ICLEI European Secretariat

ICLEI European Secretariat



News (March, 2017)


31 March 2017

Open European Day to look at climate adaptation solutions

As European citizens enjoy the first sunny days of spring, city planners and climate experts reflect on last winter’s flooding and storms and consider the heatwaves that are likely to hit European cities this summer. Open European Day at Bonn Resilient Cities will bring European cities together to discuss their common challenges and share their successful solutions in a uniquely interactive event that sees cities taking centre stage and sharing cases from their most recent experiences in a conversational format.

Innovation, co-creation and transformation in cities are the three main themes for the event and will frame the opening plenary, facilitated by organisers ICLEI Europe and the European Environment Agency, and with contributions by the Committee of the Regions, DG Clima, DG Research and the European Investment Bank.

The event will include interactive workshops where cities will present a real-life challenge and participants will explore solutions to these challenges. On the topic of innovation, participants will discuss examples from Bologna (Italy) and Lisbon (Portugal) of innovative financing for climate adaptation. Guimarães (Portugal) will share its experiences with innovation in multi-purpose nature-based solutions. On the topic of co-creation, Athens (Greece) will contribute to discussion on citizens as drivers of change, Greater London (UK) on adaptation and social inclusion, and Vagos (Portugal), Valka (Latvia) and the Life DERRIS project will discuss co-creation with research and business.

Bratislava (Slovakia) and next year’s European Green Capital of Nijmegen (Netherlands) will share their impressions of how transformation manifests in a physical sense in their cities. A final Covenant of Mayors session on city transformation through administration will include contributions from Bilbao (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark).

Attendance at the Open European Day is free of charge to cities and registration is now open.

For more information and to see a draft programme, visit the Bonn Resilient Cities website.

30 March 2017

IUC encourages cities to apply for China pairing programme

European cities who wish to exchange with a city facing similar challenges in another global region are encouraged to apply for the International Urban Cooperation (IUC) city-to-city cooperation programme on sustainable urban development. The programme aims to foster links between EU cities and those in China, Latin America and the Caribbean, India, Japan, and North America.

Through the programme, local leaders will be able to connect and gain new perspectives on pressing sustainable development issues. Submissions for pairings with Chinese cities (Chongqing, Shantou, Zhengzhou, Changchun/Jingyue, Longyan) are open until 10 April 2017.

Successful candidates will be paired with a city that faces related challenges, allowing both parties to build cooperation and share knowledge. Representatives from each city will take part in study tours, staff exchanges, and trainings and seminars, and will together develop a local action plan to drive sustainable urban development.

Local leaders can apply to take part in the programme through filling in the application form.

For more information, click here or contact grambelli@iuc-europe.eu
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29 March 2017

Zaragoza to replace 39 vehicles with electric cars

The City of Zaragoza (Spain) has replaced 39 conventionally fueled vehicles with electric cars as part of their commitment to reducing harmful emissions. The department of Transport carried out a study on the vehicles to be replaced in the municipal fleet resulting in a Multiannual Renewal Plan. This plan has an economic endowment of 1.5 million euros to be executed in three years (2017, 2018 and 2019) and is part of the 2020 commitment to reduce CO2 emissions.

This is the most ambitious fleet renewal in recent years and will affect 67 percent of future vehicles acquired by the city council, ensuring that they are zero emission vehicles. The change will primarily affect cars and light vehicles (small freight vans).

The plan is currently in the drafting phase. The first vehicles are expected to be purchased in the second half of 2017.

For more information, click here (Spanish)

28 March 2017

European Commission offers cities a say in Urban Water Agenda 2030

The European Commission’s DG Environment is looking for cities willing to contribute to the strategy development of the upcoming Urban Water Agenda 2030 (UWA2030). Through the UWA2030 initiative, cities will gain visibility for their commitment to sustainable urban water management and readiness to apply innovative solutions in the field of water resources, systems and services.

Recognising the strengths of local action for sustainable urban water management, the European Commission seeks to engage cities in accelerating the implementation of EU water policies and legislation, in particular the EU Water Framework Directive and the Floods Directive. This work will contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6 on Access to Water and Sanitation, and 11 on Sustainable Cities and Communities.

Following a tender procedure, ICLEI and EUROCITIES were selected by the European Commission in February 2017 to prepare a strategy and work plan for the UWA2030. The European Commission is setting up a core group of cities that will be regularly consulted on these matters between April and October 2017.

By participating in the UWA2030 core group, cities gain a unique opportunity to have a say on the strategic direction of the UWA2030. The Terms of Reference outlines the expected role and contribution of core group members as well as the process for joining the group. Cites interested in becoming a member of the UWA2030 core group should express their interest by contacting barbara.anton@iclei.org by 7 April 2017.

