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ICLEI in Europe News
June 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

    1. ICLEI Member News
    2. Ban Ki-moon calls on mayors and heads of state to lead through action
    3. Relationship between quality of life and mobility examined in new publication
    4. New ISO standard launched for cities
    5. Working group facilitates access to funding for municipal projects
    6. CIVITAS Awards look for inspiring examples of sustainable urban mobility
    7. Climate change adaptation video shows progress in India, Philippines
    8. Local leaders explore resilience funding at Resilient Cities Forum
    9. Cities must play a central role in reshaping Europe 2020
    10. Event News
    11. Events Calendarmso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";

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      1. ICLEI Member News

      Copenhagen uses its year as European Green Capital to further boost sustainability

      Copenhagen (Denmark) is using its year as Green Capital to ramp up its activities on the environment, climate challenges, sustainable solutions and livability. The ICLEI member took its experiences on the road with a three day exhibition at Green week in Brussels (Belgium), where city representatives shared progress in developing a more sustainable local economy. Visitors were encouraged to build on Copenhagen’s insight to achieve resilient, low-carbon cities needed for the future.

      The city also applied sustainability principles to its hosting of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, with extra buses, new bicycle lanes and an expanded city bike scheme to encourage visitors to use low carbon methods of transport during their stay. The Eurovision village promoted a green vision throughout the contest, with local organic food served and free tap-water available to guests from drinking fountains and water vans.

      For more information, click here.

      ICLEI members amongst Mayors Challenge finalists

      Four ICLEI member cities have made it to the final 21 of the Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayors Challenge, a funding competition searching for innovative solutions to pressing local issues. Barcelona (Spain), Stockholm (Sweden), Bologna (Italy) and Bristol (UK) were among 155 cities who submitted solutions. ICLEI members focused on community-centred solutions, placing local networks at the heart of their projects. They were chosen for their long-term vision, impact and the potential their projects hold to be transferred to other cities.

      All finalists will attend an ideas camp in Berlin (Germany) over the summer, where they will work with each other and external experts to refine and strengthen their plans. The winning city, chosen in the autumn, will be awarded €5 million to help implement their vision. A further four cities will receive €1 million each.

      For more information, click here.

      Aalborg’s newest concert hall showcases sustainable technologies

      A new concert hall built using sustainable principles was officially opened by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark in ICLEI member city Aalborg. The House of Music combines a performance space with an educational and cultural centre. Key features include a natural ventilation system to keep the main foyer cool without the need for electrical equipment and a two-layer photovoltaic façade on the south side of the building, which both generates energy and provides shelter.

      The building’s heating and cooling system uses water from a nearby fjord, channeled through pipes underneath the concrete floor slabs to keep air cool, with thick concrete walls acting as thermal mass to store heat and prevent temperature fluctuation. Rotating heat exchangers and ventilation systems installed beneath the seats in the auditorium ensure a comfortable temperature is maintained. An inbuilt building management system ensures that energy use is as efficient as possible.

      For more information, click here.

      2. Ban Ki-moon calls on mayors and heads of state to lead through action

      UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has underlined the key role of cities in addressing climate change. In remarks made at the opening of the Abu Dhabi Ascent meeting (UAE) on 4 May 2014, Ban Ki-moon identified cities as one of nine key areas in which fast, meaningful results can be achieved.

      “I am inviting Heads of State and Government, along with mayors and senior representatives from business, finance and civil society, to join a 'race to the top'. I am asking them to announce bold commitments and actions that will catalyse the transformative change we need.” said Ban Ki-moon.

      The Secretary-General pointed out that many of the solutions to climate change already exist, and many more are rapidly being developed. These need to be deployed without delay on a much larger scale than ever before. Ban Ki-moon asked delegates to take home a ‘clear and simple’ message, that “climate action is feasible, affordable and beneficial.”

      For more information, click here.

