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ICLEI in Europe News
April 2013

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. Last chance to register for 7th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns
  3. Covenant conference examines successful local energy plan approaches
  4. Sustainable Timber Action resource database facilitates green public procurement
  5. Informed Cities Forum 2013 & InContext Final Conference
  6. Events news
  7. Events calendar

1. ICLEI Member News

Bristol introduces own currency to support local business

The UK’s first city-wide complementary currency, the Bristol Pound, is currently in circulation, with over £B 140,000 in rotation as of March 2013. The currency encourages people to shop at locally-based independent stores and encourage businesses to source locally, keeping money in the local economy. The benefits of the local currency include shortening supply-chains, reducing carbon emissions from transport of goods, and developing resilience to external shocks, such as oil price rises.

Mark Burton, co-founder of the Bristol Pound, said: “The Bristol Pound is a systemic intervention – sustainability requires recognition that social, environmental and economic concerns are interlinked. The Bristol Pound can have positive impacts across these issues. And as it becomes more established the city gains more ability to shape how money can be used; to develop a prosperous, resilient and sustainable city”.

For more information, click here.

Dublin installation provides renewable energy education

In an effort to improve citizens’ knowledge of renewable energy, Dublin (Ireland) launched a competition to design a smart energy feature for the city centre. The feature is intended to inform and educate the public in a creative and innovative way. A shortlist of entries has been drawn up, with the winner due to be announced on 23 April 2013.

The successful individual or team will receive a commission of €18,000 to develop their design to tender-ready stage. Fabrication and installation of the design will then take place, with a total budget of €126,000 available.

As part of the project, a further €250,000 will go towards the retrofitting of Dublin’s Kevin Street Library, which will include a dedicated space for renewable energy information in Dublin.

For more information, click here.

2. Last chance to register for 7th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns

Over 200 leading international experts in the field of local sustainability will come together at Geneva 2013, from 17 – 19 April. Participants, together with key representatives of local and national governments, European and international organisations, business, research and NGO associates, will debate sustainability in the context of current European crises.

The conference will explore how the development of a green and socially responsible economy can help local governments to address economic, environmental and social challenges. Latest confirmed speakers include Peter Head, Executive chair, Ecological Sequestration Trust and Chairman of the Institute for Sustainability; Jan Dusik, Acting Regional Director for Europe, UNEP; and Herbert Girardet, Co-Founder of the World Future Council.

Workshops on-site will provide an opportunity to gain practical insight into a range of sustainable areas in Geneva. Registration for the conference - the biggest European event on sustainable development - is available online.

For more information, click here.

3. Covenant conference examines successful local energy plan approaches

More than 150 people attended the event “Delivering on the Covenant of Mayors”, held in Brussels (Belgium), which focused on communities going beyond the EU’s 2020 climate and energy targets. A particular emphasis was placed on the experiences of Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) development and monitoring in cities and towns across Europe. The conference was organised under the auspices of the Covenant of Mayors, with the sponsorship of ManagEnergy, a support initiative of the Intelligent Energy - Europe (IEE) programme.

Outputs from the ENERGY FOR MAYORS project, the first IEE-funded project that addressed Covenant Coordinators and Supporters, were shared. This included a presentation of Miriam Badino from the Province of Genoa on the “joint SEAP approach”, in which smaller municipalities grouped together to achieve greater energy efficiency. Two informative videos were shown, outlining how the project guided local action. ICLEI’s Maryke van Staden presented the online Toolbox of Methodologies on climate and energy, a collection of more than 1000 resources in multiple languages that offer guidance on improving SEAPs.

For more information, click here.

4. Sustainable Timber Action resource database facilitates green public procurement

A variety of tools has been developed by organisations across the EU to help local authorities better engage in green public procurement (GPP) of timber and timber products. To ensure stakeholders can easily access these resources, IDH - The Sustainable Trade Initiative, ICLEI and Probos have jointly launched a resource database, allowing users to share and exchange materials. The database is hosted on the Sustainable Timber Action website and complements the tools already available from the project.

“The public sector purchases an estimated 15 percent of all timber and paper sold in Europe each year, for building and civil construction, office and outdoor furniture, and office paper and stationery” explained Mark Hidson, Director of Sustainable Procurement at ICLEI. “If these products are sourced from sustainably managed forests it will have a hugely positive impact by shifting the market towards sustainably produced timber.”

Patrick Jansen, Managing Director of Probos said: “The aim is simple: to bring GPP of timber from commitment to compliance in various European countries and accelerate market transformation towards mainstream sustainability”.

To view the database, click here.

5. Informed Cities Forum 2013 & InContext Final Conference

Taking place in ICLEI Member Berlin (Germany) from 6-7 June 2013, this event will bring together local government and community representatives, researchers and other actors interested in exploring how, through working together, we can facilitate change and move towards stronger communities and more resilient societies. The conference announcement is online.

Confirmed speakers include Carles Agustí Hernández, the Commissioner for Citizens’ Participation of the Barcelona City Council and Co-President of the International Observatory on Participatory Democracy, Derk Loorbach, Director of the Dutch Research Institute for Transitions, Jill Jäger, Senior Researcher from the Sustainable Europe Research Institute and Chiara Camponeschi of Enabling City. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on their own role in making change happen, present their experiences, and gain ideas for future action. Registration is open.

Complementing content with culture, theatre performances interpreting change will be woven into the programme, as well as a selection of study visits to Berlin’s most inspiring places. The conference is free of charge and limited funds are available for travel reimbursement – requests coming from local government representatives will be given a priority.

For more information, click here, or contact

6. Events news

Registration opens: Local Renewables 2013 focuses on developing solar cities and regions

Interested in practical guidance on how to optimise your local renewable energy potentials? What can cities and regions do today to shape their renewable energy future? Join the Local Renewables 2013 Conference to get access to examples, ideas and support for local governments in shaping their solar cities and regions.

Held from 24-25 October 2013 in Freiburg, Germany’s Most Sustainable Major City of 2012, the Local Renewables 2013 Conference programme contains highly interactive sessions offering practical advice and guidance to local decision-makers and technical municipal staff.

Local policy-makers, representatives of all levels of government, energy agencies, researchers and business representatives are invited to register for the conference and benefit from the early-bird fee. Those who take part in the conference will explore how municipalities and regions can embrace clean, sustainable energy solutions, and tackle financial, planning and regulatory challenges.

For more information, click here.

7. Events calendar

7th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns
17 – 19 April 2013, Geneva (Switzerland)

3ENCULT Workshop and Study Tour
23 – 24 April 2013, Bologna (Italy)

Informed Cities Forum 2013 & InContext Final Conference
6 – 7 June 2013, Berlin (Germany)

EcoCity World Summit
25 – 27 September 2013, Nantes (France)

4th UCLG Congress: World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders
1 - 4 October 2013, Rabat (Morocco)

Local Renewables Freiburg 2013 Conference
24 – 25 October 2013, Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany)

The Solar World Congress 2013
3 – 7 November 2013, Cancun (Mexico)

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 2013 ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH, Freiburg, Germany. All rights reserved.