For more information, download the terms of reference.
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24 March 2017

UrbanWINS launches online agora to discuss waste prevention and management

UrbanWINS, an EU-funded project aiming at developing and testing methods for designing and implementing eco-innovative strategic plans for waste prevention, has launched its “UrbanWINS agora”, a participative virtual community to share knowledge and discuss ideas on the topics of waste, resources and innovation.

The UrbanWINS agoras facilitate citizen and other stakeholder feedback into the project, as well as encourage and promote brainstorming among participants, co-creation of the solutions, and a shift towards more sustainable consumption and production patterns. The UrbanWINS agoras are accessible through the project website - www.urbanwins.eu/online-agora.

The project team has also developed a video to present UrbanWINS, its approach and goals so that all potential stakeholders can learn more about the urban metabolism model and the different possibilities to engage with the project through the participatory mechanisms. The UrbanWINS website offers different resources, such as the “Sector Watch”, a highly targeted source of information for public procurers working in the waste sector.

To view the video, click here.

23 March 2017

CIVITAS Forum conference issues call for exhibitors and sponsors

The CIVITAS project has opened a call for exhibitors and sponsors for this year’s annual CIVITAS Forum conference, which will take place from 27-29 September 2017 in Torres Vedras (Portugal). The call invites applicants to demonstrate urban mobility tools, methods, and experience at one of the most significant sustainable urban mobility events in Europe.

The successful applicants will participate in Deployment Day: a full day in the centre of the programme (28 September 2017) featuring exclusively an array of interactive activities and presentations. This new feature of the conference will be a hub in which local practitioners, policy makers, researchers, academics, consultants, and businesses come together to share or learn about one another’s urban mobility tools, methods and experiences.

Refer to the call for exhibitors and sponsors to learn more about Deployment Day and some suggested formats for your contribution. Creative proposals are encouraged. Submit a proposal by 8 May 2017 to present your tool, method, or experience. We look forward to receiving your proposal and organising an event that showcases your work.

For more information, visit civitas.eu
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22 March 2017

ICLEI calls on local and regional governments to achieve access to water and sanitation for all

On the occasion of World Water Day 2017, ICLEI, UCLG, GWOPA and the World Water Council have released a statement declaring that "the responsibility for Sustainable Development Goal 6 on access to water and sanitation for all falls principally to local authorities and cannot be achieved without good local governance, the sustainable management of natural resources and effective urbanisation."

"Effective local-level water management is critical to the achievement of many of the important global agendas that have been adopted by the international community, together with local and regional governments and their associations, over the past two years," continues the statement, referencing the Sustainable Development Goals, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the New Urban Agenda.

To achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6, it is recommended that local and regional governments apply the principles of good governance, link water and waste water management, use a fair tariff system to regulate water demand, and manage water at local and regional level by keeping needs and multiple uses in the wider catchment in mind. Local governments are further encouraged to create widespread public awareness about the value of water including so-called ‘waste’ water, in order to treat it as a precious and limited resource.

Politicians must also accept that long-term investments in water may yield benefits only after local elective mandates. The statement ends by praising the work done so far: "On the occasion of World Water Day, we would like to recognise the efforts that have been made by local and regional governments around the world, particularly in small municipalities, to ensure their communities get access to sanitation services. We congratulate them and encourage them to continue their work and efforts."

For more information, read the full joint statement, available in English, French, and Spanish.

21 March 2017

ICLEI Members Malmö and Brussels receive sustainable mobility awards

In an awards ceremony hosted last night at the Théâtre de Vaudeville in the heart of the Belgian capital, ICLEI Members Malmö (Sweden) and Brussels (Belgium) were recognised for their outstanding work in advancing sustainable urban mobility. Malmö was awarded the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award for its long-term focus on active transport modes such as cycling and walking. The 5th Award for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning was given to Brussels (Belgium) for its successful freight strategy. The awards were presented by Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport, and Daniel Calleja, Director-General for Environment.

"I'm inviting cities to come on-board and work with us, to help Europe meet its ambitious climate objectives. I would like to congratulate this year's finalists who showed that greener and smarter urban mobility is already possible. I was particularly impressed by the long-term strategies developed by Malmö to encourage active travel and by Brussels on sustainable freight. I hope they can inspire many others," said Commissioner Bulc. "We have great candidates and great role models for sustainable mobility at this award ceremony," said Director-General Calleja. "Shifting towards sustainable and shared modes of mobility is at the centre of great opportunities, particularly for improving quality of life and growing our economy sustainably."

The ceremony followed the first day of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Workshops, which kick off the preparations for the 2017 edition of the campaign under the theme of clean, shared and intelligent mobility, as encapsulated by the slogan “Sharing gets you further”. Malmö overcame stiff competition from fellow finalists Lisbon (Portugal) and Skopje (former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), while Brussels edged out Budapest (Hungary) and Stockholm (Sweden).

