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ICLEI in Europe News
August 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. EcoProcura conference series calls for host city
  3. Towns and cities encouraged to apply for European Green Leaf award
  4. EC releases plans to transform Europe’s energy system
  5. ELIPTIC project offers cities funds to strengthen electric mobility
  6. European Mobility Week Thematic Guidelines explore ways to promote multimodality
  7. Heat maps provide advice for European energy policy
  8. Event news
  9. Events calendar

            1. ICLEI Member News

            ICLEI leaders and members discuss climate change & sustainability with Pope Francis

            On 21-22 July 2015, a delegation of more than 60 Mayors met Pope Francis in the Vatican for a two-day event on climate change, human trafficking and sustainable development. ICLEI mobilised its leadership and membership to show full support to the groundbreaking and timely work of Pope Francis on these critical issues. The meetings mark the first time that the Vatican has approached Mayors to discuss how cities can help tackle the crucial issues facing humanity.

            “The current wide-ranging crisis has brought us close to a point of no return and has the potential to nullify the social and economic progress achieved so far, thus posing a threat to the future existence of humankind,” remarked ICLEI President Park Wonsoon. “We believe that the timely efforts of Pope Francis will help lead to bolder climate action and the birth of an inclusive and ambitious global climate regime”.

            In his well-received encyclical Laudato Si (see ICLEI's response here), the Pope has highlighted the connection between the natural and human environment, emphasising that global warming is one of the causes of poverty and forced migration and calling for all actors to work together in shaping a sustainable future.

            For more information, visit the ICLEI World Secretariat website.

            Image copyright: Pope Francis (photo on Flickr) by "Jeon Han / Korean Culture and Information Service", licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

            Malmö has most sustainable transport in Sweden

            ICLEI member Malmö has Sweden’s most sustainable transport system, according to a recent nationwide analysis. Swedish transport consultancy Trivector performed the assessment with the aid of the EcoMobility SHIFT tool. This tool measures the performance of urban transportation and was developed under ICLEI’s coordination in the EcoMobility SHIFT project, co funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme of the European Union.

            Milan Obradovic, Chairman of Malmö's Works Committee, said: 'In Malmö, children are the central motivation for us to create a better city. For their safety and future, it is clear that we must strive for cycling, walking and public transport to be the obvious choice for getting around.'

            Several features elevated Malmö above the competition, including its continuing commitment to safe and comfortable cycling and a local campaign encouraging residents not to take unnecessary car journeys. Fellow ICLEI member Umeå also received a special mention for its introduction of nine fast-charging, fully electric buses in its transport fleet in 2015. A further 24 electric buses will begin operating in the city by 2019.

            For more information, visit (in Swedish).

            Image copyright: Pedestrian bridge, Västra Hamnen (photo on Flickr) by "La Citta Vita", licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

            100,000 celebrate new Brussels pedestrian zone (Belgium)

            Over 100,000 people attended celebrations marking the opening of a new pedestrian zone in ICLEI member Brussels (Belgium). Several hundred metres of Boulevard Anspach, which runs through Brussels' historic city centre, have been closed to cars with the space now solely reserved for pedestrians.

            As a result, Brussels now has the largest pedestrian zone of any European capital, as the city's car-free zone has now increased from 28 hectares to 50 hectares. The celebrations, held at the end of June, included a large part of the new space being given over to roller-skating, street games, kite-flying, paintings on the road, and dancing with a DJ providing music.

            Brussels mayor Yvan Mayeur spoke at the event, saying: 'It's a revolution. The appearance and atmosphere of Brussels changed today. We're going to live in a calmer city more suited to its inhabitants and no longer to cars.'

            For more information, visit (in French).

