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ICLEI in Europe News
October 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 welcomes adoption of UN Sustainable Development Goals
  3. EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2015 puts the spotlight on multimodality
  4. Five finalists selected for Procurement of Innovation Award
  5. FIESTA project provides families with tips to reduce energy use
  6. CIVITAS Activity Fund offers €80,000 in co-funding
  7. ICLEI invites cities to submit e-posters for display at COP21
  8. Events news
  9. Events calendar

            1. ICLEI Member News

            Nijmegen undertakes inspiring construction project to prevent flooding

            The Dutch city of Nijmegen is embarking on one of the Netherlands' most impressive and ambitious climate adaptation projects, which will see floodplains widened and a new island created in the Waal River. The project will give residents of the ICLEI member city greater protection from flooding, a perennial threat exacerbated by climate change.

            As part of the project, titled ‘Room for the River’, dikes will be moved back, allowing more space for water to pool and lowering the risk of overflow. The island will essentially see Nijmegen construct a new section of its city, with a range of possibilities proposed for the land. Four new bridges will connect the island with both sides of the Waal.

            The programme, which is expected to cost €351 million, has become an unlikely tourist attraction, with up to 30,000 visitors coming to see the construction site. As part of the development some residents have had their homes pushed backwards, with the city taking every care to minimise disruption and preserve historic buildings. A frequent dialogue with residents has led to wide-spread acceptance of the measure.

            For more information, visit

            Image copyright: Image (Room for the River) by "Johan Roerink"

            Grants offered to community groups as part of Glasgow’s Green Year 2015

            Local community groups are being encouraged to participate in ICLEI member Glasgow’s (United Kingdom) Green Year 2015 by applying for a grant of up to £500 (€680) to improve their local area. The Action Earth campaign is providing funding to local volunteers and groups to get them involved in activities such as protecting and enhancing biodiversity, creating new habitats for wildlife, and planting in green spaces. Hundreds of volunteers across the Scottish city have already taken part in the programme.

            Katy McTernan, Senior Operations Manager at Volunteering Matters, the body that runs the Action Earth programme, said:  “Anyone can get involved – it’s a great way to get outdoors, meet new people, have fun and help nature. The grants are supported by Scottish Natural Heritage and make a real difference to people, the areas we live in and to wildlife. We’d love to see even more groups using these grants and getting involved in Glasgow’s Green Year.”

            Glasgow’s Green Year 2015 has been the city’s first sustainability themed year, celebrating the aspiration to be one of the most sustainable cities in Europe. The 2015 programme has brought communities together to strengthen local and international partnerships, putting the city firmly on the map as a champion of sustainability.

            For more information, visit Glasgow’s Green Year 2015.

            Image copyright: Photo on Flickr by "dun_deagh", licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

            Ljubljana upgrades park and ride stations to encourage sustainable transport use

            The City of Ljubljana (Slovenia) is taking steps to improve its already stellar sustainable mobility record by improving and extending its Park and Ride (P&R) network. P&R stations allow motorists to park their car and complete the journey by sustainable modes of transport, alleviating infrastructural strain in city centres and improving air quality. A new P&R site is being created, while a previously established site is being upgraded.

            When finished, the new site will have space for 363 vehicles, 11 tourist buses, and 10 caravans. It will also include six charging stations for electric vehicles and a parking area for bicycles. ICLEI member Ljubljana currently operates a parking fee system that increases as drivers move closer to the city centre, making the P&R stations comparatively much cheaper than completing the journey by car.

            The Slovenian capital was awarded the title of European Green Capital 2016 based partly on its impressive sustainable mobility efforts. Already in Ljubljana no citizen is further than 500 metres from a public transport stop. The city is also reallocating space to pedestrians and cyclists, creating a more pleasant and cleaner environment, and is in the process of replacing its old bus fleet with cleaner models, including hybrid, electric and CNG powered vehicles.

            For more information, visit the European Green Capital website.

            Image copyright: Ljubljana (photo on Flickr) by "Lorenzo Magnis", licensed by CC BY-ND 2.0

            EcoMobility World Festival kicks off in Johannesburg

            The second-ever EcoMobility World Festival, a month long event designed to offer a vision of a sustainable urban future with an emphasis on walking, cycling and public transport as modes of mobility, began in Johannesburg (South Africa) on 1 October 2015. The event was officially opened by Executive Mayor Mpho Parks Tau at a press briefing. This edition follows the 2013 World Festival in Suwon (South Korea).

