Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser
ICLEI in Europe News
December 2014

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


As 2014 comes to an end, the ICLEI European Secretariat wishes all readers a safe and happy holiday period, and a wonderful start to a sustainable 2015!


  1. ICLEI Member News
  2. Progress in COP20, but Paris must bring all actors on board
  3. EC officially launches new Eltis urban mobility website
  4. Invitation issued to host Procura+ Seminar 2015
  5. Guidelines for Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans for poly-centric regions now available
  6. ARTS project supports citizen-driven change
  7. ICLEI building foundations for COP21 in Copenhagen
  8. 50000&1 SEAPs helps organisations improve energy standards
  9. Event News
  10. Event Calendar

      1. ICLEI Member News

      Rotterdam named Europe's best city

      Copyright: rick ligthelm/Foter/CC BYRotterdam (The Netherlands) has won the title of the Best City in Europe at the November 2014 Urbanism Awards, chosen by the Academy of Urbanism. The ICLEI member overcame strong competition from finalists Turin (Italy) and Aarhus (Denmark) to claim the 2015 crown.

      The award is one of five given out annually by the Academy to recognise the best, most enduring, or most improved urban environments. Each award covers a number of social, economic and environmental factors, including good governance and commercial success. Chair of the Academy of Urbanism, Steven Bee, said: “The City [of Rotterdam] has a predominantly young, open, tolerant community that is embracing innovative architecture and urban design, and new business models.”

      For more information, visit the Academy of Urbanism website.

      Reykjavik wins Nordic Council Nature and Environment Prize 2014

      ICLEI member city Reykjavik (Iceland) has been awarded the Nordic Council Nature and Environment Prize 2014. Reykjavik’s green achievements were highlighted during a ceremony held in Stockholm (Sweden), including the city’s environmentally friendly use of drinking water and its use of geothermal energy for electricity and district heating.

      The jury chose the city for its “wide-ranging and determined commitment to the environment.” Selina Juul of Denmark’s Stop Wasting Food movement and member of the adjudicating committee, said: “Although Reykjavik is a small city, 87 percent of the council’s vehicles run on electricity or gas. We know of no other council with a fleet of vehicles anywhere nearly as environmentally friendly.”

      For more information, visit the Nordic Council website.

      Barcelona joins 100 RC Challenge

      The 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) Challenge assists cities across the globe in becoming more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges faced by urban areas in the 21st century. The Challenge, established in 2013, invites cities to participate in a resilience-strengthening regime covering various shocks – including emergencies and disasters – and stresses such as food and water shortages. 

      Earlier this month, the involvement of 35 new cities was announced including ICLEI member Barcelona (Spain). The first batch of cities included ICLEI members Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Rome (Italy), Bristol (United Kingdom) and Glasgow (United Kingdom).

      Barcelona has established resilience teams to analyse shocks and deliver coordinated responses, reflecting the city’s commitment to resilience planning and thinking. This ability to respond, partnered with the city’s charge to use solar energy, improve public transport and reduce fossil fuels, establishes Barcelona as a leader in European sustainability and adaptability.

      For more information, visit the 100 Resilient Cities website.

      Barcelona has also recently been highlighted by an ICLEI Case Study.

      2. Progress in COP20, but Paris must bring all actors on board

      ICLEI welcomes the outcomes of the recently concluded UN Climate Change Conference (COP20/CMP10), specifically the Lima Call for Climate Action, but encourages all countries to urgently mobilise enabling frameworks and resources to tap into the ambitious commitments of local and subnational governments.

      The Lima Call for Climate Action elaborates the elements of the new climate regime to be adopted in Paris in 2015, while also agreeing on the ground rules for how countries can submit contributions to the new agreement during the first quarter of next year. “The Lima Call for Climate Action succeeded in aligning the bottom-up commitments of national governments as building blocks of the future climate regime,” said ICLEI Secretary General Gino Van Begin. “However, without the full engagement of all actors, there is a high risk of failure, considering the existing huge gap between the current national mitigation pledges and the recommendations proposed by science.”

      Mr Van Begin continued: “From Lima to Paris, countries must now focus on engaging and empowering local and subnational governments, in order to enhance their contribution in raising the level of ambitions. Every single contribution on mitigation and adaptation by any actor should be incentivised, acknowledged and accounted for. ” Throughout COP20, local and subnational governments gave a powerful demonstration of the potential impacts of local climate action.

      ICLEI, in its role as the focal point of the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) Constituency, facilitated the Local Government Climate Roadmap Lima Dialogues – a series of dialogues and events aiming to advance the recognition, engagement and empowerment of local governments in the climate regime.