            Image copyright: 2015-07-02_12-29-18_ILCE-7M2_DSC09442 (photo on Flick) by "Miguel Discart", licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

            2. EcoProcura conference series calls for host city

            Cities, regional governments and national governments are invited to express their interest in hosting the 10th EcoProcura conference on sustainable public procurement (SPP) and innovation procurement (IP), which is planned for 2017. The long-running EcoProcura series provides a platform for exchange and dialogue amongst purchasers from all levels of government, suppliers and policy-makers on strategies and the latest practical solutions for implementing SPP and IP.

            The event, which usually lasts for up to two and a half days, contributes to the mainstreaming and development of SPP and IP and presents an ideal opportunity for the host to promote its own SPP and IP activities to a wide audience. Each edition of the conference series is expected to attract between 250 and 350 participants. ICLEI has been working on event organisation for 25 years and will lead the development of the 10th EcoProcura conference in close cooperation with the host organisation.

            For more information, consult the call for submission of bids. [PDF]

            Image copyright: Image (photo on Flickr) by "Patrick Henry / City of Ghent"

            3. Towns and cities encouraged to apply for European Green Leaf award

            The competition is now open for the second cycle of the European Green Leaf, a new European Commission award which recognises cities with between 20,000 and 100,000 inhabitants that have achieved success in stimulating green growth and brought green living concepts to life. The European Green Leaf is the sister award of the European Green Capital, a competition open to cities with a population of over 100,000.

            European Green Leaf cities act as ambassadors for sustainable development and aim to inspire other cities and towns. Cities and towns can apply for the award until 13.00 CET on 19 October 2015. Registration can be completed online.

            Torres Vedras (Portugal) and Mollet del Vallès (Spain) took home the 2015 awards, with both cities praised by the jury for their impressive sustainable mobility strategies and efforts to involve the local population in pursuing a more sustainable future.

            For more information, visit the European Green Capital website.

            mage copyright: Image (photo on Flickr) by "European Green Capital / Chris Bahn"

            4. EC releases plans to transform Europe’s energy system

            As part of the Energy Union strategy, the European Commission has presented proposals to deliver a new deal for energy consumers, to launch a redesign of the European electricity market, to update energy efficiency labeling, and to revise the EU Emissions Trading System. The proposals give prominence to the "energy efficiency first" principle and put households and business consumers at the centre of the European energy market.

            "In the Energy Union strategy, we committed to empowering European consumers, creating a single well-functioning energy market, putting energy efficiency first and becoming the number one in renewables. Today, five months after the adoption of the Energy Union strategy, this Summer Package shows our determination to decarbonise our economy and to give consumers a central role in Europe's energy transition. It marks not only a new deal for consumers, but a new deal for Europe´s entire energy system," said EU Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič.

            Underlining the role of local communities and authorities in providing a valuable link between decision-makers, citizens and innovators at the local level, the Commission has published a Communication on delivering a new deal for energy consumers based on a three-pillar strategy: helping consumers save money and energy through better information; giving consumers a wider choice when choosing their participation in energy markets; and maintaining the highest level of consumer protection. The Commission is working towards a system whereby consumers are free to generate and consume their own energy under fair conditions, ensuring fewer emissions and greater security of supply. A public consultation process on designing a new energy market has also been launched.

            For more information, visit

            Image copyright: Image (European Commission)

            5. ELIPTIC project offers cities funds to strengthen electric mobility

            An EU mobility project is offering European cities and transport providers funding and expertise to help them move towards electrified transport. The ELIPTIC project, funded under the EU’s €80bn research and innovation programme Horizon 2020, aims to save cities money and energy by developing new solutions to optimise or regenerate their electric public transport systems.

            Interested cities can apply for a ‘twinning’ fund which enables them to make use of the electric mobility expertise of ELIPTIC’s partner cities and take part in workshops and study tours.  The application deadline for cities interested in becoming an ELIPTIC twin city is 31 August 2015. Up to €15,000 of funding is available per applicant, with individuals or local groups of organisations eligible to apply. To take part, complete and return the application form.

            For more information, see the Call text [PDF].

