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ICLEI in Europe News
September 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. TAP showcases local activities to help cities and regions access funding
  3. White House urges cities to join Compact of Mayors
  4. ICLEI shares sustainable development advice at local government networking meeting
  5. Online courses on innovative transport solutions offered to mobility professionals
  6. 50000&1SEAPS launches call for participation in coaching scheme
  7. Heat maps provide advice for European energy policy
  8. Event news
  9. Events calendar

            1. ICLEI Member News

            ICLEI welcomes Hungarian city of Kaposvar as new member

            Dedicated to creating a higher quality of life for citizens, the City of Kaposvar (Hungary) has recently become a full ICLEI member and will work with the organisation to achieve its ambitious sustainability goals.

            The city intends to improve the efficiency of its resource usage, lower the city's energy use, and enhance public services; its impressive waste management scheme – which encourages high rates of recycling – is a testament to its vision. The city is also placing an emphasis on using alternative, clean sources of energy, with a strong desire to move towards energy independence.

            Currently, citizens benefit from the city’s district heating system, with biogas used for heating purposes. In the future, the city hopes to expand the use of biogas to power public buses. Through its actions, the city intends to grow its green economy and establish itself as an exemplary green city in Europe.

            For more information on Kaposvar, download the city profile. [PDF].

            Image copyright: Kaposvar (photo on Flickr) by "János Korom Dr.", licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

            Geneva lowers public transport prices to reduce air pollution

            To improve air quality, Geneva (Switzerland) is temporarily reducing public transport ticket prices, encouraging citizens to leave their cars at home. This was spurred after higher than normal levels of ozone were detected last month in Geneva's suburbs and city centre.

            'Without wanting to trigger panic, this pollutant represents a real risk to children, the elderly and those suffering from respiratory problems,' said Luc Barthassat, a cantonal official in Geneva. The measure is expected to cost 33 000 Swiss francs (€ 31,000) per day. Depending on its impact on air pollution, the measure may be extended.

            For more information, visit Eltis.

            Image copyright: Trams de Genève (Suisse) (photo on Flickr) by "Alain GAVILLET", licensed under CC BY 2.0

            Freiburg improves tram service

            Six brand new trams have gone into operation in the German city of Freiburg, with six more to come in 2017. The trams are emblematic of the city’s commitment to sustainable mobility and to providing a modern and accessible public transport service. The new trams will serve lines 3 and 5, which reach the south-west and north of the city.

            The trams are CAF Urbos 100 LRVs, which are low-floor models that crucially offer easy access to people with mobility problems. Each tram has a maximum capacity of 66 seated passengers and 241 standing. The trams joining Freiburg's fleet this year will help to manage capacity in preparation for the completion of a tram link to the city's exhibition centre.

            For more information, visit Eltis.

            Image copyright: Freiburg (photo on Flickr) by "kaffeeeinstein", licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

            2. TAP showcases local activities to help cities and regions access funding

            A new video released by ICLEI outlines the Transformative Actions Programme (TAP), an initiative designed by local government networks and their partners to highlight and accelerate local climate action and to improve access to funding. Cities and regions are invited to submit their most ambitious, cross-cutting and inclusive climate action projects to TAP no later than 15 September 2015, which will then be promoted towards potential investors.

            Collecting and showcasing up to 100 of the most ambitious climate projects, TAP will make the important work cities are doing visible to relevant financial institutions (development agencies, funding bodies and banks, etc.), increasing the chance of securing funding. It will also scale-up the involvement of cities and regions in global climate financing mechanisms.

            As well as bolstering the level of investment in climate action at the local level, TAP will help cities to design bankable projects, and work to lower the perception of risk some investors have regarding climate projects at sub-national level. Local governments will also be given support to measure their progress in reducing carbon emissions. The TAP was developed in response to the “Positive Agenda” promoted by the French government towards COP21.

            To view the video, click here.

