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ICLEI in Europe News
August 2016

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. ICLEI Member News
  2. EEA report highlights need for urban resilience to tackle climate change effects
  3. InnProBio factsheets on bio-based products now available
  4. New EU-funded project aims to improve urban waste management
  5. CIVITAS online learning offer expanded
  6. PROBIS invites buyers to join its Sustainable Construction Interest Group
  7. EU urban mobility policy scenario tool available in various languages
  8. Event News
  9. Event Calendar

            1. ICLEI Member News

            Rotterdam joins sustainable tropical timber initiative

            The European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition (STTC) saw its membership increase during its recent conference in ICLEI Member Rotterdam (The Netherlands), with the host city ending the conference by joining the coalition. ‘We aim to be the world’s most sustainable port city and we see joining the STTC as integral to that,’ said Leon Dijk, Sustainable Procurement specialist with Rotterdam City Council. Almost 100 people from across the STTC membership took part in the conference.

            The STTC recently launched a €2 million funding campaign to help local authorities and businesses implement sustainable timber procurement policies. The Netherlands has been particularly active in promoting sustainable tropical timber, backing the STTC and implementing a procurement system that has seen a rise in sustainable timber’s market share from 13.4 percent to 74 percent. By stimulating demand for sustainable tropical timber, European authorities can prevent deforestation and provide a livelihood for millions of people in developing countries.

            For more information on joining the STTC, contact
            Image copyright: Pixabay

            Berlin stops new investments in fossil-fuel companies

            Following in the footsteps of cities such as Paris (France), Copenhagen (Denmark), Oslo (Norway), Seattle (USA) and Melbourne (Australia), the German capital of Berlin has announced that it will no longer invest in fossil fuel companies. The move comes amid pressure to pull support from companies that work against the city's goal of being climate neutral by 2050. This includes oil, coal, and gas companies.

            “Berlin is the latest major city to commit to cut its financial ties to the fossil fuel industry, so soon after Stockholm took the step,” said Melanie Mattauch, Europe Communications Coordinator for, speaking to Cities Today. “The fact that cities around the world distance themselves from the companies whose business model pushes us into irreversible climate change shows that public support for coal, oil and gas companies is quickly eroding.”

            “Efforts by cities to become more resource efficient, reduce their emissions and improve their resilience are vital for the wellbeing and quality of life of their citizens, as well as for our overall success in tackling climate change,” added Mattauch. The campaign to convince major institutions to divest from companies that disproportionately contribute to climate change has seen great success around the world, with universities, pension funds and religious institutions also committing.

            For more information, visit Cities Today.
            Image copyright: Pixabay

            Glasgow invests in development of new urban Nature Park

            The City of Glasgow (UK) is set to create Scotland’s largest urban heritage and Nature Park, investing £6.8 million to create a green area that will encompass 16km² of lochs (lakes), parks, nature reserves and woodlands. The project will also see the development of walking and cycling routes and improvements to paths and signage within the park, allowing people to better experience the natural and cultural heritage of the area.

            "The Seven Lochs Wetland Park is an exemplar of Green Network planning and delivery. It is a place with an abundance of natural resources; important natural habitats, historic sites and established places for recreation. This major new urban wildlife park will be the jewel in the crown of the wider Green Network and bring a host of benefits for local people and visitors alike,” said Max Hislop, Programme Manager for the Glasgow & Clyde Valley Green Network Partnership. 

            Glasgow is a core city of Smart Mature Resilience, a multi-disciplinary research project working for more resilient cities in Europe. The city works closely with scientists to develop Glasgow’s resilience against hazards and challenges brought on by climate change. Glasgow is particularly working on addressing flood risk management, water issues and drainage. The natural wetlands and open green spaces will help to absorb excess water in the case of flooding, taking Glasgow a step further on its path towards resilience.

            For more information, visit
            Image copyright: 
            Glasgow City Council

            Lisbon is ICLEI Europe’s latest Member in the Spotlight

            The achievements and ambitious sustainability plans of ICLEI Member Lisbon (Portugal) can be read about on the ICLEI Europe website as part of the ongoing Member in the Spotlight series. Lisbon was chosen for the series thanks to its success in developing sustainability policies in fields including mobility, green infrastructure, waste management and energy efficiency. The City of Lisbon also recently endorsed the Basque Declaration.

            Lisbon’s sustainability efforts have had a significant effect on the local environment over the last years, helping the city to reach ambitious goals such as reducing their CO2 emissions by 50 percent and lowering energy consumption by almost a quarter between 2002 and 2014. A green infrastructure plan is being implemented as a tool to face local urban climate challenges, which could be replicated in other European countries facing similar issues. If you'd like to share your city's progress in building a more sustainable future, contact us at

            To view the Lisbon MITS page, click here.
            Image copyright: City of Lisbon

            2. EEA report highlights need for urban resilience to tackle climate change effects

            The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published a new report, Urban adaptation to climate change in Europe 2016 – transforming cities in a changing climate. The report provides an in-depth overview of the actions that urban planners and policymakers can take to reduce the impact of climate change, and stresses the benefits of investing in long-term preventive measures. ICLEI Europe is a co-author of the report and also supported the EEA in coordinating its production.

