|TABLE OF CONTENT|
Welcome to the 6th 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
|Towards a new mode of cooperation between research and local policy-making|
It is almost three years since the kick-off meeting of PRIMUS (Policies and Research for an Integrated Management of Urban Sustainability), a project behind the Informed Cities initiative. Meeting in Freiburg in May 2009 to start working on bridging the gap between research and policy-making for local sustainability we knew we were on to something important. As the project comes to a close in April 2012, we have no doubt that this is just the beginning of a long journey.
The results of explorative application of the Urban Ecosystem Europe indicator set will be available on an online platform that allows for comparisons of different aspects of urban environmental quality in 53 cities across Europe. The platform will be launched in May 2012.
|EMI and ICLEI launch survey on urban sustainability in cities|
In order to gauge the sustainability priorities and views of European cities, the European Metropolitan network Institute (EMI) and ICLEI have jointly launched a digital questionnaire on urban sustainability. Cities are asked to fill out the questionnaire before the end of April so that results can be used in further developing EMI’s Urban Sustainability Research Agenda. The main aim of this Agenda is to, together with cities, identify new, overarching research questions so cities can become (increasingly) sustainable.
|Cities and researchers to work together on urban biodiversity|
Launched in January 2012, the URBES project is a transdisciplinary collaboration project between 11 top research institutes in Europe and New York, as well as four urban case study areas, Stockholm, Rotterdam, Salzburg and Berlin.
The project addresses significant scientific knowledge gaps on the role of urban biodiversity and ecosystem services for human well-being. It will pioneer the development of the TEEB- approach in an urban context and be innovative in integrating monetary and non-monetary valuation techniques, explore their governance implications and develop guidelines for implementation in urban landscapes. The project is funded by biodivErsA, a network of pan-European funding organisations. ICLEI together with IUCN is taking over the brokerage role between science and practice. Therefore, capacity development instruments such as fact sheets and trainings workshops will be developed. The first fact sheets will be available in summer 2012. The trainings will be available for all European local authorities throughout 2013 and 2014.
|Creating a space for ideas – a community arena approach to improve quality of life and sustainability|
Finkenstein is a community of 8,500 inhabitants in Carinthia, Austria, bordering Slovenia and close-by Italy. Finkenstein is characterised by internal differences like the contrary demands of the two dominating economic sectors industry and tourism, as well as the mixed cultural background of the Slovenian- and German-speaking Austrian population. These particularities make Finkenstein especially interesting for exploring conditions enabling societal transition towards an ecologically sound, economically successful and culturally diverse future. Therefore it has been selected as one of the action research pilots within the EU-funded InContext project, to be done by SERI.
Creating a more sustainable community through strengthening social cohesion is a central common issue at this stage of the project, where a spirit of optimism has taken hold of all participating parties. In line with the project, a group of local entrepreneurs installed a task force to collaborate and help implement the citizen’s visions.
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|Knowledge brokerage and Rio+20 on the agenda in London|
In February 2012 the European Roundtable for Local Sustainability met in London, UK, to discuss the recommendations coming from the Informed Cities initiative and exchange on the state of national preparations for the UN Rio+20 Conference. The participants highlighted the need to broaden the understanding of cooperation between researchers and policy-makers, moving from knowledge transfer to a co-production of knowledge and including local community as an important source of knowledge. There is also a need for better evidence on the advantages of cooperation between cities and universities, e.g. based on the analysis of existing examples.
2 | UPCOMING EVENTS
|Adaptation Strategies for European Cities: Stakeholder Dialogues May-July 2012, Aalborg (Denmark), Burgas (Bulgaria), Ancona (Italy)|
Adapting European cities to climate change is one of the most significant challenges of our century, and only through an integrated adaptation strategy and the involvement of all relevant stakeholders can cities be prepared to tackle climate change.
|ICLEI World Congress 2012 and 3rd International Urban Researchers’ Symposium 14-17 June 2012, Belo Horizonte (Brazil)|
The ICLEI World Congress 2012 will be held in Belo Horizonte, Brazil from 14 to 17 June 2012. Closely linked to the UN Rio+20 conference, the ICLEI World Congress 2012 will chart the way forward for local governments and their partners to a more sustainable and prosperous future. The programme will be based on ICLEI’s eight strategic goals and will showcase the vast work of ICLEI Members on advancing sustainability. Participants will learn from inspirational speakers and real-life city cases about cutting-edge integrated solutions to the challenges we face.
|EcoProcura 2012: New opportunities to deliver sustainable procurement and innovation, 19-21 September 2012, Malmö (Sweden)|
The eighth conference in the EcoProcura series will take place in the Swedish city of Malmö and will focus on how public procurement can stimulate the broad uptake of new technology and become a driver for the green economy and social responsibility. The conference follows the 2009 event held in Reykjavik (Iceland), which saw public authority delegates pledge to use their vast economic purchasing power to help fight climate change by boosting the market for climate-friendly products and services.
|Local Renewables 2012: Cities and regions explore smart grids and smart solutions 25-26 October 2012, Freiburg (Germany)|
The fifth Local Renewables Conference focuses on the combination of locally generated renewable energy, smart grids and smart end-users. The interconnection and need for close cooperation between cities and regions is essential in this context. The participants are invited to explore the potential of using information and communication technology (ICT) and energy storage in smart grids, using renewable resources to the fullest extent. Becoming a low carbon and a 100 percent renewable community is challenging, but possible.
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
|CHAMP Capacity Development Package for Integrated Management|
In order to help local governments to address climate change in a holistic and effective way, while ensuring sustainability at the same time, the Integrated Management System (IMS) was developed. It is designed as a cycle that consists of five steps and two cross-cutting issues. By following these steps, the local government ensures that all sectors and levels are considered and directed towards sustainability. Annual repetition of the cycle provides for the possibility to adapt the cycle to new circumstances and to learn from experience.
|CLIMATE-ADAPT European Climate Adaptation Platform|
The European Climate Adaptation Platform is a publicly accessible, web-based platform, designed to support policy-makers at EU, national, regional and local levels in the development of climate change adaptation measures and policies.
To be able to take the necessary decisions on how best to adapt, it is essential to have access to reliable data on the likely impact of climate change, the associated socio-economic aspects and the costs and benefits of various adaptation options. The Commission's 2009 White Paper on Adaptation emphasised that a lack of knowledge is a major obstacle to the development of successful climate change adaptation responses.
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.
|“Governance by evaluation for sustainable development. Institutional capacities and learning”, edited by Michal Sedlacko and André Martinuzzi, Edward Elgar, UK 2012|
This book presents lessons on how evaluation studies and systems forward the agendas of sustainable development and good governance. It also examines how political-administrative realities affect the design and use of such evaluation studies as well as the institutionalisation of monitoring and evaluation systems.
|“Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing”, UN High-level Panel for Global Sustainability 2012|
In August 2010, Secretary-General Ban-Ki-moon launched the High-Level Panel for Global Sustainability, with a mandate to reflect on and formulate a new vision for sustainable growth and prosperity, along with mechanisms for achieving it. The Panel was composed of 22 members drawn from government, the private sector and civil society and co-chaired by Finnish President Tarja Halonen and South African President Jacob Zuma.
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