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ICLEI in Europe News
September 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. Sustainable Timber Action video outlines project
  3. ICLEI to explore urban futures at the World Urban Forum
  4. Analysis of procurement directives reform published
  5. Sustainable building and planning conference to analyse current state of play
  6. Rotterdam will host CIVITAS workshop on innovative urban freight solutions
  7. Events news
  8. Event calendar

1. ICLEI Member News

Videos present Stockholm’s achievements in increasing clean vehicle numbers

ICLEI Member Stockholm (Sweden) has produced two videos outlining how the city increased the number of clean vehicles on its roads to become a leader in Europe. Today one in five cars in the city are clean and the city’s municipal vehicle fleet is entirely comprised of clean vehicles. The first video analyses the achievement from a policy standpoint, while the second explores the technological side of the clean vehicle revolution.

The policy video charts the city’s progress from 1994 onwards, exploring the challenges that were faced and examining how these were overcome. Initial obstacles included unfavourable tax rules, a lack of incentive to purchase, and a dearth of refueling and charging stations. These issues were dealt with through changing taxation rules, removing obstacles and barriers, legally requiring renewable fuels at petrol stations and through giving subsidies and rebates to consumers for clean vehicle purchase.

The technology video provides an in-depth summary of the advantages and disadvantages of clean vehicles and their fuels, as well as information on the current situation in Sweden in regards to clean vehicles. The videos are financed by the EU-initiative CIVITAS Catalist.

To view the videos, click here.

Mobile app offers rewards for Londoners who choose to walk or cycle

A mobile phone app recently launched in ICLEI Member London (United Kingdom) rewards people for walking and cycling, awarding “points” which can be redeemed at a range of shops for each kilometer travelled. The app, called re:route, aims to boost the number of people cycling and walking in the British capital.

Businesses participating in the scheme include Marks and Spencers, Haven holidays and Cineworld. The project is being backed by Transport for London (TfL), the local government body responsible for the transport system in the city, as well as the Mayor of London.

Ben Plowden, director of surface transport planning at TfL said that the launch of the app, prior to the city hosting the 2012 Olympic Games, was ideal due to the app’s ability to “motivate people to cycle and walk when London’s roads and public transport network [were] at their busiest.”

For more information, click here.

Barcelona receives Diamond Purchase Award for Sustainability

ICLEI Member city Barcelona (Spain) has been awarded the Diamond Purchase Award for Sustainability 2012 for its ‘More Sustainable City’ council programme. The city received the first and second prize in the categories of Sustainability and Public Sector Procurement respectively. The Award was presented by the Spanish Association of Professionals in Procurement (AERCE) in the third of this series of annual awards celebrating the best procurement projects of the year.

The awards were comprised of 10 categories, and the winners were chosen for their use of innovation, originality and potential to replicate by other organisations. The award panel, formed by members of the Directors Board of AERCE, also recognised the consideration of social responsibility and the integration of people with physical disabilities.

The City of Barcelona is a founding member of the Procura+ Sustainable Procurement Campaign, which aims to support public authorities in implementing sustainable public procurement, promote achievements and foster exchange on good practice from public procurers and experts internationally. Barcelona City Council has received particular recognition for their pre-procurement engagement of the market when purchasing electric vehicle charging stations and green vending machines.

For more information, click here. [In Spanish]

2. Sustainable Timber Action video outlines project

An informative video outlining the work and objectives of the Sustainable Timber Action project has been released. The sleekly produced video explains the challenges faced in achieving legal and sustainable forestry and details the effects illegal timber can have on the environment, economics and labour conditions. An overview of the current state of play of sustainable timber procurement at the local level is also given.

Challenges raised by non-sustainable and illegal logging include a reduction in income for the local area, a loss of tax revenue and, in some cases, the use of illegal forestry revenue to fund armed conflicts. Environmentally, deforestation accounts for 20 percent of global CO₂ emissions and illegal forestry destroys five million hectares of forests each year. The video explains the role of certified labels in helping procurers ensure they purchase only sustainably produced timber.

Several interviews are conducted in the video, including with Diego Florin, the Secretary General of FSC Italy, Carmen Rebello Sanchez of the City of Madrid (Spain) and Simon Clement of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability. Mr. Clement describes the project as “designed to help public authorities understand the impact that their consumption practices can have, and to give practical guidance.”

To view the video, click here.

3. ICLEI to explore urban futures at the World Urban Forum

The sixth session of the UN-HABITAT organised World Urban Forum opened on 1 September in Naples (Italy), attracting more than 10,000 participants from around the world. This year’s theme is “The Urban Future” and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is taking an active part in the discussion. The forum runs until 7 September.

ICLEI’s side event “How cities can move forward in a post-Rio+20 world? Local Sustainability 2012 and beyond” will focus on the role of local governments in advancing global sustainability, pointing to new opportunities and challenges emerging from the Rio+20 process.

