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ICLEI in Europe News
February 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. ICLEI Secretary General praises global sustainable procurement programme
    3. Public Procurement of Innovation Award calls for applications
    4. Germany’s green economy grew, energy use dropped, and renewables soared in 2014
    5. Circular economy in Sweden boosted by new ecolabel
    6. E-Mobility Works aims to increase electric vehicle use in Europe
    7. 17th B@S highlights sharing initiatives
    8. ICLEI encourages public to engage with World Congress 2015
    9. BUMP report outlines challenges and solutions in developing SUMPs
    10. Event news
    11. Events calendar

      1. ICLEI Member News

      ICLEI member mayors awarded as “world’s best”

      Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of ICLEI member Calgary (Canada) has been awarded the 2014 World Mayor Prize. The Canadian leader who is described as an “urban visionary who doesn’t neglect the nitty-gritty of local government” was followed in second, third and fifth places, respectively, by ICLEI members Daniël Termont of Ghent (Belgium), Tri Rismaharini of Surabaya (Indonesia) and Jed Patrick Mabilog of Iloilo (Philippines).

      Tann vom Hove, Senior Fellow at the City Mayors Foundation, praised the Mayor of Ghent: “Daniël Termont is one of the most respected mayors in Europe. In addition to thousands of Ghent citizens, many of his peers from other cities have supported his nomination.” 

      For more information, visit the World Mayor website.

      Hamburg to convert section of Autobahn into parks

      The A7, one of Germany’s longest and busiest highways, will soon be brimming with playing children, frolicking dogs, and public chess tournaments, thanks to plans to convert the road into a series of parks.

      In response to the continual increase in traffic noise and pollution coming from the highway through central Hamburg, the Ministry of Urban Development and Environment has decided to turn sections of it into covered tunnels. "Imagine that there now is a big, loud gap in the city, about 70 to 100 metres wide, with cars, dirt, noise, day in day out, 24-7-365," said Reinhard Schier from Hamburg's Ministry of Urban Development and Environment. "After the building is finished there will be parks, gardens, quietness, bird songs, and fresh air. And the parts of the city in the west and the east of the autobahn will be reunited again."

      The plan contributes to Hamburg’s vision of a Green Network covering around 40 percent of the urban area into parks connected by trails. Construction is beginning this year on the first two phases, with the aim of completing the entire project in 2022.

      For more information, visit the Fast Company website.

      ICLEI members named greenest holiday destinations

      Torres Vedras and Cascais (Portugal), along with Barcelona (Spain) have been placed in the 2014 Sustainable Destinations Global Top 100. Destinations were ranked across criterion of nature, environment, culture & tradition, social well-being, green economy and certified green tourism policy. Torres Vedras and Cascais were recognised for their inclusion in the QualityCoast awards, and Barcelona for its Biosphere Tourism 2014 certification.

      Co-organisers Green Destination advised holidaymakers that a truly sustainable break requires: “choosing a destination that is accessible from your place of departure by train, bus, ferry or a short flight (and compensating the CO2 emission of your travel); choosing a destination making serious efforts for sustainability; avoiding destinations with self-claims on sustainability that cannot be proved; and picking accommodation with a low carbon footprint or an eco-label accreditation“.

      For more information, visit the Green Destinations website.

      2. ICLEI Secretary General supports global sustainable procurement programme

      ICLEI Secretary General Gino Van Begin has called the 10-Year Framework Programme on Sustainable Public Procurement (10YFP on SPP) a "key initiative" in ICLEI's mission of improving global sustainability, noting that it can play a significant role in bringing about "a resource efficient, low-carbon and socially responsible society". Mr Van Begin’s comments are part of a welcome address included in the first edition of the 10YFP on SPP newsletter.

      In addition to Mr. Van Begin, welcome messages from Ligia Noronha, Director of the Technology, Industry and Economics division of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and Yongjoo Kim, President of the Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute (KEITI), are included.

      The 10YFP is a global programme that aims to harness the power of the trillions of Euros that governments spend on public procurement each year, focusing this money on building a more resource-efficient world. The SPP Programme is the first action to get underway as part of the 10YFP, and will assist governments with redirecting public spending into goods and services that bring significant environmental and social benefits.

