|TABLE OF CONTENT|
Welcome to the 5th edition of the Informed Cities Update!
This newsletter keeps you up to date with the key developments within the Informed Cities initiative, which aims to make research work for local sustainability. The 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 | Recent publications
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1 | INFORMED CITIES NEWS
|Informed Cities Forum and the way forward|
The second Informed Cities Forum concluded on 27 October in Naples (Italy), where it was reaffirmed that cities and researchers go together like mozzarella and tomatoes in an Italian pizza. Opened by the Mayor of Naples, Luigi de Magistris, the conference brought together over 150 local government representatives and researchers from 26 countries, showcasing excellent examples of ongoing cooperation and posing pertinent questions about the future of cities.
|New initiative to support strategic dialogue on urban sustainability|
Cities account for around 70% of global CO2 emissions and are major contributors to the overall ecological footprint. In order for cities to effectively face these challenges, it is essential for all concerned stakeholders, including local policy makers and researchers, to work together. The EU-funded 7th Framework Programme (FP7) project, URBAN-NEXUS, will, amongst other things, facilitate the process of bringing these stakeholders together, in view of reducing the overall ecological footprint of cities.Bringing together 13 leading knowledge institutes, research organisations and governmental agencies from nine EU countries, URBAN-NEXUS has been officially kicked-off with a meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria, held between 17 and 18 November 2011. Based on the review and synthesis of existing urban research, the project aims to develop a strategic dialogue and partnership framework to organise long-term collaboration with stakeholders in relation to three vertical thematic strands focused on adaptation to climate change, health and quality of life and sustainable land-use, and two horizontal cross-cutting strands, relating to integrated urban management and integrated information and monitoring. The main objectives of the project are to:
|Can community empowerment soften the blow of the financial crisis?|
In times of local government budget cuts and a withdrawal of the welfare state, individuals are asked to take more responsibility for their own environment. This poses all kinds of societal challenges and calls for new, innovative forms of governance to deal with these challenges. One such response is the Community Arena approach, where community members engage in a joint experimenting and learning process towards a sustainable way of life. Focusing on the innovative power of frontrunners and combining a long term vision with short term activities, the Community Arena approach is currently piloted in a number of European cities and neighbourhoods.
Interested in supportive environments for sustainable living?
|Researchers and cities to meet in Rio|
With the Rio+20 conference approaching, the UN member states, local governments and academic community, as well as other partners, are busy with the preparations. The Rio+20 Conference Secretariat has received almost 700 submissions to the compilation document that will serve as a basis to prepare a zero draft of the conference outcome. The proposals made by ICLEI on behalf of local governments worldwide have been presented at the Informed Cities Forum (read ICLEI submission or download the presentation).
2 | UPCOMING EVENTS
|Informed Cities Roundtable: Recommendations from Informed Cities initiative, 16-17 February 2012, London (UK)|
The upcoming Informed Cities Roundtable meeting will focus on discussing final recommendations coming from the Informed Cities initiative. Referring to information and examples collected throughout the project, the Roundtable participants will exchange experience on knowledge brokerage for local sustainability, addressing in particular the role of national governments and municipal associations in stimulating cooperation between cities and universities.
|CARE-North Final Event: Travelling the carbon-responsible way, 20-21 March 2012, Bremen (Germany)|
At a time when the North Sea Region is working to deal with the effects of climate change, traditional transport structures are continually increasing CO2 emissions, undermining other climate protection efforts. The Carbon Responsible Transport Strategies for the North Sea Area (CARE-North) project has developed innovative carbon reduction strategies for urban and regional transport, whilst improving accessibility.
|Resilient Cities 2012: 3rd World Congress on Cities and Adaptation to Climate Change, 12-15 May 2012, Bonn (Germany)|
In only two editions in 2010 and 2011, the Resilient Cities series has asserted its position as a milestone event in the field of urban resilience and climate adaptation. The 2012 edition will provide you with the keys to smarter infrastructure, better urban planning and state-of-the-art tools that will improve the future of cities. Debates at Resilient Cities 2012 will focus on the following themes: Urban Risk, Resilient Urban Design, Resilient Urban Renewable Energy, Resilient Urban Logistics, as well as on Financing the Resilient City.
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. Interested in presenting your experience with urban sustainability management tools? Would you like your tool to be featured in the next edition of the Informed Cities Update? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
|CATCH: Online knowledge platform for sustainable low carbon urban mobility choices|
In order for cities to encourage climate-friendly decision making amongst their citizens, they must first understand how to present knowledge to citizens. The CATCH project (funded under FP7) is delivering an online knowledge platform aimed at:
To achieve these aims, the CATCH platform provides information on the impact that city transport systems have on a range of social, environmental and economic indicators, as well as policy examples of how negative impacts can be reduced and overall city performance enhanced.The platform includes a set of engaging visualisation tools enabling users to assess the environmental performance of their cities. Users access and interface with a wide range of sustainable performance indicators (not just greenhouse gas data and transport data) and information in order to:
For more information visit carbonaware.eu
|Sustainable NOW: Step-by-step guide to local energy action planning|
Following the official completion of the Sustainable NOW project at the end of the summer, a 20-page brochure presenting the project’s results has been published. It collects experiences of partners in developing their local sustainable energy action plans (known as LEAPs or SEAPs) whilst introducing newcomers to the concept.
4 | RECENT PUBLICATIONS
In this section you will find our reading recommendations for those interested in local sustainability. We choose publications that are both theoretical and practice-oriented, that are bold and provocative and that are accessible to a broad audience. Would you like to see your publication featured in this section? Contact us at email@example.com.
|“Environmental Management Systems in Local Public Authorities”, Martin Jungwirth|
The European regulation Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) has been in use since 1995 and was revised in 2001. The study deals with the development of the regulation both on a European as well as a national level, analysing EMAS in modern local public administrations in the UK and Germany. The author has structured a quantitative analysis based on the different political and institutional settings and comes to the conclusion that the organisational processes are mostly dependant on the leading and dominant figures within each organisation.
|“Keeping track of our changing environment: From Rio to Rio+20”, UNEP|
The environmental changes that have swept the planet over the last twenty years are spotlighted in a new compilation of statistical data by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), released in a report entitled “Keeping Track of our Changing Environment: From Rio to Rio+20”. Through data, graphics and satellite images, the UNEP report offers wide-ranging information on a number of key issues, including population, climate change, energy, resource efficiency, forests and land use.
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.
Published by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, 2011