            Already two major elements of the Festival are underway: the “Decongest Sandton” scheme and the EcoMobility Dialogues. The “Decongest Sandton” scheme will restrict access for private cars to certain parts of the Sandton Central Business District (CBD), one of the most congested areas of the city. Commuters and residents will be encouraged to walk, cycle and use the wide range of public transport options made available for the event.

            The EcoMobility Dialogues are a chance for the world’s leading thinkers on EcoMobility and urban transport to debate key transport issues. Between 300 and 500 people – including high-level representatives of the City of Johannesburg, business experts, thought leaders, practitioners, and academics – are expected to join the Dialogues.

            For more information, visit the EcoMobility World Festival website.

            Image copyright: ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability

            2. ICLEI welcomes adoption of UN Sustainable Development Goals

            ICLEI Secretary General Gino Van Begin and a delegation of ICLEI representatives witnessed the adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the UN headquarters in New York (USA) on Friday 25 September. The 17 goals include a dedicated Urban SDG that aims to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” In adopting the SDGs, world leaders will pursue global transformations that will contribute significantly to ending extreme poverty, fighting inequality and injustice, and addressing climate change.

            This event marks a significant step for the future of global development and is an important effort to ensure prosperity and equality for every citizen while respecting planetary boundaries. The SDGs complete the remaining outcomes of the Rio+20 conference in 2012, build on the experiences of the Millennium Development Goals, and connect the outcomes of the global intergovernmental processes in 2015.

            This new development era represents an opportunity to reinvigorate global environmental commitments established in Agenda 21 and assure equal integration of the social, economic, and environmental pillars of sustainable development. The ICLEI delegation included more than 20 city officials and executive members from the Global North and South, many of whom have already advanced the SDGs in their cities.

            To view a video capturing the moment the SDGs were adopted, click here.

            Image copyright: UN Photo by "Loey Felipe"

            3. EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2015 puts the spotlight on multimodality

            Thanks to the commitment and hard work of local authorities, campaigners and citizens, EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2015 was a great success, showcasing the benefits of sustainable mobility not only throughout Europe but across the wider world. Under the theme of multimodality, countless activities encouraging people to choose, change and combine their types of transport were carried out, including street painting, live theatre on public transport, and the holding of concerts and transport-themed games.

            Over 1850 cities registered their participation online. 905 cities held a Car-Free Day this year, closing off selected streets to traffic and instead opening it for walking and cycling only. The purpose of Car-Free Day is to help citizens realise the benefits of less-congested cities and to enjoy space that otherwise would be inaccessible.

            Local authorities that have held a week of activities, implemented a permanent measure, and organised a Car-Free Day are eligible to apply for the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award 2015. Winners of the award receive a three-minute video in both English and their native language highlighting their mobility achievements. They will also receive widespread promotion through the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK channels. Local authorities that have demonstrated excellence in preparing a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan can alternatively apply for the SUMP Award.

            For more information on applying, visit the Awards page.

            mage copyright: Walk 21 Vienna

            4. Five finalists selected for Procurement of Innovation Award

            Five finalists have been chosen for the Procurement of Innovation Award, representing the most innovative and impressive public procurement activities carried out in Europe. The Award recognises successful public procurement procedures that have been used to purchase innovative, more effective and efficient products or services. The finalists and their suppliers will be invited to an award ceremony at the European Assistance for Innovation Procurement event in Paris (France), taking place from 27 – 28 October 2015. The event is organised by EAFIP.

            The finalists are:

            • Federal Procurement Agency, Austria
            • Stockholm County Council (Karolinska University Hospital), Sweden
            • Galician Public Health Service, Spain
            • Consip - Central Purchasing Body, Italy
            • Rijkswaterstaat, The Netherlands

            A more in-depth profile on each finalist, detailing their organisation, procured innovation and supplier, will be made available on the Procurement of Innovation Platform website in the coming weeks. The winning entry will receive a trophy for innovation procurement excellence, together with the title “European innovation procurement of the year”, and a case study published on the Procurement of Innovation Platform. The judging panel, which is made up of respected procurement experts from across Europe, was particularly impressed by this year’s entries.