            Image copyright: Electric Car Charging Pavement Marking (photo on Flickr) by "Paul Krueger", licensed under CC BY 2.0

            6. European Mobility Week Thematic Guidelines explore ways to promote multimodality

            The Thematic Guidelines for the 2015 edition of European Mobility Week (EMW) are now online, providing a detailed overview of this year’s theme of multimodality and the call to action “Choose. Change. Combine.” The guidelines are an essential starting point for planning a city’s EMW activities.

            The necessary background information to embrace this year’s theme is provided, with related mobility concepts explained. Examples and case studies of ways that cities can encourage the use of different modes of mobility, from cycling, to walking, to public transport, are included in the guidelines, as well as suggestions for how cities can plan and get the most from their Mobility Week.

            At its most basic, multimodality encourages people to think about the range of transport options available and to choose the right mode when travelling. Through doing so, they can save money, improve their health and help the environment.

            To download the Thematic Guidelines, visit the EMW Resources page.

            Image copyright: Image (photo on Flickr) by "City of Ljubljana"

            7. Heat maps provide advice for European energy policy

            The EU-funded STRATEGO project has published the Pan-European Thermal Atlas (PETA), an interactive map that shows data on the thermal resources available in any region as well as EU-wide thermal demand. Using the information provided by STRATEGO, national governments will be able to implement National Cooling and Heating Plans (NCHPs) more efficiently. NCHPs are required under Article 14 of the European Commission’s Energy Efficiency Directive.

            Using the PETA results, maps of five EU member states have been created to support their governments in improving the efficiency of their energy systems. The maps show demand for heating and cooling in urban areas in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Romania, and the United Kingdom. Accompanying reports give information on hourly patterns of demand and supply, the current state of play, and future developments in demand.

            The maps and other results produced by the project quantify the impact of a number of energy efficiency measures implemented in the five countries. The results indicate that by collectively investing approximately € 1.1 trillion in energy efficiency measures from 2010 to 2050, the five countries will reduce total annual energy costs by an average of around 15 percent.

            For more information, visit

            Image copyright: Isle of Eigg Pier Solar Panels (photo on Flickr) by "isleofeigg", licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

            8. Event News

            51st ISOCARP Congress to explore urban planning across borders

            Cities in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany will host city planners and other urban professionals as part of the 51st ISOCARP Congress to discuss how urban planning can make cities more sustainable and ready to deal with future challenges. Under the banner of 'Cities Save the World: Let’s Reinvent Planning', architects, policy makers, urban managers and other interested persons will come together from 19-23 October 2015 to exchange and learn.

            Participants from over 50 countries are expected to attend the Congress, which will see interactive workshops take place in 12 cities. The conclusions stemming from these workshops will be debated at the closing plenary in Rotterdam (The Netherlands).  The diverse topics to be discussed include how to build cities in a cooperative way, how to sustain energy resources, and how to feed the world’s metropolises.

            In addition to papers and research results, planning professionals are welcome to submit practical experiences, pilot projects, spatial strategies, and case studies to help guide the discussion in workshops. The Congress will mark the 50th anniversary of ISOCARP - the International Society of City and Regional Planners. ISOCARP members can avail of a reduced entrance fee (the full list of registration costs is available online).

            For more information, visit the ISOCARP website.

            9. Event Calendar

            CO-POWER at Community Energy Fortnight 2015
            9 September 2015 – London (United Kingdom)

            CEMOBIL final conference
            16 – 17 September 2015 – Klagenfurt (Austria)

            CIVITAS Forum Conference 2015
            7 – 9 October 2015 – Ljubljana (Slovenia)

            IEEE PES Smart Grids for Smart Cities International Forum
            11 – 13 October 2015 – Bologna (Italy)

            Cities and regions investing in the Energy Union
            14 October 2015 – Brussels (Belgium)

            ICLEI European Membership Assembly
            15 October 2015 – Brussels (Belgium)

            Procura+ seminar
            11 November 2015 – Barcelona (Spain)

            8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns
            27 – 29 April 2016 – Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain)

            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.