            European cities are increasingly susceptible to the negative aspects of climate change, which are expected to increase in frequency and intensity with extreme events such as heatwaves, flooding, water scarcity and droughts. At the same time, social, economic and demographic changes can make cities more vulnerable. These can greatly impact a wide range of city functions, infrastructure and services such as energy, transport and water, and will affect urban quality of life.

            The report recommends that to meet these challenges, cities must take a wider systemic approach that addresses the root causes of vulnerability to climate change. This includes better urban planning, with more green areas that can retain excess rainwater or cool dense city centres in hot weather, or by preventing the construction of houses in flood-prone areas. This approach can transform cities into much more attractive, climate-resilient and sustainable places to live and work.

            For more information and to read the report, visit
            Image copyright: France-003203 - Tuileries Garden (Flickr) by "Dennis Jarvis", licensed under CC BY SA 2.0

            3. InnProBio factsheets on bio-based products now available

            The InnProBio project has just released its second and third factsheets, focusing on the sustainability of bio-based products and myths and facts about biodegradability. InnProBio, the Forum for Bio-Based Innovation in Public Procurement, aims to build a community of public procurement practitioners interested in Public Procurement of Innovation (PPI) of Bio-Based Products and Services (BBPS). The InnProBio factsheets provide more information about the most relevant issues concerning bio-based products and their associated services.

            Titled Sustainability of bio-based products, factsheet #2 contains detailed information about feedstock, the end-of-life of bio-based products, how to measure environmental impacts using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Product Carbon Footprint (PCF), as well as a section on certifications and labels that can help public procurers to define their requirements regarding bio-based products in their public tenders. Factsheet #3 tries to clarify some misunderstandings and myths, as well as to address some confusion governing the topic of biodegradability.

            To view the factsheets, click here.
            Image copyright: Fotolia by "Pixelot"

            4. New EU-funded project aims to improve urban waste management

            Urban_WINS, a new European project funded by the EU's Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation in which ICLEI is involved, will study how cities consume resources and products, and how they eliminate the waste produced. At the core of the work is developing and testing innovative plans and solutions aimed at improving waste prevention and management. These strategic plans will be tested in eight pilot cities in six European countries.

            The City of Cremona (Italy), a municipality which has been active in ICLEI’s Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network for over seven years, is coordinating the project and hosted the recent kick-off meeting. In his welcome speech, Cremona's mayor Gianluca Galimberti highlighted the approach that Urban_WINS will use to develop its research: understanding cities as living organisms. Mr Galimberti also remarked the impact this project can have by turning problems into opportunities and by raising awareness of the fact that choices we make today when consuming resources can be crucial for our future.

            Active participation from citizens, governments, organisations, research institutes and education centres is foreseen through physical meetings and assemblies in the eight pilot cities. A total of 27 partners are part of an interdisciplinary consortium that will work on Urban_WINS for the next three years.

            For more information, contact or follow the project on Twitter.
            Image copyright: ICLEI European Secretariat

            5. CIVITAS online learning offer expanded

            The CIVITAS suite of online courses now covers 10 topics, offering foundational information to users in a concise and interactive format. There are three courses on CIVITAS ‘essentials’ or broad themes, which includes public involvement, Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans, and traffic and mobility fundamentals.

            Seven courses take a closer look at thematic areas, and include topics such as cycling in urban areas and bike sharing, intelligent traffic management, mobility management, and sustainable freight. Courses are made up of several blocks, each of which is concluded with a small test that allows users to reflect on their new knowledge. Forthcoming courses will include topics such as shared mobility and intermodality.

            CIVITAS is continuing to publish the CIVITAS Insights, which are short overviews of measures and policy areas illustrated by past CIVITAS activities. The most recent Insights deal with EU policy on electric vehicles and Intelligent Transport Systems in public transport.

            For more information, visit the CIVITAS Learning Centre and the CIVITAS Key Publications.
            Image copyright: ICLEI European Secretariat

            6. PROBIS invites buyers to join its Sustainable Construction Interest Group

            Public procurers and others interested in the sustainable construction sector are invited to join the Sustainable Construction Interest Group, to discuss and learn more about recent developments in the sector. The PROBIS project aims to use public procurement of innovation (PPI) in the building sector, with a focus on energy refurbishment of existing buildings to make construction in Europe more innovative and sustainable.

            The project is currently looking for public authorities and companies who are interested in potentially participating in some of the project activities. The PROBIS Interest Group offers the latest updates from the project, news related to sustainable construction and procurement, and a space to exchange ideas and experience with other professionals. Members are also offered the possibility to build their own network and benefit from the results of the project. Membership of the group is free of charge.