For more information, read the press release.
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20 March 2017

Be the Heat Pump City of the year

The Heat Pump City of the Year Award recognises the most efficient, smart and sustainable heat pump project at the local level. In the context of its involvement in two low carbon heating and cooling projects (Heat Roadmap Europe 4 and THERMOS), ICLEI is well placed to lend its expertise as member of the jury.

Launched in 2011 by the European Heat Pump Association, the award aims to give visibility to cities active in decarbonising their heating and cooling sector and to put the spotlight on cities and regions that have implemented an energy efficient project incorporating a heat pump. The competition is calling for sustainable heat pump examples from single residential, commercial and industrial buildings. The level of integration in thermal grids and with other renewable technologies, such as solar panels, will be considered.

The competition is open to cities and regions, national associations, and individuals. The deadline for application is 7 April and the winner will be awarded during the DecarbHeat2017 event, which will take place in Brussels (Belgium) on 11-12 of May.

For more information about this year’s edition and details of how to apply, visit hpcy.ehpa.org.

17 March 2017

Smarticipate video captures citizen collaboration in Rome

A new video produced by the smarticipate project gives an overview of the discussion between the City of Rome and citizens at the Rome “Smartathon”, an event to showcase and explore how the smarticipate online urban planning platform could be improved. The three minute video includes interviews with project partners from the City of Rome and participants at the event.

“Smarticipate will benefit from what our stakeholders bring to the table today. They will tell us what is good and what isn't, and this will help our scientific partners to refine and improve, and in the end create a truly participatory tool,“ said Ms. Rosella Caputo, Manager of the Urban Planning Department of Rome.

Ms Flavia Marzano, City Councillor for Technology and Innovation in Rome, believes that initiatives that put policymakers and citizens in contact are useful for two primary reasons: to increase interaction and awareness, and to increase mutual trust. "If I listen and my voice is heard, my confidence increases," said Ms. Marzano.

To view the video, click here.
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16 March 2017

Transformative Action Award open for submissions

Cities, regions and civil society organisations are invited to submit their applications for the first ever Transformative Action Award. The award recognises ongoing or concluded innovative local and regional initiatives that achieve a socio-cultural, socio-economic and technological transformation of societies by using the pathways identified in the Basque Declaration. Applications can be submitted until 19 June 2017.

The jury is particularly looking for innovative transformative actions that inspire others. The winner of the award will be recognised as a leader of sustainable urban transformation in Europe, and will be presented with a promotional video, a trophy, and the right to use ‘Transformative Action of the year 2017’ for promotional purposes.

The winner will also be showcased on the Sustainable Cities Platform; gain promotion through ICLEI Europe’s website, e-newsletter, social media channels and press contacts; and gain free entry and a presentation at the next European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns, expected to take place in 2019. The Transformative Action Award Ceremony will take place in October 2017. To submit an application, complete the Transformative Actions online form.

For more information, click here.

9 March 2017

European Commission reveals sustainable mobility city champions

The European Commission has revealed the finalists of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award 2016 and 5th Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning (SUMP) Award on urban freight. The winners of the two awards will be announced by Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport and by Daniel Calleja, Director General of DG Environment during an award ceremony to be held in Brussels (Belgium) on 20 March 2017.

The finalists for the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award are Lisbon (Portugal), Malmö (Sweden) and Skopje (former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). Lisbon scored well for making its public space available to pedestrians, while Malmö’s main focus was on bicycles as a sustainable means of transport. The jury also pointed out that the car-pooling service in Skopje helped its residents save money and protect the environment. The EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award aims to showcase local authorities that demonstrate significant efforts in promoting sustainable urban mobility.

The SUMP Award aims to reward local authorities that have succeeded in developing a mobility plan addressing the diverse transport needs of people and businesses and, at the same time, improving quality of life. The 5th SUMP Award focuses on integrating the movements of goods and services in sustainable urban mobility planning. The jury announced three cities as finalists: Brussels impressed the jury with its innovative logistics schemes; Budapest (Hungary) stood out for successfully integrating freight transport within the overall mobility strategy; and Stockholm (Sweden) was appreciated for its strategy stimulating the local economy while limiting the adverse impact of urban freight.

For more information, visit the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK website.
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8 March 2017

New EU research tool makes energy planning for governments easier

An EU-funded research project has launched a tool that allows European governments, businesses, consultants, academics, planners and energy enthusiasts to assess thermal resources and thermal demand in any given region. The Pan-European Thermal Atlas (Peta4), launched yesterday in Brussels (Belgium), is an interactive online map of the heating and cooling demand, efficiency and supply in Europe. Created by the Heat Roadmap Europe (HRE) project, it provides visual and technical data for heating and cooling projects, giving users an appropriate analysis tool and easier access to relevant data.

