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ICLEI in Europe News
April 2015

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.    Mobility achievements in Bremen and Östersund celebrated
3.    New guidance available on risk and intellectual property rights
4.    European Mayors pledge to address climate issues
5.    Innovative financing of sustainable mobility provokes discussion among experts
6.    CIVITAS launches third Activity Fund call
7.    Event news
8.    Events calendar

            1. ICLEI Member News

            Oslo is world’s first capital to divest from fossil fuel

            ICLEI member Oslo (Norway) is the first capital city in the world to commit to pulling all investment from the fossil fuel industry. A total of €6.4 million of coal investments from Oslo council’s pension fund will be moved out of the sector and invested elsewhere.

            Oslo’s finance commissioner Eirik Lae Solberg said: “We are pulling ourselves out of coal companies because power generation based on coal is one of the most environmentally harmful in the energy sector. We want to use our investments to promote more environmentally-friendly energy and a more environmentally-friendly society.”

            The Norwegian announcement came only weeks after 1,000 protesters took to the streets of Oslo demanding the action on Global Divestment day, held on 13 February. The pledge has come amidst a global push for a Fossil Free future, with more than 40 cities including ICLEI member Orebro (Sweden), and over 100 educational institutions, religious organisations, foundations and other institutions taking part.

            For more information, visit the Go Fossil Free website.

            Freiburg’s solar village shining bright after almost 15 years

            ICLEI member Freiburg’s (Germany) self-sustaining village, Solarsiedlung (Solar Settlement), is going strong after almost 15 years and is still producing four times the amount of energy its residents consume. The community achieves this through its smart solar design, which is embedded within the architecture. This means that the photovoltaic panels are always facing the right direction, and can increase in size when the sun dims.

            59 homes have been occupied since the community’s construction, which ran from 2002 – 2005. The settlement generates 420,000 kWh of solar energy from a total photovoltaic output of 445 kW peak per year, resulting in around 200,000 litres of oil and 500 tons of CO2 saved annually. The space is also car-free thanks to a large underground car park which houses 138 vehicles, and due to a well-organised car-sharing system.

            At the heart of the village is the Sonnenschiff (Sun Ship) which, as a large commercial space, acts as a service centre for the community. It is home to a rooftop garden, and additionally works as a sound barrier for the residencies. It is the first commercial PlusEnergy (a term coined by the architect Rolf Disch for buildings that produce more energy than they use) building. The space has been the recipient of many awards over the years, including the German Sustainability award, the Global Energy Award and the European Solar Prize.

            For more information, visit the Rolf Disch Solar Architecture website.

            Stockholm to build car-free parking lot

            Stockholm’s (Sweden) new parking lot will noticeably be lacking one element: cars. The new lot will, instead, house 700 bikes. "The city of the future is not one built around the car as a means of transportation," says Roger Mogert, City Planning Commissioner for Stockholm. "This requires that we make it easier to travel by bike, and of course safe and efficient parking solutions are one step towards that goal."

            The covered garage is fully designed for cyclists: instead of doors with handles, entrances will automatically slide open so cyclists can ride in directly from the adjacent bike path or street; a bike repair shop will allow cyclists to access services where they park; and changing rooms will provide riders with space to change and shower, with lockers for storage. "A car park requires very large surfaces for access, and ramps only used by cars," says Rahel Belatchew Lerdell CEO of Belatchew Architects, the firm designing the garage. "The flow of people is too small to generate any other activity except parking a car. With bicycles, on the other hand, we can create possibilities for activities like bike repair shops or smaller cafes, which in turn make a neighborhood livelier and safer." 

            For more information, visit the Fast Company website.

            Sustainable travel guide for "eco-hip" Berlin

            Germany’s trendy capital, and ICLEI member, Berlin has long had the reputation of being artsy, gritty, and alternative. Recently, however, the once divided city has been building a new reputation for itself: Sustainable. Visit Berlin, the official tourism site of the city, has created Sustainable Berlin, an online guide dedicated to promoting tourism in the city in the greenest possible way.

            Dubbing Berlin as “the most eco-hip capital of the world”, the site offers suggestions on almost all aspects of city visiting. Namely, a myriad of accommodations and restaurants are listed, as well as categories including Organic Food, Sharing is Caring (providing cooperative and upcycling options), Urban Gardening, Eco Fashion, and Berlin by Bike.