Taking conclusions from ICLEI’s Local Sustainability 2012 study as the starting point, a high-level panel composed of representatives of international organisations, academia, private donors and local governments will explore new forms of cooperation and governance for sustainable development. The session will take place on Wednesday, 5 September from 14:30 to 15:30 in the Sardegna Room.

For more information, click here.

4. Analysis of procurement directives reform published

A recent article posted on the Sustainable Procurement Resource Centre analyses the issues arising from the European Council’s publishing of its proposed compromise text for a new public sector procurement directive. The text has undergone a number of revisions from its previous iteration, and several areas that could impede the smooth implementation of Sustainable Public Procurement have been amended.

Author of the article Abby Semple, a procurement law expert, outlines the main changes to the directive, such as the incorporation of the recent ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the Dutch coffee case. The court ruled that fair trade production requirements are acceptable as award criteria and contract performance clauses, but social provisions in technical specifications cannot be included.

The revised text enhances the use of social and environmental labels as a means to verify performance, and includes a requirement to accept self-declarations where an operator did not have access to a label or could not obtain it within the relevant time limits. In terms of life cycle-costing, the ability to submit tailor-made criteria has been removed. The analysis also looks at abnormally low tenders, changes to the innovation partnership procedure and provides notes on the drafting.

To view the analysis, click here.

5. Sustainable building and planning conference to analyse current state of play

The current state of sustainable building and planning will be analysed during a two day conference in ICLEI member and European Green Capital winner Stockholm (Sweden). This ICLEI member and CCP participant is very active in the field of climate and energy. Building Sustainability Sweden 2012, which runs from the 18 – 19 of October, will attempt to define where we stand today in terms of building sustainability through benchmarking projects and ideas against one another. ICLEI’s Maryke van Staden will share an update with participants on 3ENCULT, a demonstration project on energy efficiency when retrofitting of historic buildings.

Projects that will be benchmarked against each other include the Stockholm Royal Seaport, which aims to create one of the world’s first climate-positive neighbourhoods, and the Waterfront Toronto in Canada, the largest urban revitalisation project in North America. Other topics to be explored at the conference include the success of green certification in developing the green building movement and  the ways in which utilising solar energy will shape future cities.

Attendees will participate in plenary sessions and workshops, as well as have the opportunity to visit project sites. The conference will also see the presentation of the inaugural Sweden Green Building Award. Building Sustainability Sweden 2012 is aimed at architects, energy producers, consultants, city planners, and government representatives.

For more information, click here.

6. Rotterdam will host CIVITAS workshop on innovative urban freight solutions

The latest CIVITAS workshop ‘Effective solutions for green urban transport – CO₂ free city logistics’ will take place in ICLEI member city Rotterdam (the Netherlands) on 12 October 2012. The third workshop of the series, the event will draw on CIVITAS cities‘ experience with new forms of urban freight transport, and share their findings with participants.

Attendees will analyse how best to enact positive freight transport change in their city. CIVITAS has been a platform for new developments in sustainable transport for ten years, and the workshop feeds into the European Commission’s target to achieve CO₂ free city logistics by 2050, as stated in its White Paper of 2011.

In conjunction with the workshop, the City of Utrecht (the Netherlands) in cooperation with CIVITAS VANGUARD is also organising a study tour on innovative freight transport solutions on 11 October 2012. Mobility experts are invited to join and to experience the Cargohopper, a solar-powered mini truck, and to learn from the sustainable freight transport approach of the City of Utrecht.

For more information, click here.

7. Book of the month

Evaluation for participation and sustainability in planning (2011)

Interest in evaluation of sustainability in planning has increased because evaluation is nowadays common practice, something that rational actors and organisations should do. Yet evaluation should not be a task undertaken purely by professionals without participation of those affected by the process and outcomes of the projects. Participation, democratic decision-making, equality and consensus-making are recurring themes in discussions today.

This book presents case studies and lessons on how evaluation processes forward the agendas of sustainable development, good governance and involvement of all stakeholders. It also examines how political-administrative realities affect the design and use of such evaluation processes as well as the implementation of strategic planning objectives in local practice. After the introductory chapter, the processes are explained step by step according to a logical progression from the macro to the micro and from the comprehensive-holistic to the more partial-sectoral.

The reader is reminded of the complexity of policies interdependencies and the need for further research to investigate the integration of issues. Overall, the book provides a realistic and practical overview of planning evaluation work including how evaluation is used or received in planning practice and alternative ways of collecting and presenting information. It is written having researchers and practitioners in the area of evaluation in mind.

Angela Hull/ E.R. Alexander/ Abdul Khakee/ Johan Woltjer (eds.): Evaluation for Participation and Sustainability in Planning,
Routledge, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0415669450

8. Events news

Registration now open for ADWICE Conference on EU water resources and adaptation measures

There is only one month to go before the ADWICE Stakeholder Exchange Conference, which will take place in ICLEI member Brussels (Belgium) on 2 October 2012. The event will address the impacts of climate change on drinking water resources in all regions of the EU and the measures to be taken to mitigate or adapt, as well as sharing illustrations and best practices. The one-day conference is free of charge and registration is now open. Early registration is recommended to secure a place.