David Connolly, HRE project coordinator, said: “For years, power plants, industry, and waste incinerators all across Europe have been throwing away enormous quantities of heat and for the most part, this has gone unnoticed. Peta4 enables policymakers, planners, suppliers and researchers to identify hotspots so they can replace the energy created by fossil fuel boilers with this excess heat instead. This tool will help save money, carbon emissions, and energy consumption. Cities can meet their EU energy targets while also cutting costs for consumers.”

Peta4 covers the 14 EU member states that are part of the Heat Roadmap Europe project. Developed by project partners at Halmstad University, European University Flensburg, and Aalborg University, it creates maps with specific and realistic data on the location and scale of heat demand and excess heat, which will facilitate the development of energy system solutions across Europe. Users can search for a specific location, to analyse the feasibility of a project in an area and assess where, for example, district heating or heat pumps could be economically viable.

For more information, visit www.heatroadmap.eu/maps.php

7 March 2017

San Sebastian mayor hails cities as the ideal scale for developing resilience

Eneko Goia, Mayor of San Sebastian, Basque Country, welcomed the Smart Mature Resilience project to San Sebastian City Hall on 6 March 2017, emphasising that “cities are the ideal scale for working on resilience”. Resilience-building is crucial to San Sebastian, as the coastal city is already experiencing the consequences of climate change, particularly flooding. As the mayor joked: “The sea wants to recover all of those places we took in the past!” The project is developing a new Resilience Management Guideline, which helps cities to make the right decisions and implement policies to build resilience. The guideline is designed to be useable by all European and global cities. Resilient cities support one another and bolster each other’s ability to recover from shocks and stresses.

“We are building the boat and sailing,” said project coordinator Jose Mari Sarriegi, Tecnun, University of Navarra. The project partners, scientists and cities of San Sebastian, Glasgow (UK), Kristiansand (Norway), Bristol (UK), Vejle (Denmark), Rome (Italy) and Riga (Lativa) are collaborating closely to develop the project tools. Two of the tools are now available for use by cities: the Resilience Maturity Model and the Resilience Information Portal. A Risk Systemicity Questionnaire has been developed and tested in cooperation with the project cities, which will be launched in the coming months.

The final two tools, the Resilience Policies Portfolio and the System Dynamics Model, are under development. The System Dynamics Model is a game-style simulation programme that allows users to explore the effectiveness of implementing different resilience policies, helping to show which kinds of policies should be implemented in which order as the ideal trajectory towards a resilient city. The project partners and stakeholders tested the model during the San Sebastian meeting, providing developers with feedback to integrate into the final version of the tool.

For more information, visit www.smr-project.eu.
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6 March 2017

ICLEI European Membership Assembly 2017 to look at urban transformation

The Brussels Capital Region (Belgium) will host the ICLEI European Membership Assembly 2017 on 17-18 May. The European Membership Assembly is a forum for exchange of innovative solutions and explorative debates with peers. It is an exclusive event for ICLEI Members, offering the opportunity to learn about, debate and influence ICLEI’s strategic ideas.

The event will focus on the potential impact of cities when implementing the sustainable development agenda, and the degree to which the local level can enhance the ambition of other governmental levels. Other topics under discussion include questions such as how to deal with post-truth tendencies, and to what extent do current societal anxieties and insecurities create an obstacle for necessary transformation. The Assembly relates to the “Basque Declaration” that was acclaimed during last year’s European Sustainable Cities and Towns Conference and which focuses on 15 transformative pathways.

This year the programme will be organised around two panels with different topics including urban development, decarbonisation, (digital) economy of the future, sustainable transformation and societal cohesion. The panels will be followed by roundtable discussions, to which members may still input until 17 March by completing this form. The assembly will end with a mobile workshop on 18 March, focusing on the challenges and opportunities for transformation in practice. If you are an ICLEI Member and you wish to register for this free event, click here.

For more information, please contact events.europe@iclei.org

2 March 2017

Call for urban mobility change-maker cities

The Urban Electric Mobility Initiative (UEMI) and the urban mobility SOLUTIONS Network are calling for cities from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America to become involved as leading city, take-up city or training participants.

The SOLUTIONS Network and UEMI are looking for take-up cities to work together on the implementation of sustainable urban mobility measures. As part of urban implementation actions the team now works with cities to assess the opportunities for e-mobility concepts in their wider sustainable transport strategy.

The mission of the SOLUTIONS and UEMI partnerships is therefore to support the take-up of innovative sustainable urban mobility solutions in cities across the world and foster the integration of urban electric mobility solutions into sustainable transport concepts. This activity is part of the EU-funded project FUTURE-RADAR. All activities within the context of the initiative will take place between May 2017 and May 2020.

The call is open until 30 April 2017. For more details on the process and the application form, visit the UEMI website.
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