            The site also highlights the commitment of locals to ensuring a sustainable urban environment: “Berliners are using their free spaces as new opportunities to become socially engaged, promote sustainable forms of consumption and ways of living in the city that respect the future".

            For more information, visit the Visit Berlin website.

            2. Mobility achievements in Bremen and Östersund celebrated

            The cities of Bremen (Germany) and Östersund (Sweden) were awarded the 2014 Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) and 2014 European Mobility Week (EMW) Awards respectively at a ceremony held by the European Commission in Brussels (Belgium) on 23 March. The awards were presented by EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc (pictured) and Director-General Karl Falkenberg of DG Environment.

            ICLEI member Bremen saw off stiff competition from fellow finalists and ICLEI members Dresden (Germany) and Ghent (Belgium) to win the 2014 SUMP Award. Bremen was praised for the creative ways it employed to monitor and evaluate its SUMP, such as by providing an interactive online space where members of the public could find information and give feedback. The city also conducted an in-depth analysis of the risks and benefits of five possible sustainable urban mobility scenarios for Bremen.

            For more information, view the European Commission website.

            3. New guidance available on risk and intellectual property rights

            To address specific aspects of procuring innovation, two new guidance documents have been published by the Procurement of Innovation Platform: the first looks at risk management, while the second focuses on handling intellectual property rights (IPR). In addition to the recently published manual Guidance for Public Authorities on Public Procurement of Innovation, these detailed documents aim to make it easier for procurers to successfully manage the purchase of innovative products and services.

            The Risk Management Guide helps procurers to overcome the uncertainties that can act as a barrier to procuring innovation. It offers insight into the specific risks of procurement of innovation and the possible methods to manage these risks, and is primarily aimed at strategists and public procurement officers familiar with regular procedures.

            The IPR guide looks at the various ownership possibilities for intellectual property rights, showing procurers how to protect their intellectual propery whilst ensuring a sufficient incentive for companies to innovate.

            For more information, visit the PPI Platform.

            4. European Mayors pledge to address climate issues

            Mayors from 26 European cities adopted a joint declaration for climate action in Paris (France) in March. The commitment came during a high-level meeting, chaired by the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo (pictured) and Mayor Ignazio Marino of Rome (Italy). Leaders from other major cities including Athens (Greece), Brussels (Belgium), Bucharest (Romania), Rome (Italy) and Geneva (Switzerland) were all present.

            In her opening comments, Mayor Hidalgo highlighted ICLEI’s expertise in the area of sustainable public procurement. ICLEI Europe’s Managing Director Wolfgang Teubner and Mark Hidson, the Global Director of ICLEI’s Sustainable Procurement Capacity Centre, both attended the Paris meeting to offer their support.

            The Paris Initiative forms part of the run-up to the next round of UNFCCC negotiations (COP21), which are due to be held in the French capital in December 2015.

            For more information, contact

            5. Innovative financing of sustainable mobility provokes discussion among experts

            European mobility and transport experts gathered in Leuven (Belgium) last month to discuss conventional and innovative ways of financing sustainable mobility. The gathering was part of a series of thematic meetings within the EU-funded CIVITAS CAPITAL project, which runs within the framework of the CIVITAS Initiative.

            The meeting opened with a presentation by Allan Alaküla, Head of the EU-Office of Tallinn (Estonia), outlining the city's experience in making public transport free. The city provides registered citizens with a card that enables them to use public transport at no cost. This has resulted in considerable migration to the city and a subsequent rise in personal income tax revenues, which, in addition to higher parking fees, are used to cover transport costs.

            Peter Defranceschi, Head of ICLEI’s Brussels office and chair of the meeting, noted that what constitutes good practice is very much related to local conditions and that a one-size-fits-all solution does not exist. Particularly innovative solutions, it was concluded, need to be assessed and adapted over time.

            For more information, visit the ICLEI website.

            6. CIVITAS launches third Activity Fund call

            Copyright: Images_of_Money/Foter/CC BYCIVITAS CAPITAL is supporting the take-up of sustainable urban mobility measures through an Activity Fund, offering co-funding of up to 50 percent for urban mobility projects. Funding will be made available via four competitive calls between 2014 and 2015. A sum of €60,000 is available in the third call which runs from 30 March –  6 May 2015.