      For more information, visit

      3. EC officially launches new Eltis urban mobility website

      The European Commission has officially launched the enhanced Eltis website, fulfilling one of its key commitments made less than a year ago in the Urban Mobility Package. The new website, which the Commission has re-designed to allow for better ways for cities to share experiences, showcase best practices and foster co-operation in sustainable urban mobility, has improved the gathering and hosting of valuable urban mobility tools and resources.

      The new site has integrated the content from the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans website (formerly, including it in a new Mobility Plans section. This section provides in-depth information on how to develop and implement mobility plans, with relevant guidelines, resources and a database of cities already involved available. Editorial content on the new website has also been transformed.

      The new website also features a community forum where European urban mobility professionals can exchange ideas, collaborate and discuss urban mobility matters. Through becoming a Friend of Eltis, community members can share news, case studies, events and tools of their own on the new website. 

      For more information, visit the new Eltis website.

      4. Invitation issued to host Procura+ Seminar 2015

      ICLEI is inviting interested parties to host the 2015 edition of the Procura+ seminar series. This exciting opportunity will present a host partner – whether city, municipality, organisation or government – with access to leading experts in sustainable public procurement and the chance to help build an engaging, diverse seminar which responds to their needs and interests.

      The 2015 instalment of the Procura+ seminar will see ICLEI's Procura+ Campaign combine forces with the GPP 2020 project to provide a platform for exchange. Purchasers from all levels of government, suppliers, manufacturers, policy-makers and multipliers on specific topics related to sustainable public procurement will come together to identify strategies for mainstreaming low-carbon and innovation procurement in European public authorities.

      Cities interested in hosting the event are asked to provide a venue and additional logistics, along with using their experience to help define the direction of the seminar. A contribution to cover staff costs, travel and accommodation for speakers, materials and other support logistics is also requested. 

      For more information, download the call for hosts.

      5. Guidelines for Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans for poly-centric regions now available

      The Poly-SUMP project - Planning sustainable mobility together, has released the Poly-SUMP Methodology Guidelines together with a series of useful tools aimed at aiding local authorities in poly-centric regions in designing cross-border Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs). These guidelines, developed by experts and practitioners, are now available for free from the Poly-SUMP website.

      Over the last three years, the Intelligent Energy Europe-funded project provided support for the development of SUMPs in areas in which transport flows stem from outside of municipal borders, including areas with separate political, social or financial centres. The project has worked with six regions in Europe - Regione Marche (Italy), Central Alentejo (Portugal), Central Macedonia (Greece), Parkstad Limburg (The Netherlands), Rhine Alp (Austria), and the Heart of Slovenia - helping them to engage with different administrative levels and relevant stakeholders to plan mobility measures for their areas.

      The Poly-SUMP Methodology Guidelines describe how to use a proven methodology to initiate the development of an effective Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan in a poly-centric region.

      For more information, visit the Poly-SUMP website.

      6. ARTS project supports citizen-driven change

      The ARTS Accelerating Transitions project is an EU-funded research project committed to understanding how citizens can accelerate the transition towards a low-carbon society. Combining real life interactions with virtual platforms, the ARTS project empowers citizens to drive change across social tiers.

      The newly launched ARTS blog is a joint effort by citizen bloggers living in the five regions that participate in the ARTS project. Its aim is to provide a direct insight into what is happening at the local level. The bloggers, recruited through an open call, are following the project activities while sharing their own perspective on local dynamics. Their reports relay stories on how transition is playing out in five very different cities across Europe, as told by the people who are making them happen.

      Supporting its online presence, the ARTS project recently held a side event, How much information is enough? Mapping sustainability transition initiatives, at the European Conference on Renaturing Cities. The agenda saw participants, panellists and representatives of the ARTS consortium discuss what information is needed to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable way of doing things in their communities, and on the European level.

      For more information, visit the ARTS Accelerating Transitions website and blog.

      7. ICLEI joins discussions on COP21 approach in Copenhagen

      ICLEI member and European Green Capital 2014 Copenhagen (Denmark) hosted representatives from ICLEI, major international clean-tech companies, Europe’s greenest cities and global city networks to discuss approaches towards COP21 at the conference Sharing Copenhagen - Green Capital Days from 8 – 9 December. The talks were aimed at creating a streamlined, united voice for the non-state actors at COP21 in Paris (France) next year.

      The participants, including ICLEI Regional Director for Europe Wolfgang Teubner, debated a common approach towards the 2015 climate summit. Mr. Teubner said: 'Through this event, city leaders in Europe ensured a united approach towards the upcoming climate talks in Paris. By reaching a consensus beforehand, we are in a better position to strongly push for a meaningful agreement, one that fully supports the forward leading actions taken by local governments and their partners in reaching ambitious climate targets'.