The highly interactive programme will explore all aspects of the drinking water issue from understanding of impacts, to vulnerability assessments, mitigation and adaptation options, scarcity, droughts and floods. Measures enacted in different geographic zones will also be looked at. Participants can also take the opportunity to share experiences and are invited to provide feedback on the ADWICE preliminary draft results of the literature study.

Stakeholders, along with international experts, will address the following questions: What innovative approaches exist and how do they respond to varying impacts and issues arising from climate change? How can we best use vulnerability assessments, and how can they be improved? What can and what should be done about these issues by scientists, local and regional decision-makers or national and EU policy-makers?

To register online, click here.

High-level speakers confirmed for EcoProcura 2012

With only two weeks until EcoProcura 2012, a number of high-level speakers have been added to the conference line up. Coming primarily from the international governance level, the speakers are sure to provide excellent practical advice and insight into procurement issues. EcoProcura runs from 19 – 21 September in ICLEI Member Malmö (Sweden) and will examine the current challenges in the implementation of sustainable public procurement (SPP).

Speakers include Sue Bird of the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission and Fanny Demassieux, head of the Responsible Consumption Unit - Sustainable Consumption and Production Branch, UNEP, and many more important players in the field of procurement. The LANDMARK Multimedia Exhibition will also be launched at the event, presenting interactive information and video footage on social responsibility within public sector supply chains.

To create an atmosphere conducive to networking a number of social events are open to participants. Attendees will receive free access to the internationally acclaimed Tutankhamun exhibition, and have the opportunity to watch an opera performance whilst dining at Malmö’s Town Hall. Three separate study tours have been organised for the final day of the conference to show the practical side of sustainable public procurement.

To register online, click here.

TRAILBLAZER Delivery and Servicing Plan Workshop

Transport & Travel Research and Deutsche Post DHL are hosting the TRAILBLAZER Delivery and Servicing Plan Workshop (3) in ICLEI Member Bonn (Germany) from 26-27 September 2012. Online registration for the workshop is now open.

The DSP Workshop will include a DHL Day on Wednesday 26 September, including guided tours to the Innovation Showroom, the Vision Suite, and the DHL Parcel Centre. Participants can explore the various aspects of the DHL Innovation Centre and discover a space for new logistics ideas being used globally, catching a glimpse of the future of logistics solutions.

Thursday September 27 will include a brainstorming and discussion session with the Consortium members and the User Group Members on the implementation of DSPs. Find out about the latest developments in the TRAILBLAZER project and the work of the other TRAILBLAZER User Group members that are implementing their own delivery and servicing plans.

For more information, click here.

Local Renewables provides exciting learning and networking opportunities

The fifth Local Renewables Conference, focusing on the theme of cities and regions exploring smart grids and smart solutions, promises to be an exciting learning and networking experience for participants. Taking place in, as well as coorganised with, ICLEI Member city Freiburg (Germany) from 25-26 October 2012, the conference will gather urban and regional planners, energy experts, decision-makers from various levels of government, energy services providers, researchers and senior representatives from the business sector.

The plenary sessions will feature speakers from international and national organisations and institutions, while the two streams of parallel sessions will provide first-hand experience from pioneering European projects. The sessions are divided in two main threads: technological and policy related. The former will present cutting-technologies perspective and identify the most suitable technology for each need.

The latter will analyse existing urban-regional cooperation and look at setting up productive frameworks. On the second day the financial means will be presented followed by a debate. Places are filling up fast – with representatives from a diverse collection of countries having already registered to the event. Join us today and secure your place.

For more information, click here.

Krakow Workshop supports Covenant Coordinators and Supporters

Organised within the framework of the Energy for Mayors project, the Krakow International Workshop for Covenant of Mayors Coordinators and Supporters - LOW CARBON TREND-SETTERS IN 2020 - aims to help Supporters and Coordinators as well as the communities they support on their path of sustainable energy development. The workshop takes place in Krakow (Poland) from 3 – 4 October 2012.

A powerful programme includes sharing useful guidance, tools and best practice, addressing key topics related to planning, roll-out and monitoring of local sustainable energy and climate protection activities. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from committed actors and gain an insight into experiences of European cities that signed the Covenant of Mayors. An issue of overwhelming interest to be explored is financing, with good examples on how financing solutions were applied in community Sustainable Energy Action Plans.

The Covenant of Mayors is an agreement for local authorities to go beyond the 20 percent carbon dioxide (CO₂) reduction target by 2020, with cities and towns supported in their planning and implementation by Covenant Coordinators, and to some extent also by Supporters. These coordinators and Supporters also need guidance on how to optimise the assistance they offer municipalities. This is the main focus of the workshop, open to interested organisations.

For more information, click here.

9. 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: Sean Carroll, Ciara Leonard (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 2012 ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH, Freiburg, Germany. All rights reserved.