      For more information, view the 10YFP SPP e-newsletter.

      3. Public Procurement of Innovation Award calls for applications

      Following the success of the inaugural edition, public procurers who have worked with the private sector to purchase innovative, more effective and efficient products or services are invited to apply for the Public Procurement of Innovation Award 2015. The award is open to applicants from national, regional and local public authorities, while nominees for the 2014 PPI Award can apply using a new or improved tender.

      In addition to media attention, the winning candidate will be presented with a trophy and the title of “European innovation procurement of the year” at a prestigious ceremony attended by high-level representatives of the European Commission. To take part, prospective applicants should fill in the application form and submit it to Submissions are accepted until 27 March 2015.

      For more information, visit the PPI Platform Award website.

      4. Germany’s green economy grew, energy use dropped, and renewables soared in 2014

      Renewable energy sources led power production for the first time in Germany in 2014. The national Energiewende (Energy Transition) project appears to be making strides towards a green future, as a recent study has revealed that 27.3 percent of the energy produced last year came from renewable sources. Previous years have seen lignite, or ‘brown coal’, make up the largest portion of energy fed into the grid.

      The study titled The Energiewende in the Power Sector: the State of Affairs in 2014 presented by the Berlin-based think tank Agora Energiewende also revealed that energy consumption has decreased by 3.8 percent over the last year. This can be seen as a sign that investments in energy-saving devices and equipment are paying off, the analysis says. This was also reflected in the high comparative growth in the economy, reaching about 1.4 percent.

      For more information, visit the Agora Energiewende website.

      5. Circular economy in Sweden boosted by new ecolabel

      Swedish businesses that extend the life of products will be able to avail of a new ecolabel aimed at encouraging Swedes to think about repairing or reusing old goods. Second hand shops, shoe-repair businesses and more will be eligible for the ecolabel, which is thought to be the first such scheme in Europe.

      The campaign is intended to reduce waste and support a shift to a circular economy, furthering European and national environmental objectives. Organised by the Swedish Waste Management association, a membership organisation representing public and private actors within the waste management and recycling sector, the scheme will be funded by participating municipalities. It is hoped that within two years around 70 percent of municipalities in Sweden will take part in the scheme.

      For more information, visit the ENDS Europe website.

      6. E-Mobility Works aims to increase electric vehicle use in Europe

      Businesses and municipalities have come together through the E-Mobility Works project to push for greater electric vehicle take up in Europe. The EU-funded project will help municipalities to develop e-mobility action plans, and work with businesses to integrate electric mobility into their corporate strategies. As well as boosting the number of electric vehicles on the streets, the project also hopes to improve the provision of electric charging facilities across the continent.

      Municipalities from Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Romania, Estonia, Finland and Greece are taking part in the project. Each country held kick-off meetings to introduce the project to relevant stakeholders, with many providing the public the chance to test out e-bicycles and electric vehicles, as well as engage in the discussion on electric mobility.

      A study tour to Berlin (Germany) was held for project partners, attended by around 30 participants. Attendees looked at electric charging facilities and relevant e-mobility infrastructure in the German capital, which is renowned for its forward thinking electric mobility policies. The project runs from March 2014 to August 2016, and is funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe programme of the European Union.

      For more information, visit the E-Mobility Works website.

      7. 17th B@S highlights sharing initiatives

      Participants at the first Breakfast at Sustainability’s meeting of 2015, hosted in Brussels (Belgium) on 4 February, concluded that authorities must move beyond  being favourable towards transport sharing initiatives, integrating them into urban transport planning. The challenges and successes of European transport sharing initiatives were discussed at the morning meeting, including bikesharing, carsharing and transport pooling.

      Pamela Mühlmann, a Coordinator at ICLEI Europe said: “We’ve seen how local governments work with citizens to achieve long-lasting, sustainable outcomes that benefit their communities. Ideas and concepts highlighted today have the potential to assist the implementation of transport sharing projects across Europe”.

      For more information, visit the ICLEI Brussels website.

