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ICLEI in Europe News
July 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. Covenant of Mayors and Compact of Mayors combine to form major global coalition
  3. Local governments are the cornerstone of energy transition, panellists at EUSEW16 agree
  4. Basque Declaration presented in Madrid
  5. Cities identified as key actors in European Environmental and Health Process
  6. Informed Cities Forum on sustainability transitions held in Dresden
  7. Over 120 participants attend 3rd Open European Day in Bonn
  8. Event News
  9. Event Calendar

            1. ICLEI Member News

            ICLEI Member Nijmegen awarded title of 2018 European Green Capital

            The 2018 European Green Capital Award has gone to ICLEI Member Nijmegen (The Netherlands), while the title of 2017 European Green Leaf has been awarded to the City of Galway (Ireland). The awards, which recognise the efforts and commitments made by municipal authorities to improving the urban environment, were presented by Joanna Drake, Deputy Director-General of DG Environment at the European Commission, on 22 June at a ceremony in ICLEI Member Ljubljana (Slovenia), the city that currently holds the title of European Green Capital.

            Nijmegen presented a clear, integrated environmental vision for their city and impressed the jury with their wide engagement of stakeholders and residents. Winners of the European Green Capital Award and the European Green Leaf Award demonstrate well-established records of high environmental standards and a commitment to setting ambitious goals for future environmental progress, underpinned by the practical application of sustainable development.

            For more information, visit the European Green Capital website.
            Image copyright: Flickr by "EU Environment"

            ICLEI Members explore the power of open data through smarticipate

            The smarticipate project has launched its new website, providing the latest news, information and resources stemming from the EU-funded project in one online space. Smarticipate aims to bring citizens into the urban planning process by putting the power of open data into their hands, enabling them to better support decision-making about their local areas.

            ICLEI Members the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (Germany) and Rome (Italy) are taking part in the project, along with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (United Kingdom), trialling a new way to make residents and local governments partners in urban development. Hamburg intends to gather citizen input on topics such as the most popular locations for new playgrounds, as well as the most desirable positions for the planting of new trees in public zones.

            Rome is expanding participatory processes for urban regeneration, such as involving citizens in proposing new uses for abandoned buildings. London aims to allow people to choose for themselves how the local government makes improvements to their area, particularly in terms of allocating certain budgets. The project is funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020.

            To visit the website, click here.
            Image copyright: Roma Capitale

            Paris bans older, polluting cars from city centre

            France’s capital has introduced a ban that stops older cars and motorcycles from driving into the city centre. The new rule, put into effect on 1 July, bars any car registered before 1 January 1997 and any motorcycle registered before June 1999 from the city's streets from Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm.

            According to the Le Monde newspaper, 50,000 out of the 750,000 passenger cars registered in Paris were manufactured before 1999. It also says that 13,000 motorcycles were registered before 1999.

            However, Paris city officials believe that, based on actual use, the traffic restrictions will only affect 4,400 of the 400,000 passenger cars circulating daily in the capital, together with 1,300 vans and 3,700 motorcycles. The city will begin handing out fines to those who break the rules from October, with first offenders having to pay €35. The fines will increase in January 2017 to €68 for private cars and €135 for trucks.

            For more information, visit [in French].
            Image copyright: Flickr by "Bob Hall"

            2. Covenant of Mayors and Compact of Mayors combine to form major global coalition

            The EU Covenant of Mayors and the Compact of Mayors have officially come together, forming the largest global coalition of cities and towns committed to fighting climate change. The new 'Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy' will combine efforts and leadership to accelerate climate action at the local level worldwide. The global initiative counts more than 7,100 cities from 119 countries, representing more than 600 million inhabitants. The vast majority of signatories are European cities and towns who committed to going beyond EU climate targets via the Covenant of Mayors.

            "This merger is an important step in demonstrating that local governments are taking action to fight climate change and cope with its effects,” said Gino Van Begin, Secretary General of ICLEI. “By joining this new, larger coalition, cities and towns will demonstrate the significant collective impact of their work and set an example for transparent reporting.”

