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ICLEI in Europe News
March 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. 8th ESCT Conference programme provides thorough look at upcoming event
  3. Budapest and the City of Tshwane join the global sustainable procurement network
  4. Finalists for European sustainable urban mobility awards announced
  5. Researchers urge Europe to change the definition of success
  6. Event news
  7. Event Calendar

            1. ICLEI Member News

            Hamburg bans environmentally damaging coffee capsules in public buildings

            ICLEI member Hamburg (Germany) is making city employees’ morning coffee more sustainable by banning the use of coffee-pods in state run buildings. The city has taken the decision on the basis that the capsules cause unnecessary resource consumption and often contain polluting aluminum. The composition of the capsules also makes them next to impossible to recycle in traditional recycling plants.

            The ban on purchasing coffee capsules was included in the city’s green procurement strategy, which ensures that the city avoids buying “certain polluting products or product components".

            Jens Kerstan, Hamburg’s senator for the environment, told the BBC that through the ban Hamburg is sending a signal that the city’s money will only be used for environmentally friendly products: "With a purchasing power of several hundred millions of euros per annum, the city can help ensure that environmentally harmful products are purchased less frequently."

            For more information, visit BBC news.

            Image copyright: Image (Photo on Flickr) by "Karsten Seiferlin", licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 

            ICLEI members publish blog outlining smart city progress 

            Blog updates detailing the latest news from the GrowSmarter project have been published by three cities that are testing how smart solutions can work in practice: ICLEI members Stockholm (Sweden) and Ajuntament de Barcelona (Spain), and Cologne (Germany). The project is dedicated to piloting and replicating a combination of 12 smart solutions which are designed to make cities better connected and more environmentally sustainable.

            Stockholm’s fibre optic network, built to provide an infrastructure capable of meeting future communication needs, is being used to enable a more strategic and cohesive approach to various city functions including lighting, parking, transport, and maintaining buildings and streets. An example of this approach can be seen in the city’s soon-to-launch smart street lighting, which will incorporate movement sensors.

            In Barcelona, fast charging stations have been installed across the city, enabling electric vehicles to be fully charged in just 20 minutes. The city is also installing a tool in over 200 dwellings that will allow citizens to monitor their electricity consumption via their smartphone, tablet or computer, helping them to cut their electricity bills. In Cologne, a citizen engagement event in October 2015 has paved the way for citizens to get more involved in the project through the Citizen Reporter programme.

            For more information on these initiatives, read the GrowSmarter e-update.

            Image copyright

            Copenhagen to open Smart City Lab to meet future challenges

            Copenhagen (Denmark) will soon establish a "Smart City Lab" that will use state of the art sensors to collect data on city activities, not only giving an insight into how citizens interact with the city, but guiding authorities to make sustainable improvements. The lab will focus on issues such as air quality, waste separation, and car traffic.

            “A smart city is equal to a sustainable city in Copenhagen,” said Morten Kabell, Copenhagen’s deputy mayor for technical and environmental issues, speaking to the CPH Post. As part of the smart activities sensors will be placed in rubbish containers, helping the city to better collect and separate waste. The sensors will also be used to tweak the placement of bins, and will help the city to implement solutions during peak times, such as on Friday and Saturday nights.

            An app will also be released that alerts drivers to empty parking spaces, saving time and fuel. It is further foreseen that e-solutions on flood impacts and the tracking of city equipment will be developed.

            For more information, visit

            Image copyright: Image (Pixabay), licensed under License

            2. 8th ESCT Conference programme provides thorough look at upcoming event

            A detailed programme for the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns (ESCT Conference) has been released, providing descriptions and speaker names for the conference’s plenaries, sub-plenaries, breakout sessions, and mobile workshops. Registration for the conference, which takes place from 27 - 29 April 2016 in the Basque Country, is available online.

            The full list of invited speakers is contained in the updated programme, as are the various pre-events on offer. Each of the 11 breakout sessions are also explained, with sessions as diverse as creating healthy cities, meeting the challenges and opportunities related to migration, and developing nature-based cities. The mobile-workshops, which will be held across the Basque Country, are also outlined in greater detail.

