NEWS - JUNE 2013

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Slicing the Mobility Pie in Africa's Cities
The research wing of the non-profit think tank Future Cape Town has produced an infographic that provides valuable insight into the mobility patterns found in some of Africa's largest cities. Less sustainable options are growing, raising concerns.
"The majority of cities in Africa depend on public transport, the highest being Kigali and Kampala with approximately 80% and 61% of the population respectively," found the researchers. "However public transport in Africa is dominated by the operations of the informal sector, for example minibus taxis in South Africa and Okadas (motorcycle taxis) in Nigeria. This shows that government funded public transport is not adequate for the populations living in African cities."
"The use of non-motorized transport is the second modal group after public transport." However, the researchers note that, "[t]hese modes of transport are shrinking rapidly, as cities become bigger and harder to manoeuvre through."
"Private motorised transport, though the most unsustainable is growing rapidly in Africa," they conclude. "It is still the least used mode of transport but as incomes rise, car ownership has the potential to increase."


Citizen Debate Day “Football, Culture and Prevention” in Liege
On 19th June, actors in the field of prevention, researchers in human sciences, sports professionals and representatives of Civil Society came together in Liege to participate in a Citizen Debate Day on Sport, Culture and Prevention. This European event celebrated 25 years of Fan Coaching, and was introduced by a debate and film evening on 18th June.
This Citizen Debate Day is incorporated within the framework of the European Forum of Urban Security’s initiative “Sharing the Manifesto”, which aims to encourage a dialogue between local European authorities, Civil Society and other stakeholders (including the private sector) in the urban sector on questions of security.


Should Cities Eliminate Free Parking for the Disabled?
Ongoing research from the University of California Transportation Center documents the detrimental effects that free street parking for the disabled has on city coffers and performance pricing systems. Is it time to reconsider such laws.
"There is no good way to ask this without sounding like a jerk, but here it is: Do disabled people really need free parking?" asks Emily Badger. "Yes, they need convenient parking spaces. But cities all over the country have oddly conflated drivers in need of close curbside access with people too poor to pay for it. The two groups are not necessarily one and the same. Worse, free parking for the disabled invites all kinds of wildly offensive misuse. As a result, the policy is arguably bad for urban parking systems, definitely bad for city coffers, even bad for the environment."
"The best evidence we've seen for this politically touchy case comes from some fascinating ongoing research out of the University of California Transportation Center, by Michael Manville and Jonathan Williams." Badger examines the findings reported in an article published by the two in ACCESS, the transportation center's magazine.
"Manville and Williams aren't arguing that we should abolish disabled parking all together. Rather, they argue that there's no good reason to make it free, and plenty of reasons not to."


Special Report - Sustainable Food in Urban Communities, Better food for better lives
Sustainable, healthy food is a hot topic in Europe, and a new URBACT project is now tackling this vast subject. When horsemeat was recently revealed to be present in a wide range of European processed beef products, consumers were angry and mistrustful.  This latest food scandal to hit Europe has given a new relevance to the URBACT project Sustainable Food in Urban Communities. As it begins its implementation phase, we find out what its aims are, and what challenges are faced by its partner cities.


'What cities want': urban mobility planning for the future
EUROCITIES members feature in new study on urban planning for mobility
With the UN forecasting an 85% rise in the global urban population by 2050, cities are planning ahead on how to manage the increasing urban traffic.
Transport and energy company MAN therefore commissioned the Technical University of Munich to produce a study on how 15 international cities intend to design and manage their urban traffic in future. The study features four EUROCITIES members: Copenhagen, London, Lyon and Munich.
The cities included in the study all share the goal of developing ecological, efficient and sustainable transport solutions for their growing populations, but the challenges faced by the cities are varied.
Copenhagen, for example, already has a strong track record when it comes to cycling. The city intends to build on this by providing its citizens with improved cycling infrastructure: new technology and faster, more direct routes. This is an integral part of the city’s vision of becoming CO2-neutral by 2025.
Munich, meanwhile, is a city of commuters. It boasts a well-developed public transport network and its roads are relatively free of private vehicles. But as the volume of commuters grows, it anticipates an overloaded network: at peak times the underground and ground-level trains already often reach capacity. As well as tackling this by extending the network, it also aims to become a cycling city, like Copenhagen, but has some way to go. A first step is the construction of ‘bike and ride’ facilities promoting multimodal commuting.
The study explores ways that cities coming from different starting points are working to draw citizens away from the private car and towards more ecologically-friendly modes of transport, and also how they are working to improve the quality, infrastructure and sustainability of their public transport networks and facilities.