            ICLEI endorses this recent merger, which links two coalitions that ICLEI has actively supported. ICLEI has provided technical support and tools that enable cities and towns to achieve their commitments and recruited local governments to accelerate their climate actions through the two initiatives. ICLEI’s position as a city network closely involved in the running of the Covenant of Mayors and as a founding partner of the Compact of Mayors makes the organisation ideally situated to support the Global Covenant. ICLEI, in cooperation with other networks and partners, will continue its work in supporting local governments in their ambitious efforts to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and to accelerate low-carbon development at the local level.

            For more information on the merger, please visit ICLEI WS.
            Image copyright: ICLEI European Secretariat

            3. Local governments are the cornerstone of energy transition, panellists at EUSEW16 agree

            Panellists at the “Energy Union: local leadership driving the transition” event, held as part of EUSEW16, agreed that the energy transition is going to take place at local level, highlighting the key role local governments should play during the climate package negotiations.

            “It is crucial that local governments and their networks share efforts in defining the strategy. Energy is not only consumed but also produced by local authorities,” said Ronan Dantec, Senator for the Loire-Atlantique (France). Joost Venken, Deputy Mayor of Hasselt (Belgium) remarked that the urgency for change has encouraged citizens to take action, as they feel it takes too long to change frameworks. “There are too many obstacles regarding the legal framework, making it difficult to enable the transition between local and national level, and this is a challenge for local governments.”

            Toni Vidan, Vice-president of the TEN Committee, European Economic and Social Committee, and moderator of the discussion, emphasised the relevance of building capacity in new EU member States. The event was organised by five networks – CEMR, Climate Alliance, EnergyCities, EUROCITIES, and ICLEI.

            For more information, read the joint statement on the Energy Union Governance.
            Image copyright: ICLEI European Secretariat

            4. Basque Declaration presented in Madrid

            The Basque Declaration - New Pathways for European Cities and Towns to create productive, sustainable and resilient cities, was presented at the opening session of the II Foro de las Ciudades (Cities Forum) in Madrid (Spain), which focused on the UN’s New Urban Agenda – Habitat III. Ruud Schuthof, ICLEI Europe’s Deputy Regional Director, explained how the Basque Declaration relates to the global and the European urban policy frameworks and the important role local governments play in achieving the goals set by national governments. II Foro de las Ciudades gathered around 800 local authorities and professionals working on solutions to create more sustainable urban spaces. The event was a platform for discussion of different topics related to urbanisation. 

            The Basque Declaration, acclaimed by around 900 participants of the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns, held in the Basque Country from 27-29 April 2016, provides 15 pathways for European Cities and Towns to create productive, sustainable and resilient cities for a liveable and inclusive Europe. Cities, organisations and citizens are called upon to endorse the Basque Declaration.

            For more information on the Basque Declaration, click here.
            Image copyright: ICLEI European Secretariat

            5. Cities identified as key actors in European Environmental and Health Process

            In preparation of the Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health, which will take place in 2017, stakeholders of the European Environmental and Health Process (EHP) have identified cities as key actors in contributing to the elimination of the most significant environmental threats to human health. The EHP is co-ordinated by the World Health Organisation's Regional Office for Europe.

            Given that cities produce 80 percent of global GDP, consume 75 percent of natural resources, generate 50 percent of global waste and release 60-80 percent of global GHG emissions, they have a major role to play. This is particularly the case in improving the well-being of citizens and making a positive impact on different determinants of health, such as water, biodiversity, healthcare, housing and food production.

            ICLEI Europe took part in a preparatory meeting of the Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health, with a focus on cities and on how to create links between national governments and their regional or local counterparts. Participants in the meeting also discussed how interventions should be prioritised to reduce health inequalities and mitigate climate change.

            For more information, click here.
            Image copyright: ICLEI European Secretariat

            6. Informed Cities Forum on sustainability transitions held in Dresden

            Local transition initiatives, researchers, local governments, artists, social entrepreneurs, activists and public sector representatives came together in ICLEI Member Dresden (Germany) on 16 and 17 June for the 5th annual Informed Cities Forum. The conference concluded that initiatives with great transformative potential may be found close at hand, that not everything that counts can be counted, and that strong local government can be boosted by strong local initiatives and vice versa. 

