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ICLEI in Europe News
November 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. PPI Platform launch offers exciting new resource for procurers
3. ICLEI advocates for local government action at COP19
4. Waste-Less in Chianti leads to substantial reductions
5. EU and China to exchange urban development strategy
6. 'People's Windmills' call attention to community-controlled renewables in Europe
7. Clean Power for Transport Conference maps out the future of alternative fuels
8. Events calendar

1. ICLEI Member News

European Mobility Week award video highlights Zagreb’s sustainable transport

A new video depicting Zagreb's (Croatia) impressive sustainable mobility - the city's prize for winning the 2012 European Mobility Week award - has been released, offering a rounded insight into how the city is making it easier for citizens to get from A to B. The two minute film follows Krešimir Miletić of the Zagreb local government as he navigates the city using a number of different transport options.

Mr. Miletić is shown bringing his children to school, providing the opportunity to showcase the Croatian city’s new “go slow zones”. He then leaves the car in favour of an electric suburban train. Other commuters opt to use the city’s bicycle-sharing system, cycling along part of the city’s 220 km of bicycle lanes.

The accessibility of Zagreb’s public transport is then highlighted, with footage of a wheelchair user easily boarding a city bus through a lifting platform. The video ends with the city’s iconic blue tram fleet. Zagreb joins such European Mobility Week award winners as Bologna (Italy) in 2011, and Almada (Portugal) in 2010.

To view the video in full, click here.

European Cycling Challenge invites city cyclists to compete

The European Cycling Challenge will take place in May 2014, and is organised by ICLEI member Bologna (Italy). The challenge takes the form of a competition between cities to see who can collectively cycle the furthest each May. Many ICLEI members have participated in the past, including Barcelona (Spain), Dublin (Ireland), Lille (France) and Tartu (Estonia). Cities across Europe can participate, and any citizen of a participating city can join in.

The European Cycling Challenge hopes to encourage citizens across Europe to use bicycles for commuting rather than cars. In 2012 715 cyclists in seven cities competed against each other, cycling more than 90,000 km between them. In 2013, an incredible 313,000 km was cycled by more than 3000 cyclists in 12 different cities. The challenge hopes to set a new record in 2014.

Commutes to work and school, as well as for shopping and general travel, are accepted, as long as the journey is taken using a bicycle. The challenge is intended to show the possibilities of exchanging other forms of transport for cycling, so cycling as a leisure activity or for exercise cannot be counted.

For more information, click here.

Almada lowers emissions by greening energy policy

ICLEI member Almada (Portugal) has made great strides in recent years regarding energy consumption and carbon emissions. Signing the Covenant of Mayors was, says former Mayor Maria Emília Neto de Sousa, a “natural step”, building on the work already done by the municipality. This work included setting up a local energy management agency, and developing an energy reduction and emissions mitigation plan in 2002.

After signing the Covenant of Mayors, the development of Almada’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) was prioritised and a Carbon Fund was created in 2009. This Carbon Fund supports local energy efficiency investments, which can be used to compare the actions of key players in the public and private sectors. Almada is now offering expert support to cities in emerging economies through participating in the Urban-LEDS project.

Some examples of Almada’s commitment to energy efficiency is the switch over to 100 percent LED traffic lights, solar water heating systems installed in all sports facilities, refurbishment of municipal buildings and incentives for retrofitting of private property. The lighting infrastructure of the municipality has also been overhauled, resulting in reductions in both costs and consumption of electricity.

For more information, click here.

Campaign to cut food waste launched in Helsinki

The amount of food wasted by developed countries is a key concern for their sustainability. In ICLEI member Helsinki (Finland) a new campaign has been launched in local schools, to cut the amount of organic waste produced by educational institutions by four percent from 2012 levels. Students, teachers and other members of staff are taking part in the campaign, titled ‘I eat what I take’, by thinking carefully about how much food they want to eat and taking only as much as they need.

School cafeterias are the primary source of organic waste from uneaten food, and the campaign aims to spread awareness of wasting edible food throughout the city. Food waste production was monitored in Helsinki schools and colleges in autumn 2012 and spring 2013 to produce a baseline figure. The results of the campaign will be compared to this figure by all schools, and the city’s education department will compile all the data in a report due in 2014.

