|TABLE OF CONTENT|
Welcome to the 8th edition of the Informed Cities Update!
1 | News
2 | Upcoming events
3 | Improve your local sustainability processes
4 | Recent publications
This edition of the Informed Cities Update is part of the InContext project that aims to identify the framework conditions enabling societal transition towards an ecologically sound, economically successful and culturally diverse future.To find out more about InContext activities and results, visit the project website at incontext-fp7.eu
1 | NEWS
|InContext workshops: From public participation to co-creation|
The Reality Check Workshops, held in Milan (Italy) on 7-8 November and in Cracow (Poland) on 3-4 December 2012, gathered a selected group of local government representatives, researchers and other interested actors from a number of European countries to discuss the future of public participation and the role of local governments in supporting bottom-up sustainability initiatives.
Experts from the Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT) introduced the principles of transition management and presented the experience of communities working with this approach, including Rotterdam (Netherlands), Ghent (Belgium) and Finkenstein (Austria). In a number of interactive exercises, the participants discussed the possibility of adapting the transition management approach to their local context, sharing their experiences with regard to bottom-up initiatives.
|InContext pilot projects: The power of vision in Finkenstein|
The core of the pilot study in the Austrian village of Finkenstein is the Community Area, 15 engaged citizens with a certain interest in sustainable development and the welfare of their community. This group of citizens with quite diverse backgrounds developed a common vision for a good life in Finkenstein.
A good life is understood as a way of living that is based on the needs of the people, but also is more sustainable and leads to a decrease in resource consumption. According to the various specific interests of the Community Arena participants, ten different working groups have been installed where measures are being developed that contribute to achieving the vision and more citizens have been invited to join the common effort.
The topics of the working groups range from sustainable local economy to energy, from mobility to local culture, from systemic analysis to participation and social life. Some of the Community Arena participants got inspired to engage in local politics in order to realise long-term actions, some are involved in local working groups to realise short-term actions. The common vision inspires more and more people, connects them to each other and empowers them to make a change now for the future of their region.
|Incontext pilot projects: A transition experiment in Carnisse|
In the InContext-pilot area of Carnisse (Rotterdam, the Netherlands) researchers of Drift are monitoring a “transition experiment” that focuses on the preservation and re-opening of the local community centre.
The community centre was closed as of the 1st of January 2012 and a group of residents, entrepreneurs, artists and professionals are trying to re-open the community centre in a self-sufficient manner. This experiment is an action-oriented spin-off of the Community Arena process where perceived problems were identified and a future Carnisse was envisioned.
|Exploring the role of regions in socio-ecological transition of Europe|
With a start-up workshop in April 2012, a cutting edge scientific workshop focusing on European governance and the problems in peripheral countries in July 2012, and the first policy brief published in November, the WWWforEurope project started with an impressive momentum that reflects the need for a new approach to EU economic governance.
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2 | UPCOMING EVENTS
|Drivers, passengers or bystanders? The role of local governments in addressing societal challenges, InContext Training Workshop. 29-31 January 2013, Rotterdam (Netherlands)|
The training focuses on the role of local governments in local transitions towards sustainable lifestyles and a low-carbon society. Participants will be introduced to the idea of transitions for a better understanding of how change happens. More importantly, the participants will have the chance to experience a transition management process as one of the means of addressing societal challenges and influencing the direction of change. Setting out on a journey into the year 2050, the participants will explore the future of urban governance and reflect on the role that they as local government representatives, but also as citizens, can play in bringing about more sustainable cities.
|7th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns (ESCT), 17-19 April 2012, Geneva (Switzerland)|
Over 1,000 European local government leaders, as well as representatives from institutions and NGOs will convene in Geneva to seek new and creative answers to the global financial crisis in the context of sustainable development and international and local governance.
|3rd Informed Cities Forum & InContext Final Conference, 6-7 June 2013, Berlin (Germany)|
Mark your calendars to make sure you don’t miss the third edition of the Informed Cities Forum, an interactive and inspiring conference that brings together urban researchers and practitioners interested in local sustainability.
This year’s edition, organized as the final conference of the InContext project, will have a special focus on the role of the community in designing and accelerating the transition to sustainable lifestyles and low-carbon society.
High-level speakers, representing the research community, European, national and local policy-makers, as well as grassroots initiatives, will discuss the experience of the InContext project and its transition arena approach, an interesting example of cooperation between citizens, researchers and local governments.
3 | IMPROVE YOUR LOCAL SUSTAINABILITY PROCESSES
|Coming soon: Reference Framework for European Sustainable Cities (RFSC)|
The RFSC is an online toolkit for European local authorities which are involved in, or are willing to start, a process of integrated and sustainable urban development. The toolkit was created at the request of the European ministers for urban development, who recognised the vital role of cities in the achievement of a smart, sustainable and inclusive Europe.
|Start your local energy action planning with the Covenant capaCITY Training Platform|
The Covenant capaCITY Training Platform is a free online platform for local political representatives and municipal staff, and it aims to provide local governments with short and easy-to-understand training modules focusing on eight key issues relevant to local energy action planning. The Platform was developed by experts (energy, local governments, and adult education) in the Covenant capaCITY project, co-funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) programme.
4| NEW ON OUR BOOKSHELF
|“Going green: How cities are leading the next economy. A global survey and case studies of cities building the green economy”, LSE Cities/ICLEI/GGGI 2012|
The Going Green report provides an up-to-date overview on the experiences of how cities around the world are making the transition to the green economy and offers recommendations for those local governments that would like to become green economy frontrunners.
|“Cities and Biodiversity Outlook”, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity 2012|
CBO – Action and Policy provides the summary of a global assessment of the links between urbanization, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. Drawing on contributions from more than 120 scientists and policy-makers from around the world, it summarizes how urbanization affects biodiversity and ecosystem services and presents 10 key messages for strengthening conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in an urban context.
This edition of the Informed Cities Update is financed by the InContext project, funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union.