            Representatives of the five regions of the ARTS project, Brighton (United Kingdom), Budapest (Hungary), Dresden, Genk (Belgium), and Stockholm (Sweden) provided examples to illustrate the project’s concept of how local initiatives help to accelerate sustainability transitions in their cities.

            The final day of the conference delved into the issue of power. Ricard Gomà, former mayor of Barcelona (Spain) and Professor of Social Science at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, opened the session with a crash-course in radical democracy. Discussions considered the grey area between legality and legitimacy, while the European Commission’s Ugo Guarnacci drew attention to the power of words as part of policy making.

            For more information, visit
            Image copyright: ICLEI European Secretariat

            7. Over 120 participants attend 3rd Open European Day in Bonn

            Representatives from European cities met in Bonn (Germany) on 5 July to discuss their experiences and successful strategies for adapting to climate change at the 3rd Open European Day at Bonn Resilient Cities. The event was attended by over 120 cities and climate change adaptation experts.

            Marie Gantois shared Paris’ (France) successful experience with refurbishing and retrofitting buildings to save energy and improve thermal comfort. Jonathan Sadler demonstrated how green infrastructure has been the key to driving green growth in the City of Manchester (United Kingdom). Thessaloniki (Greece) gained the public’s support for resilience measures by communicating the relationship between resilience and the issues most affecting citizens: employment and the economy. Further examples of cities’ input are included in an animated video from the day. The event report will be published after the summer break.

            The closing session of the event saw the launch of the European Environment Agency report Urban adaptation to climate change in Europe 2016. The 3rd Open European Day was organised by ICLEI and the European Environment Agency and co-organised by the Placard and RESIN projects, and supported by the European Commission - DG CLIMA and DG Research, and the European Investment Bank.

            For more information, visit the Open European Day website.
            Image Copyright: ICLEI European Secretariat

            8. Event news

            Registration opens for Local Renewables 2016

            Registration is now open for the Local Renewables Conference 2016: Energising the Smart City and Region, set to take place in Freiburg (Germany) and Basel (Switzerland) from 26 – 28 October 2016. Those who register now can take advantage of the reduced Early Bird fee. Organised by the City of Freiburg, the City of Basel and ICLEI Europe, the conference will bring together leading and learning cities, policy-makers from European and national governments, business, finance institutions and researchers.

            The EU Energy Union recognises the importance of putting cities and regions at the centre of making energy more secure, affordable and sustainable. European cities are searching for innovative ways of meeting energy demands, whilst responding to citizen needs. The programme for the event aims to address such questions as what role can, and should, smart technologies play in the search for improved energy efficiency and quality of life in a city? What are the opportunities and limitations of new technologies for urban energy transformation? And what is the role of social innovation and citizen engagement? Updates on the conference can be found on Twitter by following @LR_Series and the hashtag #LocalRenewables.

            To register for the event, click here.

            Malmö conference to examine how cities can implement UN sustainability goals

            The Sustainable City Development 2016 Conference will examine how European cities can work towards putting the UN’s 17 new Sustainable Development Goals into practice. The event will take place in ICLEI Member city Malmö (Sweden) from 30 November - 2 December 2016. It is part of the international SBE series of conferences, which focus on developing a sustainable built environment. 

            Over the course of three days, the conference will gather politicians and practitioners from local and regional governments, representatives from European and international institutions and multilateral organisations, members of the research community, business leaders and active members of civil society. The aim of the event is to become a meeting point for researchers and practitioners to discuss and co-create new ideas and solutions.

            The programme for the conference offers the choice between a variety of round table discussions, dialogue seminars and technical visits within the city of Malmö. It will also provide an opportunity to present, discuss and reflect on best practices, as well as advances in the field of sustainable city development and the relationship between cities and universities.

            For more information, visit the Conference website.

            9. Event Calendar

            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.