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ICLEI in Europe News
July 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 and Rio+20
  3. REN21 report reveals positive global renewable energy trends
  4. Book of the month
  5. New events
  6. Event reminders

1. ICLEI Member News

Copenhagen named European Green Capital 2014

ICLEI member city Copenhagen (Denmark) has been named as European Green Capital 2014. The Danish capital was awarded the prestigious title by EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik at a ceremony held in current Green Capital Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain). The award jury praised the city for its achievements in the fields of eco-innovation and sustainable mobility, its commitment to act as a role model for the green economy in Europe and beyond, and for its exceptional communication strategy.

The jury singled out Copenhagen as a good model in terms of urban planning and design, and as a transport pioneer, particularly in its measures to become the world’s most cyclist friendly city. The European Green Capital award is an annual prize that encourages cities to improve the quality of urban life by systematically taking the environment into account in urban planning and management. One city is chosen from a large field of applicants every year.

For more information, click here.

Innovative project in Tampere will bring sustainable energy to its residents

ICLEI member Tampere (Finland) is developing a new urban building project in the district of Vuores, which aims to incorporate sustainable energy into its 13,000 residents’ daily lives by 2020. The initiative, one of the largest in the country, establishes the green district as a role model in terms of energy and eco-efficient housing development, with both passive and zero energy buildings.

The plan is a combination of ecological housing, transportation and urban greenery. Vuores will provide residents with allotments for their own use. The district’s traffic solutions will also support public transportation as well as cycling and walking. New technologies like a pipe collection system for water management, LED lighting for streets and parks, and an ultra-fast data network in the field of water management are key aspects of the initiative.

For more information, click here. [In Finnish]

Aalborg University creates Master Programme on Sustainable Cities

A new Master Programme ‘Sustainable Cities, which focuses on handling the current challenge of urban planning from a climate, energy and environmental perspective, has been created in the Aalborg University Copenhagen, located in ICLEI member Aalborg (Denmark). The Master Programme will cover core competences in urban resource cycles in terms of renewable energy and waste systems, low-carbon infrastructure, and the management of climate change impacts.

Addressed at students in the field of sustainability, the programme will provide both theoretical insight and practical experience for their future career. The programme covers engineering related issues, such as waste, energy, water resources and transport. Graduates in Sustainable Cities will acquire both knowledge and practical skills to conduct technical, economic and societal transition processes needed to find sustainable ways to lower the impact from urban living.

For more information, click here.

2. ICLEI and Rio+20

One of the most important events both for ICLEI and for cities committed to sustainability, Rio+20 brought together global leaders to discuss and plan the future of sustainable development. The 2012 edition of the ICLEI World Congress, a tri-annual event in which ICLEI members showcase sustainable actions, was held in advance of the conference.

ICLEI World Congress 2012 concludes with a key message to Rio+20

The ICLEI World Congress 2012, held in Belo Horizonte (Brazil) from 14 – 17 June 2012, highlighted the urgency for global action at the local level and the need for new alliances between young municipal leaders and seasoned sustainability experts to push forward action beyond Rio+20. The Congress prepared a strong message to the UN Conference, encouraging the recognition of local governments as key actors in sustainable development and emphasising that since the first Rio Summit local governments have made considerable progress in moving towards a more sustainable future, achieving key success in areas such as soil degradation, water resources management and greenhouse gas reduction. The Congress also saw the release of the global review and case studies Local Sustainability 2012- Taking Stock and Moving Forward, which examines local sustainability action since the 1992 Earth Summit, as well as looking to the future.

For more information, click here.

Sustainable Events Guide launched at ICLEI World Congress 2012

The Sustainable Events Guide was launched at the ICLEI World Congress 2012, held in Belo Horizonte (Brazil) from 14 – 17 June 2012. The online publication is an informative and useful tool aimed at providing valuable information on how to keep large scale meetings as green as possible. It is addressed at those responsible for the planning and conduct of large-scale conferences and other events. The green approach of the guide will be applied in the 7th European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns, which will take place in ICLEI member Geneva from 17 – 19 April 2013, and will focus on the outcomes of Rio and its meaning for European cities and towns.