            “The potential for innovation procurement to build a better, more efficient Europe is exemplified in the actions of these five finalists. Each finalist has developed exciting new solutions to persistent problems using procurement of innovation," said jury member Mark Hidson, Deputy Regional Director of ICLEI and Global Director of ICLEI’s Sustainable Procurement Capacity Centre.

            For more information, visit the PPI Platform award page.

            Image copyright: Patrick Henry / City of Ghent

            5. FIESTA project provides families with tips to reduce energy use

            European families can avail of free energy-efficiency advice through FIESTA, a new project funded by the EU Intelligent Energy Europe programme which helps families with children to save money and lower their carbon footprint by reducing the amount of energy they consume. 29 percent of all energy in Europe is consumed in households - the project aims to lower this figure by teaching families to make better energy choices, such as purchasing higher rated electrical appliances, choosing efficient cooking methods, and optimising natural light in homes.

            Five animated videos have been produced that provide practical hints and tips on being more energy conscious. Each video looks at a different aspect of household energy, with videos three and four placing a particular emphasis on heating and cooling, a major source of emissions. Each video is available in Italian, Spanish, Croatian, Bulgarian, Greek and English.

            Families located in the five project countries - Cyprus, Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, and Croatia – can also apply for a full energy audit to be carried out on their home. Energy auditors drawn from the project’s 19 partner organisations, which include several European cities, will examine past utility bills and carry out a room–by–room examination to help determine where the house is losing energy and money. A guide to energy efficiency in households has also been created by the project, outlining ways to reduce energy consumption, increase comfort, and help the environment.

            For more information, visit the FIESTA project website.

            Image copyright:

            6. CIVITAS Activity Fund offers €80,000 in co-funding

            The CIVITAS Initiative, which works to promote and support cleaner and better transport in cities, is offering €80,000 in co-financing through its Activity Fund. Applications to the fund should relate to one of the 10 CIVITAS Thematic Categories, or demonstrate an interest in applying one of the selected CIVITAS tools within the city.

            Applications may be submitted individually or jointly by organisations that have not already been involved in projects funded by the CIVITAS Initiative. Organisations applying for funding need to be established in an EU Member State or Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland or Turkey. The application deadline is 20 November 2015.

            Additionally, the CIVITAS Learning Centre recently released four new e-courses on bike-sharing, public involvement, traffic and mobility fundamentals, and mobility management. The Learning Centre will also organise in-person trainings until August 2016 on an ongoing basis. The Learning Centre runs the CIVITAS placement programme, where municipal mobility staff can learn from their colleagues in leading CIVITAS cities. A detailed overview of all current and forthcoming training opportunities is available for download.

            For more information, visit the CIVITAS Activity Fund or the Learning Centre.

            Image copyright:

            7. ICLEI invites cities to submit e-posters for display at COP21

            ICLEI is offering member and project cities the opportunity to showcase their innovative climate initiatives, progress, programmes and projects by submitting an “e-poster” (PowerPoint slide) that will be projected on monitors in the Cities and Regions Pavilion in Paris (France) throughout the two weeks of the COP21 in December 2015.

            The PPT slides will follow a standard template and design, which allows your city to prominently feature your logo as well an image related to the initiative. Each submitted PPT will consist of one slide, focusing on one initiative. ICLEI will provide the PPT template and will proofread and edit the slide(s) to ensure universal high quality and consistency. Cities do not need to be attending the COP21 to submit a PPT for consideration (for many, it will provide the city with a visible presence in Paris).

            The standard fee for showing the e-poster on the exhibition space monitors is €800 per slide, or €600 for ICLEI members. There is also the possibility of a waived or reduced fee (e.g. for cities in developing regions) of €400.

            For more information, visit the ICLEI website.

            Image copyright: UN Photo

            8. Event News

            Urban green infrastructure event puts cities centre-stage

            The spotlight is on model European cities at the GREEN SURGE project’s upcoming Stakeholder Dialogue Forum in Brussels (Belgium) on 13 October 2015. City planners and policy makers from Berlin (TBC), Edinburgh (United Kingdom), Milan (Italy) and Utrecht (The Netherlands) working on urban green infrastructure will share their experiences of engaging citizens to make green spaces socially inclusive and multi-functional before opening up discussions on how green infrastructure can be planned and maintained in cities and the question of how to get citizens involved in this process.