            For more information or to join, download the PROBIS call for sustainable construction interest group.
            Image copyright: Unsplash by "Oliver Wendel", licensed under CC0

            7. EU urban mobility policy scenario tool available in various languages

            The free to use Urban Transport Roadmaps Tool, commissioned by DG MOVE, allows cities to explore transport scenarios that are practical, feasible and implementable. This helps political and technical decision makers to find the most suitable mix of policies and measures for their sustainable urban mobility plans (SUMPs) and effectively translate their vision on sustainable urban mobility into reality. It allows users to enter the characteristics of their city, such as its size and traffic conditions. More detailed customisation settings are also available. Users can then select different mixtures of policies, and clearly see how the tool calculates the impact on indicators.

            In June 2016 the project organised a series of interactive webinars in English, French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish to help users to become more familiar with the tool. Recordings of these webinars and presentation slides are available in each language through the project website. The webinars go into more depth about how the tool can be used, the range of policy scenarios that can be explored, and the outputs that the tool produces.

            For more information about the tool, visit
            Image copyright: Flickr by "hansthijs", licensed under CC BY 2.0

            8. Event news

            2nd Annual Summit of the GLCN on SP to take place as part of Seoul Mayors Forum on Climate Change

            Participants of the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement will convene in Seoul (South Korea) to hold their 2nd Annual Summit. The gathering will take place as part of the Seoul Mayors Forum on Climate Change (1-2 September 2016), which will focus on two key developments: the Compact of Mayors and its relevance to the Paris Agreement, and the New Urban Agenda to be adopted at Habitat III.

            The GLCN on SP Summit will demonstrate how sustainable public procurement is a key tool for local and regional governments to achieve environmental, economic and social benefits. It will serve as an inspirational session for other Mayors and cities attending the Forum, encouraging them to consider the power of sustainable procurement. The GLCN cities will present their SP commitments and actions, and prompt others to replicate strategies and policies. 

            The inclusion of the GLCN on SP Summit within the Forum shows the positive impact of sustainable procurement in achieving the 17 Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs), which includes aims such as sustainable cities and communities, and sustainable consumption and production. The Forum is organised by Seoul Metropolitan Government, chair of the GLCN on SP, in collaboration with ICLEI. Attendance to the Forum is by invitation only.

            For more information, click here.

            CIVITAS Forum 2016 to look at the future of mobility

            The 2016 edition of the CIVITAS Forum Conference will take place from 28 - 30 September in the Polish city of Gdynia. Under the theme of 'Shaping the Mobility of Tomorrow', the conference will bring together local governments, EU policy-makers, transport practitioners and researchers to discuss how to develop clean, safe and efficient mobility for the future. Attendance is free of charge.

            Smart cities, electric buses, inclusive and shared mobility, intelligent transport systems, urban freight logistics, and clean alternative fuels will all be touched on at the conference. Site visits are planned, including one to Gdynia's trolleybus system and its new traffic management centre. The 2016 edition of the CIVITAS Awards will also be presented. 

            A CIVITAS training will take place prior to the conference on 26 September 2016, with a focus on scaling up mobility pilots for wide-scale deployment. The training is aimed at urban mobility professionals involved in innovation, project development, and evaluation in the field of sustainable transport.

            For more information and to register for the 2016 CIVITAS Forum, visit

            Two months left to register for 2016 edition of Local Renewables series

            The City of Freiburg (Germany) and ICLEI, in cooperation with the City of Basel (Switzerland), will gather once more an experienced and knowledgeable group of policy-makers, energy experts, researchers and business representatives during the 7th Local Renewables Conference – Energising the Smart City and Region, which takes place from 26 – 28 October 2016.

            Following the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21), there has been a clear consensus to move towards a lower-carbon and more efficient energy system. This consensus comes amid a backdrop of rising global energy needs, with energy demand set to increase by 40 percent by 2030. Cities and regions must find innovative ways to meet the energy demand whilst responding to citizens‘ needs. Cities and regions also play a key role in meeting the EU Energy Union goals. Smart technologies could play a significant part in meeting such demands, but will smart cities also drive sustainable cities?

            Experts such as Claude Turmes, Member of the European Parliament as part of the European Greens and Rapporteur on the 2008 Draft EU Renewables Directive, and Professor Dirk Helbing, one of the authors of the Digital Manifesto, have been invited to join the three-day conference programme. To join the discussion, register online. The latest news is available on Twitter: @LR_Series

            For more information, visit the conference website or contact

            9. Event Calendar

            Webinar on 5th SUMP Award
            5 September 2016

            CIVITAS Training: Evaluating and upscaling urban mobility projects
            27 September 2016 - Gdynia (Poland)

            CIVITAS Forum 2016
            28 - 30 September 2016 - Gdynia (Poland)

            RAMSES 3rd Stakeholder Dialogue
            4 October 2016 - Rome (Italy)

            Procura+ Seminar 2016
            13 - 14 October 2016 – Rome (Italy)

            Local Renewables 2016: Energising the smart city and region
            26 - 28 October 2016 - Freiburg (Germany) & Basel (Switzerland)

            Embrace the Water Conference
            12 - 14 June 2017 - Gothenburg (Sweden)

            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 2016 ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH, Freiburg, Germany. All rights reserved.