            Image copyright:

            3. White House urges cities to join Compact of Mayors

            US President Barack Obama has announced sweeping new actions on renewable energy and energy efficiency, and urged city mayors to publicly commit to measurable, reportable and verifiable climate action by joining the Compact of Mayors.

            President Obama criticised opponents of the transition to renewable energy, and praised the solar panel industry, where jobs are being created 10 times faster than in the rest of the economy. President Obama's comments build on the speech made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Sixth Petersburg Climate Dialogue in May this year. At the Dialogue, Chancellor Merkel praised the Compact of Mayors for showing how "climate protection can be put into practice locally".

            The Compact of Mayors is a global coalition of mayors and city officials pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance resilience to climate change. The Compact of Mayors ties in with the Local Government Climate Roadmap, developed by ICLEI to enhance the visibility of local action in international processes.

            For more information, visit ICLEI USA.

            mage copyright: President Barack Obama (photo on Flickr) by "Maryland GovPics", licensed under CC BY 2.0

            4. ICLEI shares sustainable development advice at local government networking meeting

            ICLEI provided information on funding opportunities and relevant awards for sustainable urban development at a networking meeting of local governments on 22 July in Mainz (Germany), outlining the benefits of the European Green Capital and Green Leaf Awards, and the German Sustainability Award. ICLEI has been working with the State of Rheinland-Pfalz to support sustainable development since 1998.

            Attended by Rheinland-Pfalz Minister for Economics Eveline Lemke, the meeting presented an opportunity for local leaders to take stock of progress and plot a path towards greater sustainability. “Currently, Sustainable Development Goals are being discussed on the global stage. In Rheinland-Pfalz, sustainability is most tangible in our towns and cities. It is here, where models are being developed that aim to enhance quality of life, that we are most aware of the limits of our natural resources. If we want to protect our means of livelihood, sustainability is the only way,” said Minister Lemke.

            ICLEI looks at the challenges faced by each local government individually, proposing a tailor made solution rather than rolling out a “one size fits all” approach. As a result, its consulting services are open to both advanced local governments and newcomers. Currently ICLEI works with large cities such as the German capital of Berlin, and smaller towns with populations as low as 4000.

            For more information on ICLEI’s consultancy services, contact

            5. Online courses on innovative transport solutions offered to mobility professionals

            The EU-funded SOLUTIONS project has launched a second round of free online courses that will teach professionals working in the field of mobility how to apply innovative transport solutions to urban areas. Commencing in September 2015, each course includes tasks to stimulate learning and encourage interaction between experts and participants.

            The courses will be most valuable to those who wish to expand their knowledge and gain insight from other professionals operating in cities around the world. No great pre-knowledge of the subject is required to participate, but a minimum knowledge of English is necessary.

            SOLUTIONS aims to make it easier for cities in Europe, Asia and Latin America to exchange on innovative and green transport measures, and to enhance the uptake of these solutions globally. The project works to facilitate dialogue and exchange, promote successful policies, provide guidance and advice to city officials, and foster cooperation on research, development and innovation.

            For more information and to register, visit the SOLUTIONS website.

            Image copyright:

            6. 50000&1SEAPS launches call for participation in coaching scheme

            Municipalities, regions, Covenant of Mayors supporters, and public and private stakeholders are invited to take part in a coaching scheme run by the 50000&1SEAPs project. The coaching scheme, along with a tailor-made programme on integrating Energy Management Systems (EnMS) and Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) according the ISO 50001 energy management standard, will help municipalities achieve high-quality energy policy and planning for the long-term.

            The 50000&1SEAPs approach has a range of benefits, as it helps participants to develop policies for more efficient energy use, fix targets and objectives to carry out these policies, and identify corrective measures and potential improvements for SEAP planning. The project particularly encourages participation from new and Mediterranean EU Member States.

            For more information, click here [PDF] or contact

            Image copyright: Green Bus Tour February 2009 (Flickr) by "Great Valley Center", licensed under CC BY 2.0

            7. New INNOCAT report focuses on procurement of school catering services

            Expensive high-tech solutions are not necessary to engage in eco-innovation, but rather smaller yet equally effective steps can be taken, according to a new INNOCAT report on the sustainable procurement of school catering services. The report looks at catering practices in schools across Europe and highlights the importance of broad stakeholder involvement and inventive approaches to food rather than a reliance on costly equipment and significant financial investment.

