independence through political will and institutional capacity and provides strategic options, research information and data to approach the European energy condition from political and economic aspects in conjunction. Through this book local governments can explore how their participation, together with private and public stakeholders, is crucial in guaranteeing an effective dialogue at national and European level for the establishment of a common energy policy.

Fermann, Gunnar(ed.). Political Economy of Energy in Europe Forces of Integration and Fragmentation. Berlin: Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, 2009.

10. Events news

Covenant capaCITY conference to focus on sustainable energy plan development and financing

The Covenant capaCITY conference, which will take place in ICLEI member Malmö (Sweden) on 18 September 2012, is addressed at local governments starting their Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) process. Experts will offer advice on practical issues, sharing innovative ideas and tips on relevant topics. For those who cannot attend personally and network with participants and experts, the event will be fully web-streamed. The registration for the webconference is available here.

The event is aimed at building capacity of local leaders and municipal staff, empowering cities and towns to engage in local climate and energy action. The programme includes six plenary sessions with practical guidance on topics ranging from identifying and solving problems in the start up phase to available support offers, and promoting achievements. A study tour with limited places showing SEAP implementation highlights in the cities of Malmö and Copenhagen will take place on 19 September 2012. The conference and study tour are free of charge.

To register online, click here.

High-level speakers confirmed for Local Renewables Freiburg 2012

High-profile speakers have been confirmed for the fifth Local Renewables Conference, which will take place in ICLEI member Freiburg (Germany) from 25 - 26 October 2012. Exploring the role of smart grids and urban-regional linkages, this year’s edition will analyse the concept of smart grids, and how they will change the networking partnership, both from the energy providers’ side and the energy demand from pioneers businesses, cities and regions.

Confirmed speakers include international experts such as Per-Olof Granström (European Distribution System Operators for Smart Grids), Dörte Fouquet (European Renewable Energies Federation),  Ludwig Karg (B.A.U.M.) and Christine Lins (REN21). The last programme updates feature innovative projects and strategies of urban regional cooperation including Salzburg (Austria), Region Harz and Oldenburg (Germany), Basque Country (Spain) and Aegean Islands (Greece) and many more.

To register online, click here.

Upcoming ADWICE Conference on EU water resources and adaptation measures

The ADWICE Stakeholder Exchange Conference, which will take place in ICLEI member Brussels (Belgium) on 2 October 2012, will discuss the impacts of climate change on drinking water resources in the European Union and the potential adaptation measures. The event will also present the draft results of the ADWICE study, and stakeholders groups and international experts will be invited to provide feedback.

The event will provide a platform to share knowledge and experiences among scientific researchers, local government leaders, national policy-makers and representatives of European institutions. The one-day conference is free of charge and early registration is recommended to secure a place.

For more information, click here.

Geneva 2013 will challenge key sustainable development solutions for the financial crisis

The 7th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns, which will be hosted by the City of Geneva (Switzerland) from 17 – 19 April 2013, will address the global financial crisis in the context of sustainable development and international and local governance for sustainability. The event will also provide a platform to foster critical and creative thinking, and take a step forward to realising sustainable development solutions at all levels.

Building upon the conclusions of the previous European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns in Dunkerque 2010, and the outcomes of the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Geneva 2013 will offer plenty of learning and networking opportunities, as well as the chance to mingle with those at the forefront of sustainable thought, practice, policy and implementation.

For more information, click here.

International experts will join the Market Lounge at EcoProcura 2012

With only one month left until the EcoProcura 2012 - Opportunities to deliver sustainable procurement and innovation, which will take place in the City of Malmö (Sweden) from 19 - 21 September 2012, both the conference programme and the participants’ registrations are growing quickly. Online registration is open and spaces are filling up fast.

International experts will be hosting a series of roundtables in the Market Lounge on Wednesday 19 September and Friday 21 September. Examples include 'Simple secure and effective guidance: Swan purchasing criteria', Nordic Ecolabelling (Norway), 'From confusion to convergence: using environmental standards and ecolabels in public procurement', Environmental Protection Agency (USA), 'Reform of public procurement in the City of Bremen', City of Bremen (Germany), 'Pre-commercial procurement and living labs', Region Aosta Valley (Italy), and 'Working with committed suppliers; for cost-effective green procurement', Ihobe (Spain).

For more information, click here.

11. Event calendar

Energy and cost efficiency in data centres - New trends, strategies and tools
13 September 2012, Berlin (Germany)

Covenant capaCITY Conference
18 - 19 September 2012, Malmö (Sweden)

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

ADWICE Stakeholder Exchange Conference
2 October 2012, Brussels (Belgium)

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

7th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns
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.