      3. Relationship between quality of life and mobility examined in new publication

      The European Mobility Week (EMW) 2014 Thematic Guidelines have been published, providing a detailed overview of how quality of life can be improved through engaging in more sustainable mobility practices. In addition to exploring how land use and private vehicles impact on our daily lives, the guidelines showcase many examples of how European cities have revitalised their city centres through sharing space more equitably.

      The Thematic Guidelines are updated and published annually to aid cities in joining and successfully taking part in the EMW campaign. EMW puts the focus on improving quality of life through sustainable transport choices, and encourages cities to enact measures that will enhance environmentally friendly mobility for years to come. Registration for the campaign is now open.

      To view the Guidelines, click here.

      4. New ISO standard launched for cities

      On 15 May, the first ISO standard for city indicators was launched, providing city managers, politicians and planners with the opportunity to objectively evaluate their progress and compare their achievements against other cities.

      ISO 37120:2014 has been developed as part of an integrated suite of standards for sustainable development in communities. It is designed for use by any city, municipality or local government irrespective of size and location or level of development. Profile indicators also provide basic statistics and information to help officials choose which cities most closely match their own for comparison purposes.

      This first edition is based on the Global Cities Indicators earlier launched by the Global Cities Indicators Facilities supported, amongst others, by the World Bank, UNEP and UN HABITAT. A second edition will include further indicators, such as the European Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities.

      For more information, click here.

      5. Covenant of Mayors working group facilitates access to funding for municipal projects

      When developing sustainable energy initiatives, local governments regularly identify lack of financial support as one of the main obstacles they face. A working group set up by the Covenant of Mayors aims to overcome this problem by connecting cities to sources of public, private and European funding. The group will provide access to financing, give advice and feedback on developing bids, and address ‘non-technical’ barriers which prevent viable projects from receiving investment.

      Covenant Signatories and coordinators will be invited to participate, working with NGOs and business to create bankable projects and ultimately channel more funds from a broader range of sources towards municipal schemes. Any outcomes of the working group sessions will be made available to all Covenant Signatories through dedicated online materials, webinars and workshops.

      For more information, click here.

      6. CIVITAS Awards look for inspiring examples of sustainable urban mobility

      The 2014 CIVITAS Awards, which will be presented at this year’s CIVITAS Forum in Casablanca (Morocco), will showcase the best policy and practice in the field of sustainable public transport. The CIVITAS Awards competition is open to all cities that have signed the CIVITAS Declaration and belong to the CIVITAS Forum Network.

      Last year’s winners included ICLEI member cities Nantes (France) and Bologna (Italy). Nantes impressed the judges by reducing air pollution despite an expanding population, while Bologna used timed barriers to reduce traffic at peak times and create a pleasant atmosphere in the city centre, without overly impacting local businesses.

      The categories for the awards cover technical innovation, public participation and the broader category of CIVITAS City of the Year. Application forms for all categories as well as more detailed rules should be downloaded, completed and sent to by 14 July 2014.

      For more information, click here.

      7. Climate change adaptation video shows progress in India, Philippines

      A 30 minute film released by the Asian Cities Adapt project gives an insight into what eight cities in India and the Philippines are doing to tackle the impacts of climate change. It covers key topics affecting many cities across Asia and beyond, including flooding, soil erosion and pollution of fresh ground water supplies with salt water.

      The three year Asian Cities Adapt project, which drew to an end last November, applied the latest climate research to local contexts to help some of Asia’s most vulnerable cities mitigate the impacts of climate change.

      The film shows how good communication, forward planning and simple actions can help communities to cope in increasingly difficult urban conditions. By combining scientific modeling with local knowledge, the cities featured in the video were able to use their limited resources efficiently to help overcome the effects of climate change, which are already impacting their populations.

      For more information and to see the film, click here.

      8. Local leaders explore resilience financing at Resilient Cities Forum

      More than 400 experts, local leaders and urban resilience practitioners gathered last week in Bonn (Germany) for Resilient Cities 2014: The 5th Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation. The forum marked a move forward in resilience financing, providing better understanding of the barriers to financing adaptation measures and facilitating multiple stakeholder partnerships to address these challenges.