For more information, click here.

Two new sustainable neighbourhoods planned in Turku

ICLEI member Turku (Finland) has partnered with Siemens to create two new districts, Linnakaupunki and Skanssi, which will be designed with efficiency and quality of life in mind. The planning process for the new neighbourhoods was published on 1 October 2013. A toolkit has also been produced, outlining the principles of sustainable development that can be used again in Turku and elsewhere.

Several technologies that promote sustainable development were considered by the city planners, including an intelligent electric grid that decreases overall electricity consumption, renewable energy production at the local level, and car-sharing. The integration of these features will make Linnakaupunki and Skanssi model districts to inspire developments in other cities.

For more information, click here.

2. PPI Platform launch offers exciting new resource for procurers

With Europe’s economy facing serious challenges, there is a need to find innovative and sustainable solutions to stimulate the market. To address this, the Procurement of Innovation Platform has been developed, an online hub that helps public authorities, procurers, policy makers, researchers and other stakeholders harness the power of Public Procurement of Innovation (PPI) and Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP). The platform has been developed with support from the European Commission, and in partnership with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, PIANOo, REC and IWT. It was launched at the high-level event "The Path to Growth: Achieving excellence in business friendly public administration" in Brussels (Belgium) on 29 October 2013.

“Public procurement of sustainable and innovative goods and services is one of the essential tools for stimulating new technological or service solutions while helping to create jobs and boosting the competitiveness of the European industry and SMEs. It also encourages more efficient public services.” said Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the EC and European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship. Custom-made to meet user’s needs, the Procurement of Innovation Platform is comprised of three elements: Website, Procurement Forum, and Resource Centre.

The website contains the latest news on PPI and PCP developments and events, as well as policy support, and background information on the European legal framework. The Procurement Forum is a networking space for procurers and stakeholders from around Europe. The Resource Centre provides a database for PPI guidance, making useful documents accessible in one place. In addition, the platform will provide hands-on support. A series of training courses will focus on tools and techniques, while an experience exchange programme will be held between public authorities. European local authorities will also be invited to apply for the Public Procurement of Innovation Award, to be presented to those that purchase innovative, effective and efficient products and services. The deadline for applications for the first edition of the award is 31 March 2014.

For more information, or to sign up to the Platform, visit

3. ICLEI advocates for local government action at COP19

The United Nations COP19 Climate Conference began in Warsaw (Poland) today and will run until 22 November. ICLEI has been working to ensure that local governments are recognised, engaged and empowered in the global climate regime through the Local Government Climate Roadmap, which began in 2007. “National governments alone cannot tackle all corners of climate action, that’s why cities offer their ambitions, capacities and achievements as governmental stakeholders, which should be tapped in the climate regime,” said ICLEI Secretary General Gino Van Begin.

With the recent IPCC report confirming that global temperatures and sea levels are increasing, cities around the world are now important fronts in the struggle against climate change. With the support and advocacy of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, cities are being recognised more and more as key actors in the transformation to low-emission, climate-resilient societies.

“From Dar-es-Salaam to Oslo, Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen, we mobilised regional support with the perspectives of climate-vulnerable African communities and the inspiring progressive Scandinavian models of low-carbon urbanisation. In Warsaw, we will voice all of these to spur the much needed political, financial and technical support of the global climate community,” declared David Cadman, President of ICLEI’s Global Executive Committee.

For more information, click here.

4. Waste-Less in Chianti campaign leads to substantial reductions

The final evaluation of the Waste-Less in Chianti project has shown it to be a great success, with the project leading to a 15 percent reduction in municipal waste in the Italian region. The per capita waste reduction has been 113 kg per inhabitant per year, surpassing the project’s initial goal of 100 kg. In addition, a 65 percent increase in separate collection of waste has been observed, as well as a 23 percent reduction in the amount of residual waste sent to final disposal.

The campaign has implemented a mixture of soft and hard measures to reach its target, including promoting waste reduction in schools, with a particular focus on using tap water rather than bottled water, extending the door to door collection systems for recyclable material, and encouraging green public procurement as a means to reduce packaging. 50 percent of all tenders issued in the municipalities of the project area have been classed as green tenders, a significant increase.