            Urban green infrastructure experts from the GREEN SURGE project will complement each session with their latest research findings on green infrastructure governance and multi-functionality. Representatives from DG Research will offer an additional angle by contributing the European Commission’s perspective on urban green infrastructure planning and implementation. The open, interactive format of the event will make the most of this diverse mix of experts to stimulate discussion, to relate research to practical implementation and to identify gaps and potential in green infrastructure planning.

            This free event is organised by ICLEI on behalf of the GREEN SURGE project. It will be held in the eco-sustainability hub Mundo B in Brussels (Belgium) on 13 October 2015. Participants will be provided with refreshments and lunch and the event will be followed by a networking opportunity at the GREEN SURGE Social with drinks and finger food. Registration for this event is available online. Comments or questions should be directed to

            For more information, visit the GREEN SURGE events page.

            Procura+ Seminar to look at the future of procurement in Europe

            The challenge of designing procurement processes that will help to build a low carbon future will be discussed at the 2015 Procura+ Seminar, set to take place in Barcelona (Spain) on 11 November 2015. Primarily aimed at procurement practitioners, experts and policy-makers, the event will be highly interactive, encouraging discussion and debate among participants. Registration is available online until 16 October 2015.

            The seminar will place a focus on practical issues facing procurers, exploring how sustainability can be better integrated into processes. Participants will be broken up into groups based on their professional roles, enabling them to delve in-depth into specific issues and to learn from others facing similar challenges. Following the Procura+ Seminar, the Procura+ Participants and National Partners' meeting will take place on 12 November from 9.00-14.30.

            The event is organised by ICLEI together with Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Metropolitan Area, and Barcelona Provincial Council, in cooperation with the GPP 2020 project consortium. Places are limited so early registration is advised. Detailed information about the programme, the venue and hotel options are available on the Procura+ Seminar Series website.

            For more information, contact

            Programme details for the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns released

            An overview of the programme for the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns has been launched, providing potential participants with an insight into the topics under discussion. The programme expands on the 2016 theme ‘Transformative Action: the potential for Europe’ with a particular focus on strategies and solutions for sustainable urban development that combine new economic approaches and social innovation to generate local value and employment, and to improve economic resilience. The announcement is available in English, Basque, Spanish, and French. The conference website has also been launched, which contains further information on logistics, exhibition opportunities and the Basque Country. The conference programme will cover Basque Country counties Gipuzkoa, Bizkaia, and Araba, with social events planned in Bilbao, Donostia-San Sebastián and Vitoria-Gasteiz.

            Taking place from 27-29 April 2016, the event is set to be the year's flagship European event on local sustainable development. The conference will demonstrate the pressing need for action by local governments to change current unsustainable pathways and shape Europe‘s future. Confirmed speakers include Corina Creţu, Commissioner for Regional Policy, European Commission; Iñigo Urkullu, President of the Basque Government; and Ligia Noronha, Director of the UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics.

            Registration for the event will open in October 2015. For updates on the conference, follow @sustain_cities on Twitter and join the conversation by using #Basque2016. Facebook users can visit Projects and businesses interested in purchasing an exhibition stand at the event should contact The conference is organised by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the Basque Government, Bizkaia County Council, and Bilbao City Council, with the involvement of Udalsarea 21 - Basque Network of Municipalities for Sustainability.

            For more information, visit the conference website.

            9. Event Calendar

            Covenant of Mayors Webinar on Local Energy Data Collection for GHG Inventories
            7 October 2015 - focus on Croatia

            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)

            Ecocity World Summit 2015
            11 - 13 October 2015 - Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)

            Green Infrastructure for and with citizens: How can local governments make it happen?
            13 October 2015 – Brussels (Belgium)

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

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

            iNSPiRe Procurer Study Visit
            15 October 2015 - Ludwigsburg (Germany)

            PPI4Waste Procurement Foresight Workshop
            29 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)

            Informed Cities Forum
            16 – 17 June 2016 – Dresden (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.