45 Top Mayors Pledge Action on Extreme Weather
Forty five leading local elected officials have committed to creating more resilient cities, towns, and counties in the face of unprecedented extreme weather and energy challenges that threaten communities across the country. The “Inaugural Signatories” of the Resilient Communities for America Agreement letter pledged to take cost-effective actions to prepare and protect their communities from the increasing disasters and disruptions fueled by climate change, such as heat waves, floods, droughts, severe storms, and wildfires. In addition, they called for more action and support from federal leaders.


EC-wide multimodal information and integrated ticketing
DG MOVE organised a workshop on 12 June in Brussels to introduce a new study on EU-wide multimodal information and integrated ticketing
The purpose of study is to analyse the market to understand the supply and demand for pan-European travel information.  The study is lead by Amadeus and involves a wide range of partners from transport operators (mainly rail) and the travel industry. The study will:
-  assess the market today, its projected growth and drivers for future development (technological socio-economic etc);
-  develop two scenarios: one based on a market-based approach and the other involving EU political intervention;
-  analyse the economic and social impacts of the scenarios (cost-benefit analysis, societal benefits, etc) and the potential barriers and limitations
The study to be completed by November 2013 and the next workshop will most likely take place in December.


D-100: 100 days to celebrate 100 years
The countdown starts today! In just 100 days the international municipal movement will celebrate its first centenary. The UCLG World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders in Rabat, taking place in the Moroccan capital from the 1st to the 4th October 2013, will be the largest gathering of local and regional elected representatives from all over the world, with over 3000 participants from all over the globe. The forthcoming Congress in Rabat will therefore be a fitting moment to celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of the international municipal movement. The movement begins in Gand (Belgium) in 1913 with the creation of Union Internationale des Villes (later named the International Union of Local Authorities in English). United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) became the direct inheritor of this movement when, in 2004, it was created as the result of a fusion of three key organizations of the international municipal movement, most notably: International Union of Local Authorities, United Town Organisation (FMCU-UTO) and Metropolis. Understanding the historical perspective of local and regional authorities is essential to understanding the objectives and the essential role they play in the global political agenda today. Given that this year's Congress coincides with the centennial celebration of the international municipal movement, UCLG is calling upon all its partners, members and the general public to participate in this exceptional event by sharing interesting material and testimonies linked to this topic. All these elements will be brought together and compiled for presentation before participants at the Congress. The Centenary is just one of the many ways in which the Congress in Rabat will be participative. The Congress website is open for comment, from the blog (featuring posts from experts linked to the topics of the Congress), to each of the news and press release items. Furthermore, the four key topics featured on the Congress programme will be freely open for discussion prior to the event through social networks. As from September, the issues that will be addressed during the Congress will be opened to the public, topics such as: fostering wellbeing, strengthening solidarity among territories, supporting new local governance and diversity. These online debates will be the reference for the physical debates that will take place in Rabat from the 1st to the 4th October. Follow UCLG activities and Congress updates on Twitter @uclg_org and #Rabat2013, and on Facebook and Linkedin. News on the Centenary can be found on this section of the Congress website and through the hash tag #UCLG100.
To benefit from the early bird registration fee, check:


UCLG Executive Bureau in Lyon highlights the importance of making the Rabat Summit inclusive
The UCLG Executive Bureau took place in Lyon (France) from 5 - 7 June and was organized jointly by the City of Lyon and the Rhône-Alpes Region. Lyon represented the last major milestone for UCLG statutory bodies before they meet at the World Summit in Rabat from 1-4 October.
The Executive Bureau focused on preparations for the upcoming 4th World Congress of UCLG, which will see the renewal of the Governing Bodies and the adoption of a new work plan for 2014. The Executive Bureau confirmed the decision to hold the 2014 World Council in Haikou. It proposed 17 - 19 of June as provisional dates for the 2014 Executive Bureau in Liverpool, and confirmed Porto Alegre as the host of its meeting in 2015.
UCLG highlighted the special efforts it is undertaking to make the Congress inclusive, extending it beyond UCLG and its membership to include the private sector, civil society representatives and development partners. The Lyon meetings were attended by around 270 participants from 37 countries.
Culture in the UCLG Agenda
The Executive Bureau concluded that UCLG has played an important role in promoting culture in the global development agenda, building on the work of the Culture Committee. Thus, there will be a revision of the Agenda 21 for Culture in order to make it more relevant to current realities. Work will be conducted to include culture in the post-2015 agenda as specific objective.
Updates on GOLD III Report
Members were also called to contribute to the dissemination and promotion of GOLD III, which will be presented in Rabat, and encouraged to use it as an advocacy tool during debates on the Post MDGs Habitat III Agendas.


UN-Habitat to organize a ministerial conference on cities and climate change
UN-Habitat will soon organise a ministerial conference to be held under the theme "Supporting Small Island Developing States Responses to Cities and other Human Settlements coping with Climate Change and Sustainable Land Use".
With the overall aim to foster SIDS (Small Island Developing States) response coordination and advocacy activities at technical and ministerial levels, this initiative to be embedded within the overall Partnership for Sustainable Development of SIDS, in contributing among others to the success of the 2014 SIDS Conference, is to be held in Samoa.


The Urban Climate Governance Survey: Be Part of It!
The MIT-ICLEI Urban Climate Governance Survey is in full swing. ICLEI would like to strongly encourage all of its members to participate!
With your help the survey will pinpoint what can be done to make your climate change work easier and more effective. All respondents will qualify to win 1 of 3 new iPad tablets, and hundreds of local governments have already participated. Has yours?
Conducted by Dr. Alex Aylett from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the UCGS combines attention to institutional, technical, political, and economic factors. This makes it the first survey of this scope and scale to study how local governments worldwide design and implement climate change policies.
The results of the survey will be used to further develop ICLEI’s Low-carbon City programs. By providing a detailed view of what makes climate policies effective at the local level, it will also serve as a guide for developing future tools and resources to assist local governments in their emission mitigation work.
For more information, contact or Dr. Aylett at

Local governments are essential to a successful development agenda after 2015
The United Nations are discussing new development goals beyond 2015*. Debates are oriented to the way forward towards new development objectives and the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) is actively contributing for these objectives to be adapted to the local situation.
At a meeting held in New York 28 May 2013**, CEMR secretary general Frédéric Vallier, said that municipalities, cities and regions are among the main stakeholders of development. “Health, poverty reduction, equality or education are some of the issues where municipalities and regions have the expertise and responsibility to implement the development agenda beyond 2015”, Vallier stated at the UN headquarters where he met worldwide representatives of local authorities. 
CEMR and its global organisation, the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), are pleased that, for the first time, the idea of local governance is taken into account and included in international debates on this subject.
In a message addressed after his nomination to advise UN secretary general on development challenges***, UCLG president and mayor of Istanbul, Kadir Topbas, highlighted the crucial participation of multilevel authorities in this process: “The collaboration and consensus with local and central governments, non-governmental organisations and our precious citizens, will bring us the most accurate and rapid solutions”.


UCLG DAL Committee launches the fifth issue of D+ Magazine
The Decentralisation and Local Self-Government Committee launches the fifth issue of D+ Magazine, a tool for the dissemination and discussion of topics related to decentralisation and local governance. The UCLG DAL committee, chaired by the Government of the Province of Barcelona, brings together more than one hundred local governments from all continents. Its main objective is to strengthen decentralisation and local self-government in order to contribute to local good governance and government efficiency in all regions of the world, to ensure the provision of better services to citizens. This latest magazine number includes, among others, an article on urban growth and its financing as a key development issue in Africa and an interview with Mr. Fatallah Oualalou, Mayor of Rabat and President of the Local Finance and Development Committee of UCLG. It also refers to the decentralisation policies implemented in Cambodia and Macedonia, and the reforms that are taking place in Tunisia after the Arab Spring. Moreover, it describes the local dimension of the Europe 2020 strategy. Finally, the “best practice” section presents DeLoG, a development partners working group on decentralisation and local governance. D+ Magazine is published in four languages - Catalan, Castilian, English and French. Copies can also be requested by sending an email to the Secretariat of the Committee:


EC-wide multimodal information and integrated ticketing
DG MOVE organised a workshop on 12 June in Brussels to introduce a new study on EU-wide multimodal information and integrated ticketing


European cities need standards for sustainability and resilience
Experts clarified the relation between the concept of sustainability and resilience at the resilience at the Open European Day.
Could a session be more complete and thorough? It's difficult to imagine.
Bernard Leservoisier for the Afnor Group pointed out the key questions around the main topics of the urban adaptation: resilience and sustainability. One point in common, they said, is that these concepts are not absolutely the same thing - they are interdependent.
João Dinis from Cascais city made an interesting introduction to explain the difference between these two concepts: "Sustainability is the way to use resources for a safe future at different levels: social, economic and environmental; on the other hand, resilience is a recent concept that concerns building materials, but means creating stronger cities using better materials. As we can see, there is a direct connection and both are related to cities where people live and they are at the same time the final roots of climate change issues and the most contributors to emissions".
"Climate change is not the only enemy, " remarked André Muller from the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban affairs and Spatial Development: "Cities have to be resilient against the economic changes that depend on climate motes and both have social consequences".
The goal is to be sustainable and to be resilient. But how and why?
Even if it is easy now thinking about the goals such as becoming more efficient for a better future life and, not less important, being more competitive, the real challenge is thinking about how, in political and economic words.
Wolfgang Teubner from the ICLEI Europe and Bern Hoermann from Sheffield city used a key word:  investment.
"Thinking on a standardization of content and tools. It's not a cost but a responsibility and an indispensable investment for ourselves and for all the future generations".
Nico Tillie, City of Rotterdam concluded: "We are in a competition with time so we need to step up to design new cities in the long run. "
Report by Iole Vicinanza, communications assistant at ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability


From Crisis to Choice: Re-Imagining the Future in Shrinking Cities 
How to regenerate shrinking cities? This is the key challenge tackled by the paper "From crisis to choice: re-imagining the future in shrinking cities"part of a series of six new URBACT thematic reports "Cities of Tomorrow: Action Today". Written by Dr Hans Schlappa and Professor William J V Neill, this report calls for a new realism with regard to urban regeneration in areas affected by socioeconomic decline, and for a paradigm shift with regard to approaches towards regenerating cities affected by shrinkage.


ECOSTARS Europe nominated for EUSEW Award
Polis members CDV, Edinburgh and Rotterdam have set up the ECOSTARS fleet recognition scheme, and have been nominated for the Sustainable Energy Europe (SEE) Award. The Award recognises outstanding projects in energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and clean transport.


Dutch High-Speed Rail Dream Turns to Disaster
A multi-billion dollar project to expand high-speed rail service between Amsterdam and Brussels has been derailed by malfunctioning trains, costing the head of the Dutch national rail company his job and threatening an international imbroglio.
Only a month after it began operations late last year, the Netherlands had to suspend its Fyra high-speed service due to a raft of technical problems with V250 trains bought from an Italian company - AnsaldoBreda. Now, after months of trying to fix the problematic trains, the Dutch have ditched them, and are asking for their money back.
"The failure of the Fyra high-speed line has led to threats of legal action between the railway company and the manufacturer, and the dispute could drag in the Dutch, Belgian and Italian governments," report Matt Steinglass and Giulia Segreti in The Financial Times. "The cancellation of the Fyra order calls into question what the Dutch plan to do with their HSL-Zuid high-speed line, built by the state from 2000-09 at a cost of €6.4bn," they add.
While finding another manufacturer to provide new trains is one option, it could take years to complete the process.


