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ICLEI in Europe News
January 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 Regional Director Wolfgang Teubner takes stock of 2015 and looks towards 2016
  2. Member news
  3. Early-bird discount for 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns to expire soon
  4. Dutch procurers join the Procurement Forum
  5. Sustainable and innovative procurement of energy for cities on the CEPPI project website
  6. Urban-LEDS cities partner up to work together towards sustainable energy
  7. New factsheets provide clarity on bio-based products
  8. Support offered for smart cities of the future
  9. Event news
  10. Event calendar

            1. ICLEI Regional Director Wolfgang Teubner takes stock of 2015 and looks towards 2016

            Dear Members, Partners, Colleagues and Friends,

            I sincerely hope you all enjoyed a nice and peaceful Christmas break and wish you all the best for the year ahead.

            When I wrote my previous year in review, still struck by the impact of the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo, I referred to “societal disintegration and social segregation that is exploited by misled religious fundamentalism and fanaticism as well as by extreme right wing groups” as a key problem that will have to be addressed urgently if we would like to create sustainable, resilient cities. It is saddening that again it was Paris that was hit by an escalation of terrorism a few weeks ago, an attack targeting nothing less than the lifestyle and openness of our societies and, therefore, each of us. On the other hand, additionally fuelled by what has been termed the “refugee crisis”, extreme right-wing and nationalist parties and movements have gained further ground, undermining the idea of a liberal and open society in a united Europe. While we hear a lot about “European” values that need to be protected, it becomes more obvious that this will most likely not happen on the European level but rather on the local level, where integration, inclusion and the creation of a community actually has to happen. This will not only challenge local politicians and institutions but also us as citizens. It will require an activated and engaged civil society that makes an effort to shape their community and take responsibility, as well as local authorities that are encouraging and supporting such collaboration.

            Of course, 2015 was not only a year of gloom and doom. On the global level some inspiring and positive agreements were achieved that should help us to progress with our agenda. In September the General Assembly of the United Nations unanimously agreed on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that provide a comprehensive Framework for action during the next 15 years. It is now the task of the different levels of governance to translate the 169 targets relating to the 17 SDGs into concrete frameworks for action.

            With the Laudato Si encyclical Pope Francis also made a substantial contribution to the discussion, one that clearly reminds us of the core values that form the basis of our societies.

            Finally, in December at COP 21 in Paris a quite ambitious global climate agreement was finally approved. From a European Union perspective it may not impact too greatly on the targets that were already agreed earlier in the year, but the goal of keeping global warming below 2° C may inspire more ambition on all levels...

            To continue reading Wolfgang Teubner's message, click here.

            2. ICLEI Member News

            Copenhagen adopts energy efficient smart lamps

            ICLEI member Copenhagen’s (Denmark) outdoor street lamps are getting an upgrade, with 20,000 energy-efficient LED lamps to be installed in 2016. Energy savings of around 57 percent are expected, which is enough to power 4,500 homes in the Danish capital. In addition to saving energy, the new lights will be fitted with smart capabilities. Maintenance officials will be able to remotely dim or brighten the lamps, and will be automatically alerted if repairs are required.

            The technology installed in the lamps will also enable them to detect approaching cyclists and shine extra light, improving journey safety. Around half of Copenhagen’s outdoor street lights will be replaced, with the local government deciding to sell the old models at auction, giving potential buyers the chance to own a piece of Copenhagen history.

            The iconic, bowl-shaped lamps have proven extremely popular, with already 3,000 sold for an average of $100 each. The new smart lamps will adhere closely to the historic design, ensuring continuity in Copenhagen’s urban aesthetic. The decision to move to more energy efficient lamps is part of Copenhagen’s drive to be carbon neutral by 2025.

            For more information, visit

            Image copyright: Photo on Flickr by "Amanda Kelso", licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

            Strasbourg wins smart city award

            A jury of international experts has awarded ICLEI member Strasbourg for its achievements in the field of innovative eco-mobility services. Strasbourg won the smart-city category at the EU-China Smart Mobility City Awards, which showcases the most advanced and innovative projects in terms of smart mobility and green transportation in Europe, China and Asia.

            The city was recognised chiefly for its efforts to change travel habits and support innovative projects. Strasbourg opened its data to allow the creation of multi-modal information software, such as the StrasMap, implemented contactless ticketing on its public transport network, and created a new car-sharing initiative.