            The catering sector is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Europe. Conventional food production, processing, delivery and preparation processes are linked to heavy consumption of fossil fuels as well as significant soil and water pollution, proliferation of plastic and other non-organic waste, and local air pollution caused by transportation within cities. It is therefore not only the food itself but the systems by which it is packaged, prepared and delivered which need to be considered when reducing catering’s carbon footprint.

            By highlighting ideas and best practice cases from around Europe, the report provides ideas, inspiration and further resources for those who are involved in the procurement of food and catering services for schools.

            For more information, download the report.

            Image copyright:

            8. Event News

            Launch of new urban green infrastructure network

            A new international network specialised in urban green infrastructure and bio-cultural diversity will provide a peer exchange platform for planners, practitioners and other experts in the field, particularly those working with local governments, to exchange knowledge with their counterparts across Europe. Participants also receive top-notch information related to boosting green urban grids. Those interested in joining the Learning Alliance can do so online.

            The new network will be launched at the upcoming event primarily aimed at local governments, ’Green Infrastructure for and with Citizens: How can Local Governments Make it Happen?’ which will focus on how to govern and maintain green infrastructure in cities in a participatory way. It will take place in Mundo B in Brussels (Belgium) on 13 October 2015.

            The event is organised by ICLEI on behalf of GREEN SURGE, a European Commission funded project that links urban green spaces to the people around them. The project is producing evidence on how green spaces and biodiversity are interconnected with a host of issues crucial to local sustainable development: from housing costs and land use questions to public health and demographic changes.

            For more information, visit the GREEN SURGE events page.

            Cities and regions investing in the Energy Union

            Through engaging and committing to initiatives such as the Covenant of Mayors and the Compact of Mayors, cities across Europe are showing leadership in fostering sustainable development, reducing dependence on fossil fuels, and driving the low-carbon economy agenda. Local authorities are ideally positioned to facilitate the roll-out of policies and planning for the energy transition at local level, while supporting consumers to better participate in markets.

            Often a lack of technical and financial capacity, and of a clear legal framework, hinders local authorities from fully engaging and creating local added-value for their communities. This event, taking place on 14 October 2015 during the Open Days in Brussels (Belgium), aims to share solutions and inspiration, and provide insight into communities' increasingly important role in sustainable energy. The event will discuss how to spur low carbon investments to implement climate policies, as well as the generating of local employment through utilising Structural and Cohesion Funds and innovative financing models involving citizens and business participation.

            The event will be followed by a one and a half hour networking session during which the Mayors in Action and 50000&1SEAPs projects will present best practices. Registration will remain open until 28 September.

            To register for the event, visit the Open Days website.

            Vienna conference offers discount to ICLEI members

            ICLEI members can avail of a reduced fee when registering for the European Urban Green Infrastructure Conference, set to take place in Vienna (Austria) from 23 - 24 November 2015. The conference will look at ways to improve the sustainability of Europe’s building stock, and will showcase the impressive work being done in the Austrian capital through study tours. The conference language will be English.

            The event will put a particular emphasis on the role of people, business, and technology in developing and supporting green infrastructure, and will explore how a greener building stock can improve quality of life, reduce harmful emissions, and provide new business opportunities.

            Policy makers, urban planners, developers, contractors, city architects, builders, manufacturers, community groups, utility companies and NGOs are all expected to attend the event. To avail of the reduced ticket price, ICLEI members should select “special Fee for members of selected associations” when registering online.

            For more information, visit the conference website.

            9. Event Calendar

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

            50000&1 SEAPs webinar
            16 September 2015

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

            Mayors in Action - monitoring SEAPs webinar
            28 September 2015

            International Conference on Climate Action
            1 - 2 October 2015 – Hannover (Germany)

            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)

            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)

            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.