      In the wake of the COP20 outcomes in Lima (Peru), the roundtable participants called for governments to take ambitious action, and to recognise the importance of multi-level participation in finding local solutions to climate change.

      For more information, visit the Sharing Copenhagen website.

      8. 50000&1 SEAPs helps organisations improve energy standards

      The 50000&1 SEAPs project provides a coherent approach to integrating Energy Management Systems (EnMS) with Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) according to energy management standards such as ISO 50001 and the European Energy Award. These standards outline how to establish, implement, maintain and improve an EnMS, thereby supporting  organisations in achieving better energy efficiency and security.

      The three-year project also helps municipalities to overcome the barriers blocking the institutionalisation of action plans, assisting them in shaping internal procedures to produce high-quality, long-term, energy policy and planning. Useful guidelines to best integrate EnMS with SEAPs and training materials are available from the project website, along with an open call to attend the next training session. The project is co-funded by Intelligent Energy Europe, and will run until February 2017.

      For more information, visit the 50000&1 SEAPs website.

      9. Event News

      Tools for urban sustainable development to be showcased in Brussels

      Resilient cities - novel tools for local authorities will take place in Brussels (Belgium) on 13 January 2015. The conference is a showcase event for the TURAS project in which the Brussels Region is collaborating with 11 European cities and regions to create innovative tools in support of urban sustainable development.

      TURAS undertook the initiative in response to the estimate that by 2050 an expected 70 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas. Following an assessment of potential environmental challenges European cities may face - from the loss of biodiversity, to increased flood risk - local authorities from Dublin (Ireland), Stuttgart (Germany), London (United Kingdom), Rome (Italy), Brussels (Belgium), Sofia (Bulgaria) and Rotterdam (The Netherlands) will showcase the outcomes of their research at the conference.

      Experts will outline the tools that have been designed to assist local authorities in facing these environmental challenges, and lead dialogue on their experiences during the research period, and in their respective cities.

      The event will be hosted by Brussels Environment in cooperation with the European Business and Innovation Centre Network (EBN). The TURAS initiative is coordinated by University College Dublin (UCD) and funded by the European Commission.

      For more information, contact or visit the Resilient Cities event website.

      Final URBES training session to present project outcomes

      The final training session of the EU-funded Urban Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (URBES) project will take place on 14 January 2015 in Brussels (Belgium), providing an opportunity to learn from the outcomes of the three-year project. URBES aimed to better understand how urban ecosystems work, with a view to comprehending ecosystem change more broadly.

      Titled ‘Bridging the gap between Science and Practice’, practitioners and researchers from cities involved in URBES, namely Stockholm (Sweden), Berlin (Germany), Salzburg (Austria), Barcelona (Spain), Rotterdam (the Netherlands), Helsinki (Finland) and New York (USA), will present their experiences at the training and discuss the project outcomes.

      The training will be held directly following the final conference of the URBES project, which will see discussion on how best to integrate the natural environment into city planning. Registration for the training is free, but places are limited – early registration is advised.

      For more information, contact

      Transport sharing initiatives form focus of B@S meeting

      ICLEI and the Liaison agency Flanders-Europe are inviting participants to take part in the 17th “Breakfast at Sustainability’s” on 4 February 2015 in Brussels (Belgium) to discuss urban transport under the heading Sharing – the new concept for sustainable mobility.

      Among the confirmed speakers are Michael Cramer, MEP, Chair of the EP Transport and Tourism (TRAN) Committee; Nikolaus van Peter, Member of the Cabinet of Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc; and Jan Vermeulen, Mayor of the inspiring Belgian city of Deinze.

      Breakfasts at Sustainability's are small informal meetings hosted by Brussels Representations of regional and local governments. Topics covered are related to sustainable community development essential to public authorities. Registration closes on 30 January 2015.

      To register, contact For more information, download the programme.

      10. Event Calendar

      Resilient cities - novel tools for local authorities
      13 January 2015 – Brussels (Belgium)

      URBES Conference
      14 January 2015 – Brussels (Belgium)

      Breakfast at Sustainability's
      4 February 2015 – Brussels (Belgium)

      4th Informed Cities Forum
      26 – 27 March 2015 – Rotterdam (The Netherlands)

      ICLEI World Congress 2015
      8 – 12 April 2015 – Seoul (Republic of Korea)

      CARE-North plus conference
      15 – 16 April 2015 – Bremen (Germany)

      European Climate Change Adaptation Conference 2015
      12 – 14 May 2015 – Copenhagen (Denmark)

      Resilient Cities conference
      8 – 10 June 2015 – Bonn (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.

      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 2014 ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH, Freiburg, Germany. All rights reserved.