            Strasbourg is also involved in the development of electromobility and is improving the living conditions of residents through the consideration of urban mobility when developing new urban areas, or redeveloping existing neighbourhoods. The Awards, hosted at the China International New Energy Vehicle Show in Hong Kong, were organised by the Jean-Pierre Raffarin Fondation Prospective et Innovation and the China Center for Urban Development.

            For more information, visit

            Image copyright: pixabay

            ICLEI members provide examples of good practice in procuring low-carbon transport

            The EU-funded TRANSFORM project has gathered examples of good practice in procuring low-carbon public transport in a series of publications. The project focused on the experiences of ICLEI members Barcelona (Spain), Birmingham (United Kingdom) and Rotterdam (The Netherlands).

            A final report explains the journey of the three cities as they incorporated innovative practices when procuring transport and mobility products and services. Two policy briefs have also been produced, discussing the policy issues around procurement in transport as well as the implications from evidence gathered through the pilots in the participating cities and stakeholder workshops.

            Finally, the project has developed joint statements of demand, inviting European cities seeking clean urban transport solutions to join the project in communicating collective messages to the market.

            For more information, visit

            Image copyright: Rotterdam - silver tram (Flickr) by "R/DV/RS", licensed under CC BY 2.0

            3. Early-bird discount for 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns to expire soon

            There is just weeks left to take advantage of the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns early-bird registration fee. Participants registered before 15 February 2016 will not only benefit from the reduced conference fee, they will also ensure a spot at the Break-out Session and Mobile Workshop of their choice. These interactive programme elements will provide participants with the opportunity to learn first-hand about urban transformation, as well as providing a great opportunity to share their own experiences and best practices.

            The conference call for contributions is also now open for the Innovation Market section of the programme, which is set to take place on 28 April 2016. For more details and to submit a proposal, download the Call for Contributions and send the completed form to by 28 February 2016.

            The conference will take place from 27-29 April 2016 in the Basque Country. Among the latest confirmed speakers is Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of the Regions (one of the official conference partners) - a full list of latest confirmed speakers is available on the conference website. The conference programme will reflect the latest in the field of sustainable development, including the Sustainable Development Goals, the results of COP 21 in Paris, and the emerging Urban Agenda for Europe, focusing on the pressing need for action by local governments to change unsustainable pathways and shape Europe's future. Get updates as they happen: @sustain_cities #Basque2016 and Facebook.

            For more information, visit the official website or contact us at

            Image copyright: Basque Government / Mikel Arrazola

            4. Dutch procurers join the Procurement Forum

            The Netherlands’ online discussion platform for procurers has been transferred to the Procurement Forum, allowing Dutch members to join the Europe-wide discussion. The transfer was initiated and overseen by PIANOo: the Dutch Procurement Expertise Centre, the body responsible for working with procurers in The Netherlands.

            As a result of the move, the Procurement Forum is now available in the Dutch language in addition to English. As well as reaching a more diverse audience, Dutch members can avail of the Procurement Forum’s new discussion space, which has been designed to cater for the needs of procurers.

            This integration of national procurement discussions into a wider, more international context has significant benefits for all Procurement Forum members, and will no doubt lead to valuable exchange. The PPI Platform hopes to include further national discussion forums within the Procurement Forum in the future. With the members of PIANOo included, the Procurement Forum now has over 4100 members.

            For more information, visit the PIANOo Forum group.

            Image copyright: Photo on Flickr by "hmmmayor", licensed under CC BY 2.0

            5. Sustainable and innovative procurement of energy for cities on the CEPPI project website

            The CEPPI team, comprised of expert partners Jera, Optimat, Steinbeis Transferzentrum and ICLEI, has launched the CEPPI project website to showcase the sustainable energy solutions being developed by the five participating cities: ICLEI member Birmingham (UK), Budapest (Hungary), Castelló and Valencia (Spain), and Wrocław (Poland). By using a pro-innovation procurement approach, these cities aim to achieve energy savings of 33GWh per year.

            This 3-year project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, intends to build the cities’ capacity in the fields of public procurement of innovation (PPI) and sustainable public procurement (SPP). Public authorities have started identifying the possible areas of intervention and related information has been published on the CEPPI website - Birmingham, for example, announced its interest in procurements related to its waste strategy; Budapest is exploring the implementation of PPI practices in tenders to retrofit the City Hall; Valencia is looking at city lighting, fountain systems and sports centres; and Wrocław is considering a focus on street lighting modernisation.