      8. ICLEI encourages public to engage with World Congress 2015

      Planning for the ICLEI World Congress 2015, set to take place in Seoul (Republic of Korea) from 8 - 12 April 2015, is well underway, with organisers calling for the public to consider how the congress theme “Sustainable Solutions for an Urban Future” can be applied in their cities.

      ICLEI is seeking input and solutions from students, academics, policy experts, and residents of urban areas who have recognised sustainability-related issues in their locality. A selection of the most inventive and sustainable solutions will be published on ICLEI’s blog in a #CitySolutions series, and promoted across ICLEI’s social media channels. Participants are requested to send 500 - 1,000 words, pictures and videos, or any other applicable format to Submissions will be accepted until 8 April 2015.

      For more information, visit the ICLEI City Talk blog.

      9. BUMP report outlines challenges and solutions in developing SUMPs

      The development and implementation of sustainable urban mobility plans (SUMPs) is quickly becoming a mainstream method of transport and urban planning in Europe. The Boosting Urban Mobility Plans (BUMP) project aims to improve the capacity of transport professionals working in small and medium-sized European cities to implement SUMPs through a package of training and targeted assistance.

      Four international two-day training events were organised in late 2014 by the project, addressing topics such as increasing rates of cycling, implementing access restrictions, and involving stakeholders in mobility planning. Each event had a similar structure: on the first day BUMP participants shared the challenges they faced in mobility management and planning, while on the second participants and members of the public held conferences to inform local stakeholders on the issues raised the previous day.

      BUMP has produced a report on all four events, describing the discussions on each of the topics. The report offers a brief overview of challenges and potential solutions or strategies for dealing with them. The training events were held in Trieste (Italy), Sofia (Bulgaria), Szentendre (Hungary) and Dortmund (Germany).

      For more information, and to download the report, visit the BUMP website.

      10. Event News

      CARE-North plus final conference

      The CARE-North plus final conference will be held in Bremen (Germany) on 15 – 16 April 2015, and will see exchange on the project’s progress in developing a comprehensive, strategic and practical approach to urban and regional transport in the North Sea Region against a backdrop of climate change and declining oil supplies.

      The future of urban mobility, shared mobility, furthering the development of the cycling culture in the North Sea Region and the potential of ecomobility will shape discussion at the event.

      For more information, visit the event website.

      RAMSES 2nd Stakeholder Dialogue to share interim results

      The 2nd RAMSES Stakeholder Dialogue will take place back-to-back with the European Climate Change Adaptation conference (ECCA) in Copenhagen (Denmark) on 11 May 2015. The Stakeholder Dialogue will offer a unique opportunity to cities and urban adaptation experts and practitioners to learn about interim results of the RAMSES project, voice their experiences and give feedback to further advance and tailor the RAMSES Research.

      Three crucial topics to fostering adaptation and resilience development will be at the core of the event: Tools and resources to inform decision-making on adaptation will be presented by the University of Versailles and discussed to evaluate their scope and effectiveness; Tecnalia will describe and co-create with participants specific indicators to describe and evaluate transition factors that allow cities to move to a resilient and adapted future scenario; and impacts of climate change on public health with a special focus on the case of Skopje (FYR Macedonia) will be presented by the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

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

       European Sustainable Development Week to open registrations in March

      European Sustainable Development Week (ESDW) is a European-wide initiative supported by the European Sustainable Development Network to stimulate and make visible activities, projects and events that promote sustainable development. 

      Registrations for organisers will be open on the website in March. The week is open to all forms of government agencies, research centres, educational institutions, museums, foundations, community organisations, associations, businesses, NGOs, and individual citizens. Registrations for organisers will be open on the website in March.

      Organisers are invited to envisage initiatives they could organise to promote sustainable development; plan, upload and promote them via the ESDW website; and host, attend, and document their experiences of implementing them.

      For more information, visit the event website.

      11. Event Calendar

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

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

      Sustainable Public Procurement workshop
      12 April 2015 – Seoul (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)

      European Sustainable Development Week
      30 May – 5 June – Europe

      Resilient Cities 2015
      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 2015 ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH, Freiburg, Germany. All rights reserved.