            The 8th ESCT Conference will focus on the pressing need for action by local governments to change unsustainable pathways and shape Europe’s future. Following the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement at COP21, and in the lead-up to the EU Urban Agenda and the New Urban Agenda following from HABITAT III, the conference will be the flagship event in Europe in 2016 for discussion and experience exchange on urban local sustainability.

            To download the programme, click here. [PDF]

            3. Budapest and the City of Tshwane join the global sustainable procurement network

            The Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement has welcomed two new participants: Budapest (Hungary) and ICLEI member City of Tshwane (South Africa). By signing the GLCN on SP Commitments document, both cities have expressed their willingness to take an exemplary role in the implementation of sustainable public procurement (SPP), to act as global and regional champions of SPP, and to collaborate with other cities in the network to exchange experiences and knowledge.

            Budapest, the capital and the largest city of Hungary, has shown a great interest in procuring sustainably and is already implementing strategies to improve energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. Tshwane, the administrative capital of South Africa with a population of around 2.9 million people, is using green procurement as an innovative way of financing green economy projects.

            The other cities in the network: Ghent (Belgium), Helsinki (Finland), Oslo (Norway), Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Warsaw (Poland), Auckland (New Zealand), Cape Town (South Africa), Denver (United States), Quezon City (Philippines), and Seoul (Republic of Korea) - the Chair of the network, are also setting specific, clear and measurable targets on sustainable procurement.

            For more information, visit the GLCN on SP website.

            Image copyright: Union Buildings, Tshwane, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa (Photo on Flickr) by "South African Tourism", licensed under CC BY 2.0

            4. Finalists for European sustainable urban mobility awards announced

            The European Commission has announced the finalists for the 2015 EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK and SUMP Awards. The three finalists for the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award were revealed as ICLEI member Lisbon (Portugal), Murcia (Spain), and Palma de Mallorca (Spain). This year’s edition received 53 applications from 19 countries. The EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award honours the local authority deemed to have done the most to promote sustainable urban mobility in the context of the week. 

            The award for sustainable urban mobility planning aims to promote the adoption of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) across Europe, and to distinguish the mobility planning champions in line with the annual award theme. The three finalists are ICLEI member Malmö (Sweden), Utrecht (The Netherlands), and Vienna (Austria). This year's edition focuses on multimodality and intermodality in sustainable urban mobility planning, which refers to the combination of various transport modes within one trip or separate trips. 

            The awards will be presented to the winners at a ceremony on 20 April 2016 in Brussels (Belgium) with Commissioner Violeta Bulc, responsible for Transport, and Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for the Environment, in attendance.

            For more information, visit the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Awards page.

            Image copyright: Image (Pixabay), licensed under License

            5. Researchers urge Europe to change the definition of success

            Researchers from 34 institutions across Europe have presented recommendations to EU policy-makers calling on political leaders to end low-cost strategies to compete with emerging economies and advocate for a shift towards “high-road competitiveness” based on innovation and skills, socio-ecological ambition, excellent institutions, and policies that boost employment. Success, the recommendations state, should be measured by wellbeing, substituting GDP as the main benchmark of progress. 

            The recommendations have been formulated in the framework of the EU-funded research project WWWforEurope, which brings together 34 research institutions from 12 EU countries. Professor Karl Aiginger, coordinator of the research project and Director of the Austrian Institute of Economic Research, said: “We are presenting measures to boost economic dynamism, social inclusiveness and environmental sustainability. This includes a sweeping tax reform to boost employment, a welfare shift towards social investment and prevention, and measures to strengthen and redirect innovation in Europe.” The project’s final synthesis report is available to download online.

            For more information, read the press release.

            Image copyright: Image (Pixabay), licensed under License

            6. Event News

            GPP2020 final conference to look at implementing low-carbon tenders in practice

            Ideas and achievements will be shared at the final conference of the GPP2020 project, set to take place on 19 April 2016 in Brussels (Belgium). Procurers that have carried out low-carbon public purchases for supplies, services and works will provide attendees with an insight into the challenges and successes faced.

            The event will be held in the offices of the delegation of the Government of Catalonia to the European Union and will focus on how low-carbon procurement works in practice. The conference will also look at developing long lasting, successful support structures for the further implementation and mainstreaming of GPP in Europe. The programme for the event is available to view online.

