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ICLEI in Europe News
February 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. Member News
  2. Online sustainable urban development toolkit goes live
  3. Exploring the link between urban land use, densification and quality of life
  4. International Earth Hour City Challenge finalists announced
  5. Positive transformation of urban areas honoured
  6. Events news
  7. Event calendar

1. ICLEI Member News

Sustainable Transport Awards led by ICLEI members

ICLEI members dominated the 2013 Sustainable Transport Awards, with Mexico City (Mexico) taking the ceremony’s top honour. Bremen (Germany) was also applauded for its sophisticated car sharing programme and high levels of sustainable transport, gaining an honourable mention. The Sustainable Transport Awards took place on 15 January 2013 in Washington, DC (USA).

Fellow ICLEI member Rio de Janiero (Brazil) was praised for its world-class bus transport corridor and expansion of cycle sharing. Established in 2005, the Sustainable Transport Award recognises leadership and achievements in sustainable transportation and urban livability and is presented annually to a city. The award is judged by the Institute for Transport and Development Policy (ITDP) together with an international committee of transportation and development experts.

For more information, click here.

Hannover training mixes theory and practice

ICLEI member Hannover (Germany) held a training week on green energy initiatives for representatives from European regions, aiming to step up their role in contributing to the EU’s climate protection goals. Local authorities from across Europe attended the workshop to learn from Hannover’s climate protection activities and urban planning.

Passive house standards for non-residential buildings, energy-efficiency improvements to multi-dwelling houses, renewable energies and other issues were all discussed in detail. Study visits brought practical insights, to the theory.

For more information, contact Ute Heda   ( or click here. [German]

Case studies exhibit renewable energy potential

Local renewable energy (RE) sources are still greatly underused in local communities the world over. To help public authorities harvest the potential of RE, the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA) collaborated with ICLEI to produce seven case studies presenting different policy tools.

From Europe, practices enacted in ICLEI members Chemnitz (Germany) and Malmö (Sweden) are detailed. To aid with future planning, Chemnitz commissioned a review of its RE potential. The city identified the amount of energy that could be produced through RE sources and saved through better energy efficiency, which helped to determine policy plans and future energy goals.

Malmö set local RE targets significantly higher than the national plan for Sweden (50 percent by 2020). The city’s plans are so comprehensive that Malmö is expected to run all municipal operations on 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.

For more information, click here

2. Online sustainable urban development toolkit goes live

Borne of a joint initiative of national governments, the European Commission and local government organisations, the Reference Framework for European Sustainable Cities (RFSC) is an online toolkit designed to help cities promote and enhance their work on integrated sustainable urban development.

The toolkit offers practical support in integrating sustainability principles into policies and actions at various urban scales, from neighbourhood to metropolitan level.

Available from the RFSC website, visitors will find a tool to help cities develop an integrated, sustainable urban strategy or project; a tool to help users check current strategies or projects against the EU vision of what a sustainable, integrated city should be, and lastly the website will supply users with a wide range of indicators to help them track the progress of their strategy over time.

For more information, click here.

3. Exploring the link between urban land use, densification and quality of life

The solution to the myriad problems associated with urban sprawl is smart urban densification. Densification, however, needs to be carefully considered and is primarily a question of proper land-use. The third URBAN-NEXUS Dialogue Café will identify complex issues shared by European cities in achieving sustainable land-use and discuss the creation of "the sustainable city".

Taking place from 10 - 11 April 2013 in Gothenburg (Sweden), the event is an opportunity to share knowledge with other researchers, urban professionals and practitioners from across the public and private sectors. Participants will engage in a mixture of plenary and break-out sessions, and interact with speakers from, amongst others, UN Habitat, and the European Commission's DG for Regional and Urban Policy. Study trips will also be held, including a guided tour exploring the host city's exemplary urban planning. Participants can register for the event online.

For more information, click here.

4. International Earth Hour City Challenge finalists announced

Finalists for the WWF’s Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC) have been revealed, with European cities Oslo, Arendal, and Stavanger (Norway), Stockholm and Malmö (Sweden), and the Province of Siena (Italy) all recognised for their innovative actions on climate change. The European Secretariat is proud to have worked closely with these cities.

The 17 finalists were selected from 66 entrants and include cities from Canada, India, and the US. One city per country will be presented with the title of Earth Hour Capital, with the jury, which includes ICLEI Secretary General Gino van Begin, focusing on cities that have developed credible plans for low-carbon development that also meet the needs of their citizens.

Jim Leape, Director General of WWF International said: “We applaud the many local governments who have set extremely ambitious development plans to create desirable cities by providing housing, transportation and energy which improve their citizens’ quality of life while simultaneously reducing their impact on our planet – and we encourage others to follow their lead”.

For more information, click here.

5. Positive transformation of urban areas honoured

Applications are being sought for an award recognising the processes that have transformed cities for the benefit of citizens. The City to City Barcelona FAD Award examines the effects of social, architectural, cultural and other movements in changing urban areas for the better. The award takes into account the scale of transformation and improvement for citizens, the level of innovation in addressing complex situations, the ability to anticipate future challenges within the process, and the overall sustainability of the project.

The prize is global in scope, reflecting that the most impressive urban changes are not tied to one region or level of economic development. The deadline for submitting an application is 28 February 2013 and these may come from both public and private initiatives, as well as from a joint initiative between the two.

The award was founded with the objective of recognising annually any urban processes that led to substantial transformations in the reality of a particular city. The winning candidate will receive a trophy at a public ceremony held in July 2013.

For more information, click here.

6. Events news

7th ESCT conference workshops show off the best of host city Geneva

The City of Geneva (Switzerland) and its local partners invite participants to join one of the 15 workshops on-site as part of the 7th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns, which runs from 17 – 19 April 2013. Participants can experience the green measures implemented within the conference host city, a sustainable exemplar in Europe.

During the workshops, innovative projects will be explored from their inception through to completion. A close look will be taken at the development process of each, including methods of establishing local partnerships.

Among other measures, participants will get a firsthand look at how the city met the challenge of providing clean energy for its industrial services, and how it sustainably managed the trans-border groundwater. The Botanical Gardens, a UNESCO-recognised cultural and scientific highlight of the city, will also play host to a workshop. Participants can ensure their place at the conference and benefit from the early bird fee by registering online.

For more information, click here.

Local Renewables 2013 focuses on shaping the solar city

Interested in practical guidance on how to shape a solar city and optimise local renewable energy potentials? The Local Renewables 2013 Conference programme will be packed with examples, ideas and support for local governments in shaping their renewable energy future. 

Local policy-makers, representatives of all levels of government, energy agencies, researchers and business representatives will meet in Freiburg (Germany) from 24-25 October 2013 at the 6th Local Renewables Conference. Join us and explore how municipalities can embrace clean, sustainable energy solutions, and tackle financial, planning and regulatory challenges when developing their solar city.

In the current context of financial austerity, growing energy insecurity and resource scarcity, cities are called to act as drivers, moving towards smart cities and low-carbon economies to enable safe, secure and affordable energy in the long term. Added value is seen in stimulating the local economy, generating local jobs and offering a good quality of life to citizens and businesses alike. Many questions remain on where to start and how to plan this transition. Explore options and business models with us in the green City of Freiburg.

For more information, click here.

7. Event calendar

RECS Market Meeting 2013
20 – 21 March 2013, Berlin (Germany)

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

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

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

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.