Co-produced by ICLEI, UNON, UNEP and the conference forum the International Annual Meeting on Language Arrangements, Documentation and Publications, the main purpose of the guide is to provide a tool to help event planners maximise the positive impacts and minimise the potential negative ones in the course of planning and delivering meetings.

To download the guide, click here.

Rio+20 outcomes reinforce the vital role of cities in achieving sustainability

ICLEI’s evaluation of the outcomes of Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development which took place in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) from 20 - 22 June 2012, emphasises cities’ key role in moving to a green economy and adopting sustainability, and puts forward voluntary commitments such as the Mexico City Pact and cCCR as prime examples of a global, regional, and local framework for sustainable action.

ICLEI was the only local government organisation present and actively engaged at every single UN preparatory meeting, acting as Local Authority Major Group Co-organising Partner for the Rio+20 Secretariat. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon applauded a crowd of local authorities for advancing sustainability in their towns and cities at the Rio+20 Global Town Hall, which was held from 13 – 22 June in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). ICLEI’s initiative GreenClimateCities was also launched at Rio in response to an appeal for urgent action on climate change.

For more information, click here.

ICLEI survey report shows cities’ progress in achieving green goals

ICLEI’s survey report Going Green: How cities are leading the next economy, published jointly by ICLEI and the London School of Economics, was launched at the Rio+20 Global Town Hall. The document portrays widespread optimism regarding green economic development, showing the extent to which cities have successfully integrated green policies since the last UN Conference on Sustainable Development in 1992.

The survey highlights the extent to which environmental problems are deeply linked to the most critical challenges cities are currently facing, such as road congestion and urban sprawl. According to the research, all 53 cities surveyed aspired to be ‘green’, with 95 percent reporting that green policies would benefit the economy, and 75 percent reporting they were willing to invest in new green technology in order to drive change.

To view the report, click here.

3. REN21 report reveals positive global renewable energy trends

The 2012 edition of REN21 Renewables 2012 Global Status Report covers recent developments and identifies trends, such as the rapidly growing global share of renewable energy supply in the power, heating / cooling and transport sectors. The document provides testimony of the steady growth trend towards renewable energy  markets, supportive policies and investment, highlighting the increasing role renewables are playing in mainstream energy markets and sustainable economic development. A section on the local community level is included, with input contributed by ICLEI.

The key findings reveal renewable sources have grown to supply 16.7 percent of global final energy consumption in 2010. In the power sector, renewables accounted for almost half of the estimated 208 gigawatts (GW) of electric capacity added globally during 2011. Wind and solar photovoltaics also respectively generate almost 40 and 30 percent of new renewable capacity, followed by hydropower (nearly 25 percent). The trends in the heating and cooling fields include an increase in system size, expanding use of combined heat and power, the feeding of renewable heating and cooling into district networks, as well as the use of renewable heat for industrial purposes.

For more information, click here.

4. Book of the month

Climate Change and Cities: First Assessment Report of the Urban Climate Change Research Network

The First Assessment Report of the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN) on Climate Change and Cities (ARC3) responds to local governments´ need for reliable information as a basis for developing and implementing climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in urban contexts. In this report climate science and socio-economic research set the basis for mapping cities´ vulnerability to climate hazards, identifying an assessment framework based on three sets of indicators: climate hazards facing the city, vulnerabilities due to a city´s social-economical and physical context, and adaptive capacity aspects.

Cities can enhance their adaptive and mitigative strategies over different time scales, through assessing the nature and scale of climate change impacts on specific sectors. Cross-cutting issues are addressed in the report, with emphasis on the importance of effective leadership, financing, multi-level coordination, and citizen participation. This report speaks to city officials, urban planners, stakeholders, and academia, and is an especially valuable knowledge-based tool for urban policymakers in developing climate change mitigation and adaptation policies, highlighting the responsibilities, as well as the great potential that cities have in tackling climate change.

