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30 July 2014

Walking buses in Siena teach children to travel more sustainably

ICLEI member Siena (Italy) will soon be seeing more children walking the streets after the City Council approved a motion to develop walking buses for the daily school run. A survey has been sent out to 36 primary schools in the area to promote the idea and gauge levels of interest locally. This kind of scheme provides a variety of benefits to the local community, encouraging greater social cohesion, cutting traffic congestion and decreasing air pollution.

The Pietina scheme will run along a pre-determined route with set stops for children to join the walking crocodile. A network of adult volunteers is being put together to accompany the children, made up of families, teachers and public officials. The walking bus is a safe, non-polluting and sustainable transport alternative to cars and buses. By walking to school every day, the children will get more regular exercise and a greater sense of road safety.

City councillor Massimiliano Bruttini, who proposed the motion, said: "In a healthy city it is particularly important to focus on new generations - not only in terms of environmental protection but also education. Through the implementation of awareness-raising activities a sense of belonging to the same environment can be achieved."

For more information, click here [in Italian].

29 July 2014

Earth Hour City Challenge: will your city inspire the World?

Cities and towns in Finland, France, Serbia, Spain and Sweden are invited to participate in the 2014-15 edition of the Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC). Run by WWF in collaboration with ICLEI and the Swedish Postcode Lottery, the EHCC initiative celebrates cities and towns that are taking actions to create a greener, cleaner and more sustainable urban environment, while inspiring other cities to do the same.

An international jury of experts is seeking cities that have recognised the climate challenge, and begun to measure and report their emissions. Innovation, ambition and local participation in the transition to a sustainable future based on 100 percent renewable energy will be rewarded by the panel. When evaluating applications, judges will pay special attention to the links between climate change actions and targets, and the speed at which cities are implementing a low carbon agenda.

Cities can register for EHCC directly online on the carbonn® Cities Climate Registry (cCCR) reporting platform or by filling in and sending the offline reporting sheet to The closing date for EHCC candidates is 5 September 2014. Cities desiring a quality check of their reporting data by ICLEI should deliver their reports by 23 August 2014. Recordings of previous webinars, presentations and guidelines for candidates (also in Spanish and French) are available online.

For more information, click here.

25 July 2014

Updated framework for harmonised emission reporting seeks user feedback

The draft second version of the Global Protocol for Community-scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GPC 2.0), a newly improved set of guidelines that makes it easier for local governments to measure emissions and compare their results with other cities, is seeking user feedback. City officials, practitioners and technical experts in the fields of energy, transportation, waste management, agriculture and forestry, are invited to comment until 18 August 2014 through contacting

Jointly developed by ICLEI, WRI, C40 and with additional collaboration by the World Bank, UNEP, and UN-HABITAT, the GPC harmonises emissions measurement and reporting processes for cities of all sizes, economies, and geographies, aiding them to develop better climate action plans and low-emission development strategies, and equipping them to make a credible case for accessing local and international climate financing. Its introduction in 2012 marked an unprecedented international consensus on GHG accounting and reporting emissions.

The GPC also aids cities using the carbonn Cities Climate Registry (cCCR), the world’s largest reporting platform on climate actions and commitments. Prior to the release of the second edition of the GPC, a nine-month pilot phase was held involving 35 cities. As a result of the testing, new content elements have been added, including information on multiple reporting levels to accommodate city differences in technical capacity and data availability, and guidance on processing multiple cities’ emissions data to ensure accurate and effective national level policies. To comment on the new GPC draft 2.0, please use the GPC Review Template or provide track-changes in the Word version of the GPC 2.0 draft for public comment.

For more information, click here.

17 July 2014

Public Procurement of Innovation Guidance

Public procurement of sustainable and innovative goods and services is one of the essential tools for stimulating new technological and service solutions while helping to create jobs and boost the competitiveness of European industry and SMEs. Procurement of innovation helps public authorities achieve more efficient and effective public services, provides solutions that reduce environmental impacts and are socially responsible.

The Guidance for Public Authorities on Public Procurement of Innovation provides easy-to-understand information for any public authority on how to procure innovation. The guide provides:
• An introduction to PPI in practice
• Practical information on how to procure innovation
• Guidance on developing a strategy for PPI
• Explanation of procedures, definitions and answers to common questions
• Case studies and useful resources for further reading

The guide is based on the 2014 EU procurement directives and is ideal for all stakeholders involved in PPI. Whether just starting out or simply looking to improve current procurement activities, every stage of involvement can benefit from this guidance.

Click here to have more information.

15 July 2014

Reducing the cost of climate change adaptation in cities

The RAMSES project has released five reports aimed at helping cities reduce the cost of their climate adaptation activities. The reports focus on project outcomes in a range of areas, including architecture and infrastructure indicators, cost typologies for buildings, local climate change projections, climate change losses and adaptation costs, appropriate decision-making processes and stakeholder engagement.

RAMSES - Reconciling Mitigation and Adaptation and Sustainable Development for Cities - is a five-year European research project which runs until 2017. It has been working with eight cities across four continents to develop and test transferability of adaptation tools and methods with the aim of quantifying climate change impacts and adaptation costs at the city level. Through these reports, it provides the evidence basis that will lead to reduced adaptation costs as well as a better understanding and acceptance of adaptation measures in cities.

Cities have been chosen as the focus of this work as their dense population concentrations make them both major polluters and vital catalysts for positive change. By developing methodologies in the three ‘focal’ cities and then transferring these tools to five ‘supportive’ cities, RAMSES is creating tools which are suitable for much wider use.

For more information, click here.

11 July 2014

EASME Conference considers funding for energy efficiency and renewables

In the current economic climate, achieving the European Union’s energy targets for 2020 will be a challenging task. The investments needed to improve energy efficiency and increase renewable energy production are significant. The public purse may not be enough to fund these initiatives. New methods of financing are required.

ICLEI members Barcelona (Spain) and Ile de France (France) are among eight cities sharing their experiences at a conference in Brussels (Belgium) during the European Open Days on 8 October. Organised by the European Commission Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), the programme focuses on the detailed presentation of eight successful projects across Europe which are developing new ways to set up and finance investments in public buildings, street lighting and housing.

This shift to innovative financing approaches is supported by the European Union’s Intelligent Energy Europe and Horizon 2020 programmes. Local and regional authorities have a key role to play in mobilising stakeholders, developing a project pipeline and creating the business case for attracting private investment. By inviting city and regional representatives to share their experiences, EASME is hoping to kick-start the move towards new local energy projects.

For more information, click here.

3 July 2014

Symposium considers the future of urban living in Europe

Nearly three quarters of Europe’s population currently live in cities and the urban population is predicted to continue expanding over the coming decade. Decisions made now in urban planning will have an enduring impact on the cities of the future. The Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) is hosting an international symposium on urban development which will consider the most effective strategies and models for developing quality of life and quality of space in our cities.

The Winterthur Urban Forum will take place from 27 - 29 November 2014 in celebration of the City of Winterthur’s (Switzerland) 750th anniversary. Focusing particularly on mid-sized cities in Europe, the conference will look at technical and architectural aspects of urban development as well as issues of identity, communication, self-determination, and participation in the context of development processes.

The symposium aims to reflect and advance the scientific discourse on these issues. It is open to the public of Winterthur and to other circles interested in urban development. Topics, including environmental, economic and social sustainability, will be considered in workshops, presentations and discussions, as well as through artists’ performances, exhibitions, and installations.

For more information, click here.


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