            The current call for the Activity Fund  focuses on the use of practical tools to improve sustainable urban mobility measures. Many of the tools have been developed or used by cities within the CIVITAS Initiative, and cover a number of CIVITAS thematic areas – from urban freight logistics and road safety, to mobility management and public involvement. A number of other knowledge-sharing opportunities, such as the CIVITAS placement programme, are also highlighted in the call.

            Applicants must be based in an EU member state or Albania, Iceland, Israel, Kosovo, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland or Turkey. Applications should be submitted by 6 May 2015 using the online form.

            For more information, visit theCIVITAS CAPITAL Activity Fund website.

            7. Event News

            ICLEI World Congress to look at water management as key element of sustainability

            Water will be a prominent topic for discussion in the coming weeks, when three high profile events, including the ICLEI World Congress, will be splashing H2O into the limelight.

            Participants in the upcoming ICLEI World Congress are invited to attend the sub-plenary on water, which will take place on Saturday 11 April. Designed as a precursor to the World Water Forum’s Local and Regional Authorities Conference, this plenary will discuss “The Future of Water in Cities: Priorities and strategies for local water security“. Also taking place at the congress will be the Urban Nature 2015 program on 11 and 12 April 2015, which will concentrate on the theme of “Local Action for Biodiversity and Water“.

            For more information, visit ICLEI's City Talk blog.

            Establishing Successful City-Business Collaborations

            ICLEI has partnered with CSR Europe, the European Business Network for Corporate Social Responsibility, in their “Sustainable Living in Cities Campaign”. The aim of this campaign is to bring business representatives closer to the urban stakeholders in developing new or advancing existing local sustainability strategies.

            In this context, representatives are invited to a webinar on ‘Establishing Successful City-Business Collaborations’, taking place on 28 April at 16:00 – 17:00 CET.

            For more information, visit the CSR Europe website.

            Bucharest to host European SUMP conference

            Under the theme of ‘sustainable mobility for everyone’, the European Platform on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) is organising the second European Conference on SUMPs in Bucharest (Romania) from 16 – 17 June 2015. The conference will look at tackling social exclusion through transport planning, improving transport affordability, and enhancing accessibility to jobs and services. Thematic working groups will also explore strategies for the development of mobility plans within different budgetary contexts. Technical sessions will be held to address issues such as data collection, scenario development, modelling and integrated energy planning.

            As Europe's principal event on urban mobility planning, this year’s conference is expected to attract 250 practitioners, policy makers and academics, exceeding the 144 delegates who attended the first edition held in Sopot (Poland) in 2014. Conference attendance is free of charge.

            For more information, visit the Eltis Events Page.

            Procurers invited to explore low-carbon procurement in practice at Riga workshop

            Public procurers are invited to take part in a one day seminar on 21 May in Riga (Lativa) that will see discussion on methods to overcome obstacles while driving low-carbon public purchases for supplies, works and services. The seminar will also showcase the results of two projects focused on green public procurement: PRIMES and GPP2020.

            The aim of the workshop is to show how public procurement interventions can be used as a strategic tool to mitigate climate change; participants will be give information on how to best calculate carbon and energy savings, while support structures from across Europe will be presented.

            Participation in the event is free of charge, but early registration is required to reserve your seat. Register online - registration closes 7 May 2015.

            For more information, visit the GPP2020 website.

            8. Event Calendar

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

            Sustainable Public Procurement workshop
            12 April 2015 – Seoul (Republic of Korea)

            7th World Water Forum
            12 – 17 April 2015 – Daegu and Gyeongbuk (Republic of Korea)

            Regional Authorities Conference
            13 – 14 April 2015 – Gyeongju (Republic of Korea)

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

            RAMSES 2nd Stakeholder Dialogue
            11 May – 2015 – Copenhagen (Denmark)

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

            Low-Carbon Procurement in Practice
            21 May 2015 – Riga (Latvia)

            Introducing clean vehicles into public fleets: Recommendations for EU and national decision makers
            21 May 2015 –  Brussels (Belgium)

            European Sustainable Development Week
            30 May – 5 June – Europe

            Resilient Cities 2015
            8 – 10 June 2015 – Bonn (Germany)

            3rd Open European Day at Resilient Cities 2015
            11 June – 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 2015 ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH, Freiburg, Germany. All rights reserved.