The project also ran an intense communications campaign, part of which involved distributing a label to any organisation (public or private) that applied specific waste prevention and reduction actions. Home composting has also been encouraged, and markets at which residents could swap old items rather than dispose of them (dubbed “Empty the Attic” markets) were set up. This project is promoted by the Province of Florence, in collaboration with Ambiente Italia, Quadrifoglio and municipalities in the region. It is co-funded by the EU LIFE+ programme and the Tuscany Region, and ran from late 2010 to 2013.

For more information, click here.

5. EU and China to exchange urban development strategy

In the framework of the EU-China Urbanisation Partnership, which was signed in Brussels (Belgium) in May 2012, the European Commission and the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission will hold the EU-China Urbanisation Forum 2013. Taking place on 20 November, the Forum aims to discuss urban matters of strategic importance to both Europe and China, and enhance cooperation between the two regions.

Held under the patronage of European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, an EU delegation consisting of European Commissioners, mayors, top experts and business persons will meet their counterparts in China. The Forum will focus on a range of urban development topics, including green cities, smart cities, innovative cities, urban mobility and cultural heritage.

A four day exhibition on urbanisation will be held parallel to the Forum, titled “the EU-China Exhibition on Urban Development”. It will be open to professionals and the public from 20 to 23 November, and provide a platform for promoting exchanges and cooperation between EU and Chinese cities, enterprises, research centres, NGOs and think-tanks.

To register, click here.

6. 'People's Windmills' highlight community-owned renewables in Europe

More than 150 people gathered to form the shape of a wind turbine in front of the European Parliament in Brussels (Belgium) on 7 November to highlight the need for support for community renewable energy. The ‘People’s Windmill’ aims to send the message that citizen and community-controlled renewables should be at the heart of European energy policy. Several other ‘People’s Windmills’ took place across Europe, in Austria, Georgia, Spain, and the UK.

Community energy projects exist in a variety of forms across the continent. One such example is that of Culemborg (The Netherlands), a small town which raised €1.2 million in a record-breaking crowd-funding effort to purchase and run a wind turbine. 6,000 shares in the project were sold for €200 each, attracting 1,700 small investors from across the country. Other European examples include solar villages in Spain, and community energy saving schemes in the Czech Republic.

Upcoming decisions on European targets for emissions, renewables and energy efficiency for 2030 will determine and shape success in ending dependence on fossil fuels and combating climate change. However, the success of many cities in curbing emissions shows that local action is the most effective way to make a difference.

For more information, click here.

7. Clean Power for Transport Conference on the future of alternative fuels

The Clean Power for Transport Conference took place in Brussels (Belgium) on 21 October 2013, attracting high-level participants from across the EU. Following opening remarks from Matthias Ruete, Director-General of Mobility and Transport with the European Commission (EC), a roundtable was held, with ICLEI Europe’s Regional Director Wolfgang Teubner joining EC and national government representatives. Speakers at the roundtable included Siim Kallas, Vice-President Mobility and Transport for the EC; Arijandas Šliupas, Vice-Minister of Transport and Communications (Lithuania); and Rainer Bomba, State Secretary of Transport (Germany).

The event proceeded with panel discussions on the current state and the future potential of alternative transport fuels in Europe. Representatives of manufacturers such as Toyota, Daimler, Renault-Nissan, Solaris, and Rolls Royce provided insight into the reality of applying clean power to vehicles.

The conference reviewed the situation of alternative fuels in Europe and discussed the establishment of a refuelling infrastructure. The need to develop a new industry manufacturing vehicles using alternative fuels to promote economic growth and job creation was also highlighted.

For more information, click here.

8. Events calendar

URBES training session
13 – 15 November 2013, Barcelona (Spain)

Sustainable Brands London Conference
18 – 19 November 2013, London (UK)

EU-China Urbanisation Forum 2013
20 November 2013, Brussels (Belgium)

3ENCULT Workshop: Protect historic buildings saving energy
26 November 2013, Krakow (Poland)

Experience Exchange Programme for PPI and PCP
28 November 2013, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Clean Fleets Workshop – Clean Bus Procurement
11 – 12 December 2013, Bremen (Germany)

EcoProcura 2014
24 – 26 September 2014, Ghent (Belgium)

Local Renewables Freiburg 2014
23 – 24 October 2014, Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany)

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:

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