            The EU-funded GPP2020 project has achieved savings equivalent to over 350,000 tonnes of CO2e to date, demonstrating the impressive power of coordinated low-carbon procurement activities to achieve CO2 emissions reduction targets. The project aims to implement more than 100 low-carbon tenders in countries across Europe.

            To register for the event, click here.

            CIVITAS training on urban freight to be held ahead of ESCT Conference

            The CIVITAS Initiative is organising a free training on urban freight and logistics at the 8th European Sustainable Cities and Towns Conference, which will be held in the Basque Country from 27 - 29 April 2016. The training will take place on 26 April, the day before the start of the conference.

            Professionals involved in the development and implementation of urban freight policies are the target audience for the training. Through interactive exercises, participants will get an insight into sustainable distribution schemes and techniques, and are encouraged to come to the training with examples or challenges from their own contexts. An expert contribution will be provided by a representative from ICLEI member Copenhagen (Denmark).

            For more information, contact

            Open European Day at Bonn Resilient Cities launched for 2016

            The European Environment Agency (EEA) and ICLEI have joined forces again this year to organise the 3rd Open European Day (OED), the one-day event for climate adaptation practitioners, taking place on 5 July back-to-back with Resilient Cities 2016 in Bonn (Germany). The Open European Day is supported by the RESIN and Placard projects. 

            The event will follow the successful format of previous editions, where climate adaptation practitioners representing both “beginner” and “trailblazer” cities, as well as key adaptation actors, exchange valuable experience in an interactive setting. Institutions supporting urban adaptation development and scientists in the field will also contribute to addressing key questions raised by city representatives. 

            The focus of this year’s edition will include climate services, nature-based solutions and how to mainstream adaptation. Financing adaptation will also be a topic of recurring consideration throughout the event. Participation is free of charge. 

            For more information, visit the Open European Day webpage.

            GREEN SURGE to hold forum on public-private partnerships for greener cities

            Urban green infrastructure decision-makers, researchers and private sector stakeholders will come together in Bilbao (Spain) to explore local government strategies for partnering with private sector actors to make urban development greener. Amongst others, ICLEI has invited the City of Aarhus (Denmark) and the Greater London Authority (UK) to showcase how they cooperate with private actors to green their cities. 

            Aarhus partnered with private stakeholders, particularly farmers and gardeners, as part of their strategy to protect groundwater from pesticides. The Greater London Authority has been partnering with businesses regularly and strategically (e.g. Wild West End) to achieve its vision of a National Park City and to address London’s environmental and societal challenges.

            The Stakeholder Dialogue Forum will be held in Bizkaia Aretoa, Bilbao (Spain) from 14.00 to 18.00 on 26 April 2016 and is free to attend. The Forum is a pre-event to the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns for which Stakeholder Forum participants benefit from a reduced registration fee. Registration for the Stakeholder Dialogue Forum can be completed online

            For more information, click here or contact

            7. Event Calendar

            Community energy & local governments
            6 April 2016 - Warsaw (Poland) 

            CIVITAS Training: Cycling 2.0
            8 April 2016 - Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

            CIVITAS Training: Shared and inclusive mobility
            11 April 2016 - Bremen (Germany)

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

            Launch of Urban Transport Roadmaps policy tool
            13 April 2016 - Bremen (Germany)

            Low-Carbon Procurement in Practice
            19 April 2016 - Brussels (Belgium)

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

            CIVITAS Training: Urban Freight and the Sustainable City
            26 April 2016 – Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain)

            PPI4Waste International Workshop on Innovative Waste Solutions
            26 April 2016 – Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain)

            GREEN SURGE Stakeholder Dialogue Forum
            26 April 2016 - Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain)

            8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns
            27 - 29 April 2016 - Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain)

            Metropolitan Solutions
            31 May - 2 June 2016 - Berlin (Germany)

            5th Informed Cities Forum
            16 - 17 June 2016 – Dresden (Germany)

            Real impact through timber purchasing policies
            23 June 2016 - Rotterdam (The Netherlands)

            Open European Day at Bonn Resilient Cities
            5 July 2016 - Bonn (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:

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