            Within CEPPI, partners will produce reports, guides and other tools of interest for public authorities implementing SPP and PPI practices, and other public documents will be made available. Those who want to keep updated about the project are encouraged to subscribe to its newsletter through the online form.

            For more information, visit the CEPPI website.

            Image copyright: Fotolia / Vladimir Floyd

            6. Urban-LEDS cities partner up to work together towards sustainable energy

            Eight cities participated in a staff exchange as part of the Urban-LEDS project in late 2015 between the project’s model cities and European cities. Urban-LEDS aims to enhance the transition to low emission urban development in emerging economy countries by offering selected local governments in Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa a methodological framework to integrate low-carbon strategies into all sectors of urban planning and development.

            KwaDukuza Municipality (South Africa) visited Helsinki (Finland), focusing on green buildings and integrating sustainability planning into municipal planning departments. Bogor and Balikpapan (Indonesia) visited Warsaw (Poland), where the main topic was sustainable transport. Bologna (Italy) hosted delegates from Steve Tshwete (South Africa) and Recife (Brazil), with a focus on the renewable energy transition, institutional energy use and the green economy.

            For more information, visit the Urban LEDS website.

            Image copyright: Bus in Warsaw (photo on Flickr) by "Guillaume Speurt", licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

            7. New factsheets provide clarity on bio-based products

            The EU-funded InnProBio project has produced the first of a series of factsheets containing information on bio-based products and services. The publication helps to define bio-based products, providing an insight into the primary differences with traditional products.

            The first factsheet highlights the benefits of bio-based products, such as their potential to reduce the economy’s dependence on fossil fuels, create green jobs in the European Union, and drive European innovation. The link between bio-based products and sustainability is also outlined.

            The section From biomass to bio-based products shows, in a visual way, different biomass materials that can be used to create products (known as “feedstocks”), such as sugar, starch and natural rubber, as well as bio-based intermediates, such as fibres, polymers and composites, and bio-based end products. Factsheet #1 is available online. The InnProBio team is currently working on the next factsheets in the series.

            For more information, visit the InnProBio website.

            Image copyright: Dreamstime

            8. Support offered for smart cities of the future

            Twenty European cities are being offered free expert advice and support in their journey towards becoming smarter, more responsive cities through the new GrowSmarter City Interest Group, which was launched at the Urban Futures Conference in Berlin (Germany).

            The Group is open to city administrations in Europe with a genuine interest in learning from the experiences of GrowSmarter’s lighthouse and follower cities. Benefits of joining include exclusive invitations to study visits in Stockholm (Sweden), Cologne (Germany) and Barcelona (Spain), and access to thematic capacity building webinars. Support for replication activities will be provided through a dedicated Helpdesk, with direct access to the staff and businesses involved in implementing the 12 GrowSmarter solutions.

            Membership is free of charge and applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Members are expected to attend at least one annual GrowSmarter capacity exchange and can choose to develop their own smart city replication assessment. The first three Interest Group members to develop a complete smart city replication assessment will be offered one on-site capacity building workshop to help develop a full smart city replication plan. Those interested in joining the Growsmarter City Interest Group are invited to send a completed application form to, stating their main areas of interest.

            For more information, visit the GrowSmarter website.

            Image copyright: Fotolia

            9. Event News

            Local Renewables set to explore role of smart technology in meeting energy demands

            Global energy needs are set to increase by around 40 percent by 2030. In response, the EU's Energy Union has recognised the importance of giving cities and regions a central role, making energy more secure, affordable and sustainable. European cities, searching for innovative ways of meeting energy demands, are increasingly turning to smart technologies, which are considered effective solutions to improve citizens’ quality of life while addressing the EU’s climate and energy ambitions.

            Energy provision and usage are core elements in the move towards a smart city. But can a smart city also be a sustainable city? What role can, and should, smart technologies play in the search for improved energy efficiency and quality of life in urban areas?

            What are the opportunities and limitations of new technologies for urban energy transformation? And what is the role of social innovation and citizen engagement? These topics will be at the heart of the discussion at the Local Renewables Conference 2016. Follow Local Renewables on twitter: @LR_Series #LocalRenewables

            For more information, visit Local Renewables.

            10. Event Calendar

            CIVITAS Training: Influencing behaviour through gamification
            18 February 2016 – Brussels (Belgium)

            3rd European Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans
            12 - 13 April 2016 - Bremen (Germany)

            Circular Procurement: the next step
            20 - 22 April 2016 - Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

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

            Informed Cities Forum
            16 – 17 June 2016 – Dresden (Germany)

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

            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.