C. Rosenzweig/ W. D. Solecki/S. A. Hammer/S. Mehrotra, Climate Change and Cities: First Assessment Report of the Urban Climate Change Research Network,
Cambridge University Press, 2011
ISBN 978-1-107-00420-7

5. New events

Invitation and programme updates for EcoProcura 2012

The EcoProcura 2012 Conference will take place in Malmö (Sweden) from 19 – 21 September 2012 and will examine the current challenges in the implementation of sustainable public procurement within the framework of European, national and local legislation and policies. The latest programme updates include parallel sessions in which the proposed Public Procurement Directives will be presented and their meaning discussed in terms of practical application. The detailed invitation can be found here.

The outcomes of Rio+20, as well as the impact the latest legislation, policies and guidance will have on public procurement at the local level, will also be discussed. High-level speakers such as Klaus Wiedner from the European Commission and Catarina Segersten-Larsson from the Committee of the Regions will take part in the sessions and discussions, as well as debates on the role of public procurement in driving innovation, the use of social criteria throughout the supply chain and more. Early registration is advisable to secure a place.

For more information, click here.

Call released for mobility award competition aimed at cities

CIVITAS Forum cities are invited to submit applications for the 9th CIVITAS Awards, the most prestigious awards in Europe for clean urban transport. The awards highlight the most ambitious, innovative and successful efforts in the field of sustainable urban mobility. They showcase the best examples of policy making and action to inspire other European cities. The deadline for applications is 27 August 2012.

The competition incorporates the categories of City of the Year, Public Participation, and Technical Innovation. CIVITAS Forum cities may submit a maximum of one application per category. Winners will be presented with their award in a ceremony during the CIVITAS Forum Conference 2012, which will take place in ICLEI member Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain) from 24 – 26 September 2012.

To enter the competition, click here.

Registrations open for Ancona Stakeholder Dialogue

The second Stakeholder Dialogue of the project EU Cities Adapt will take place in ICLEI member Ancona (Italy) on 11 July 2012. City, regional and national representatives, research organisations, European experts, and international institutions are invited to participate in this interactive day of exchange and learning. Cities will also be introduced to the training phase of the project that will commence in the autumn.

The dialogue offers cities extensive support and individual guidance by experts in developing an adaptation strategy. The dialogue is free of charge but space is limited. Interested parties are warmly invited to participate in this interactive day of presentations by experts, exchange and learning.

To register, click here.

Local Renewables 2012 provides comprehensive mix of activities

The programme for Local Renewables 2012 “Cities and regions explore smart grids and smart solutions” outlines a comprehensive mix of workshops, study tours and networking opportunities for participants. Taking place from 25-26 October 2012 in ICLEI member Freiburg (Germany), the event will examine the role of smart grids for the optimisation of renewable energy productions within an urban-regional framework.

Two streams of highly interactive afternoon workshops will be held, allowing attendees to pick the agenda that best suits their business needs. Three study tours will also be held from which attendees can pick. The study tours give participants the chance to explore and learn the sustainable initiatives of the city of Freiburg and its surroundings, discover the “Hanisenhof” - a sustainable farm in the Black Forest, and observe the urban redevelopment of the district of Weingarten, as well as Germany’s first high rise building that can claim a passive house standard.  Places are filling up fast, so register early to secure yours.

To register, click here.

Share your water-related expertise at the ADWICE Stakeholder Conference

A better understanding of the vulnerability of drinking water resources in the European Union and the available adaptation measures is key to improving future planning. The Adapting Drinking Water resources to the Impacts of Climate Change in Europe (ADWICE) Stakeholder Conference, taking place in Brussels (Belgium) on 2 October 2012, will address this issue.

The event will offer 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.

For more information, contact:

6. Event reminders

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)

CIVITAS Forum Conference 2012
24 -  26 September, Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain)

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.