      Opening the Conference via video message, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales said, “The need for this integrated approach is now urgent and that is why meetings such as this are vitally important in order to articulate fully the vision and help establish ways to build the evidence base and galvanise the wheels of change. So I can only congratulate ICLEI for their leadership in this area over the past few years.”

      For more information, click here.

      9. Cities must play a central role in reshaping Europe 2020

      The European Committee of the Regions (COR) is encouraging cities to add their voices to a mid-term consultation of the Europe 2020 growth strategy. Local authorities are encouraged to provide much-needed local insight by filling in the online questionnaire before 31 October.

      A recent COR assessment suggests that Europe 2020 is not delivering its promises as it lacks a territorial dimension. By taking part in the consultation, European cities and regions can help refocus the policy to better facilitate achievement of its aims.

      "The Committee of the Regions strongly encourages EU local and regional authorities to contribute to this consultation", said Committee of the Regions President Ramón Luis Valcárcel, "Bringing the voice of local and regional authorities in the mid-term review of the strategy is a key political priority for us".

      For more information, click here.

      10. Event News

      Community renewables: the key to our energy future?

      With increasingly fragile international energy supplies and an ever-growing need for electricity in urban centres as a result of population growth, the way we produce and distribute energy locally needs to get smarter. “Community energy: accelerating sustainable energy roll-out in Europe” is a workshop taking place on 25 June 2014 as part of the EUSEW 2014 High Level Policy Conference in Brussels (Belgium) that will bring local energy experts together to discuss methods for achieving truly sustainable local energy in the run-up to 2030.

      The workshop will focus on the potential of community-led and owned renewable energy supplies to aid local and regional development. Cities will share their experiences and examples of best practice in supporting community energy schemes, from target setting to implementation. EU policy makers and business representatives will also be available to discuss how and to what extent the new 2030 Framework supports community energy.

      For more information, click here.

      Mobility plans take centre stage at Sopot conference

      What constitutes best practice in the field of transport is constantly evolving. To be truly effective urban planners must stay up to date with the latest mobility developments, and be able to integrate this knowledge into their municipality’s SUMP. The European Commission is lending its support to the 1st European Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans, set to take place in Sopot (Poland) from 12 – 13 June 2014.

      Titled “Planning for a liveable city”, the conference is open to all urban mobility planners and practitioners from around Europe. Parallel sessions will explore citizen participation, auditing procedures, and the best methods to evaluate SUMP impacts. Further sessions will examine the realities of implementing SUMPs in a time of austerity, and ways to integrate various transport forms and modes into a cohesive plan.

      Participants will also learn about the various European projects operating on the topic, exploring what each can offer at the local and regional level. The event is free of charge, but registration is required. Full details are available in the conference programme.

      For more information, click here.

      Cities summit to be held in parallel with COP 12

      The 2014 “Biodiversity Summit for Cities and Subnational Governments" will be held in parallel with the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) from 12-14 October 2014.

      The Summit will convene hundreds of representatives from local, regional and national governments to strengthen multi-level cooperation in support of the Strategic Plan of the CBD (2011-2020) and the Aichi Targets. It will build on the outcomes of previous Biodiversity Summits focused on the local level and CBD COPs, with a view to strengthening the links between levels of government and across governmental sectors in the management of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

      For more information, click here.

      11. Event Calendar

      Community energy: accelerating sustainable energy roll-out in Europe
      25 June - Brussels (Belgium)

      REsolutions to fund cities conference
      3 - 4 July 2014 - Paris (France)

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

      Mayors Adapt Signature Ceremony
      7 October 2014 - Brussels (Belgium)

      RFSC Conference 2014
      8 October 2014 – Brussels (Belgium)

      Biodiversity Summit for cities and sub-national governments
      12 - 14 October - Gangwon Province (Republic of Korea)

      Local Renewables 2014
      22 – 24 October 2014 – Freiburg im Breisgau and Lörrach (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.