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Welcome to the 3rd edition of the Informed Cities Update!
This newsletter will keep you up to date with the key developments within the Informed Cities initiative, which aims to make research work for local sustainability. The Informed Cities initiative is a European project dedicated to bridging the gap between research and policy-making in sustainable development, with a focus on tools for urban management. The Informed Cities Update is designed for local governments, researchers and other partners interested in advancing urban sustainability.
1 | Informed Cities news
2 | Upcoming events
3 | Improve your local sustainability processes!
4 | Opportunities to get involved
1 | INFORMED CITIES NEWS
|Only three months left to evaluate your local sustainability processes with our support|
Over 50 cities from 23 European countries have already confirmed their participation in the EU-wide assessment of local sustainability, coordinated by the Informed Cities initiative. Using well-established research-based tools for sustainable urban management, interested cities get valuable feedback on their performance and have the opportunity to benchmark their activities against those undertaken by other local governments.
|Cities and research: conclusions from national workshops|
Data availability remains a major problem for European local governments. Different indicators used across the EU, a lack of decentralization and difficulties in obtaining reliable data from private sector partners were cited as the most important obstacles in evaluating and benchmarking local sustainability performance.
|ICLEI to collect global Local Agenda 21 experience in preparation for the Rio+20|
The year 2012 will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) that took place in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. For local governments worldwide, this was the starting point of Local Agenda 21, initiated by ICLEI. Now that the United Nations are preparing for the Rio+20 Conference, again to take place in Rio de Janeiro in May 2012, it's time to take stock: What are the outcomes of two decades of local processes for sustainable development around the globe? What have cities learned, what have they achieved? What types of local governance processes deliver progress, and under which framework conditions?
|InContext: new project on behavioural change for sustainability|
No successful policies for a transition to sustainable development can be implemented without taking into account the challenge of behavioural change. What are the drivers and barriers shaping individual behavior, in relation to sustainable development?
2 | UPCOMING EVENTS
|Informed Cities Implementation Workshops: Finland, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Germany and France|
Local authorities’ representatives, interested in evaluating and benchmarking local sustainability processes, are invited to take part in one of the upcoming Informed Cities Implementation Workshops. Each of the workshops will gather a selected group of local authorities from one country or region and focus on exploring the methodological, practical and technical issues related to measuring and benchmarking sustainability performance.
The workshop in Madrid, Spain will take place on 16 February 2011. The workshop will be conducted in Spanish.
|Informed Cities European Roundtable, 20-21 January 2011, Milan (Italy)|
The second Informed Cities European Roundtable, to be held on 20-21 January 2011 in Milan (Italy), will gather the representatives of national institutions responsible for dealing with sustainability policies at the local level.
|Call for host: Informed Cities Forum 2011|
Following the huge success of the 2010 Informed Cities Forum in Newcastle (United Kingdom), cities and universities across Europe are invited to express their interest in hosting the second Informed Cities Forum, scheduled for October 2011. The Forum will convene some 150 participants, representing local governments, national governments and researchers from across Europe.
3 | IMPROVE YOUR LOCAL SUSTAINABILITY PROCESSES!
In this section you will find profiles of selected urban sustainability tools that will help you improve your local sustainability processes. All the tools featured here will be discussed in detail during Informed Cities events.
|SMART SPP LCC & CO2 emissions calculation tool for public procurers|
|Public purchasers aiming to be a step ahead of their energy and climate change targets can consider using their procurement procedures to further support the development of sustainable innovative technologies, and at the same time, keep financial costs at a minimum. The two principal outcomes from the European SMART SPP project, in terms of supportive guidance, have been developed with this intention in mind, and are both now available online for use by procurement practitioners. |
The project outcomes consist of a Guide, which presents a standard procedure designed to encourage innovative energy efficient solutions. It has a strong focus on the ins and outs as well as on the benefits of procurers actively engaging with the market (that is, suppliers and producers) before tendering takes place. Innovative, energy efficient solutions are technologies which meet the needs of the purchasing authority and are highly energy efficient.
The Guide is accompanied by a Tool (in Excel format, supported by a User Guide) that is designed for procurement decision-makers to calculate the life-cycle costs (LCC) and CO2 emissions of different products and service alternatives.
All materials are available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Danish (the Tool is also available in German) and can be downloaded here. Both the Guide and the Tool are beta versions and will be finalised in early 2011, following their use by the SMART SPP public authority partners in their innovation focused public procurement actions.
For more information, please visit SMART SPP project website or contact email@example.com.
|LAKS-CCP GHG inventory tool for local governments|
Global climate change is happening now, and is creating impacts at the local level – affecting people, local services, infrastructure and assets. Local communities must respond by reducing their climate impacts (mitigation) and by improving resilience to the inevitable changes (adaptation). ICLEI’s Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) Campaign is helping local governments in this fight by sharing practical approaches and tools to develop baselines and action plans that achieve results.
4 | OPPORTUNITIES TO GET INVOLVED
We want to invite you to be part of Informed Cities! Below you will find a short overview of the opportunities offered by the Informed Cities initiative. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
|Informed Cities for local authorities|
As a representative of a local authority, you will have the opportunity to discuss your needs and experiences with the leading European researchers in the field of urban sustainability management, access the latest tools and guidance, as well as get hands-on advice in using the tools that will support your sustainability process.Share your experiences in implementing sustainable local development with national and European partners, present your approach to evidence-based policy making and make your voice heard in the European debate on local sustainability.
|Informed Cities for researchers|
As a researcher, you will get a unique chance to present your tools and recommendations to the champions of local sustainability, as well as to the national institutions responsible for local sustainable development policies.
Through your involvement in the Informed Cities initiative, you will gain a better overview of the needs of local governments, receive critical feedback about the products you deliver and refine ideas for future research. You are also invited to contribute to the proposal of EU Reporting Mechanism on Urban Sustainability, based on data linking governance and policy outcomes in the field of sustainable development, to be delivered by the project.
|Informed Cities for national partners|
If your institution is concerned with coordinating and advancing local sustainable development policies, the Informed Cities initiative will support your work, offering a unique meeting place for researchers and local authorities from your country to develop new, more effective modes of cooperation.
Our aim is to encourage experience-sharing and networking on the European level, linking the Informed Cities initiative to the ongoing process of the Local Action 21 European Roundtable. Annual Roundtable meetings will also offer the opportunity to discuss the link between governance and policy outcomes in the field of sustainable development, based on the results of the explorative application and European Report on Urban Sustainability. These discussions are then expected to feed into the proposal for an EU Reporting Mechanism on Urban Sustainability.To find out more about this process and the opportunities it offers, please visit the Informed Cities European Roundtable section of the Informed Cities website.
The Informed Cities Initative is funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union under the name PRIMUS – Policies and Research for an Integrated Management of Urban Sustainability.
Pictures: cyclist from velovotee@flickr
Published by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, 2010