Montreal makes a plea for culture
Before the Members of the United Nations, the Ville de Montréal today made an important plea for culture as an indispensable pillar of development. The presentation was part of a debate on culture and development convened in New York by the President of the General Assembly, Vuk Jeremic, in the presence of Secretary-General Ban-Ki moon.
On behalf of all members of the United Cities and Local Governments  (UCLG),and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Ville de Montréal and responsible for culture, heritage and design, as well as Co-Chair of the UCLG's Committee on Culture, Élaine Ayotte urged the UN General Assembly to include a goal specifically related to culture in its Agenda for Post-2015 Development. She also appealed for greater cooperation between policymakers involved in culture and development.


Migrants vital for city growth
Cao Wei, 34, feels lucky to have his son's company.
His 7-year-old son always does his homework in the lobby of the building where his father works as a gatekeeper since the 8-sq-m basement is too small for a desk.
High housing prices in Beijing dwarf his and his wife's income, about 3,500 yuan ($563) per month.
"I don't expect to buy an apartment in Beijing, but we don't want to move back either. We plan to live in Zhengzhou (capital city of Central China's Henan province) after my son goes to college. I have two sisters there," Cao said.
His son goes to a public primary school nearby, but Cao wonders if the capital city will relax its education policy to allow his son to attend the university entrance exam.


ICLEI highlights Urban Food System on World Environment Day
Every year on 5 June, the World Environment Day is celebrated worldwide to raise global awareness of the need to take positive action and make political commitment in protecting our environment. This year, the theme is ‘Think.Eat.Save’. With the world’s annual food waste reaching to 1.3 billion tones – equivalent to the amount of food produced in sub-Saharan Africa, this UN’s anti-food waste and food loss campaign aims at promoting the reduction of global foodprint.
To mark the day, ICLEI captures experts’ views on the topic of Urban Food System– one of the key features of Resilient Cities 2013 – the 4th Global Forum on Urban Adaptation and Resilience just concluded on 2 June 2013.


Cities lay claim to climate agenda
EUROCITIES pressing for more visibility in the fight against climate change
Our member cities are pressing for a stronger and more visible role at the COP 19 conference and associated events later this year. EUROCITIES and Warsaw have issued a joint press release underlining the work that cities are doing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency and drive sustainable green growth and employment. The press release points to cities deserving greater recognition and support from national governments for their role in combatting climate change.
Today three out of four people in Europe live in cities, and global projections for 2030 are that six out of every ten people will live in an urban environment. European cities account for 80% of greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. Clearly European and global climate targets will not be met without action by and with city governments, businesses, NGOs and citizens. “The biggest share of energy savings and CO2 reductions on the way to 2050 will be made in our cities”, as Sir Albert Bore, chair of EUROCITIES Environment Forum and Leader of Birmingham City Council, pointed out.
The increased risk of flooding is one of many effects resulting from changed weather conditions that cities have to adapt to. But cities are well aware of the challenge, with the president of EUROCITIES, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, stating: “European cities are already taking action.” A number of our member cities already have climate adaptation strategies in place that involve issues such as water management or green infrastructure for climate adaptation.
To read more about EUROCITIES’ work on tackling climate change, please click here.


Improving urban services - ADB lends $99.1m to Sindh
Asian Development Bank has agreed to lend $99.1 million to improve water supply, sanitation and solid waste management facilitates in eight north Sindh cities. It aims to support urban services for more than 6m residents of Jacobabad, Ghotki, Khairpur, Larkana, New Sukkur, Rohri, Shikarpur and Sukkur.
ADB has completed Tranche 1 of the program in these cities which need funds for infrastructure development. The cities are experiencing rapid population growth and severe deficit of reliable urban infrastructure resulting in major health and hygiene problems.
North Sindh Urban Services Corporation Ltd (NSUSC) will run the project over 2013-17 in coordination with Planning & Development Department.
Total funds for SCIIP 2 are $139.8m of which two ADB loans will finance $99.1m. These are: $74m from ADB’s special funds and $25.1m from ADB’s ordinary resources. G/o Pakistan will provide $40.7 m.
Tranche 1 has successfully introduced local government owned and professionally managed independent urban utility company to address the mounting water supply and sanitation challenges.
It will promote citizen participation and support for sustainability and efficiency of the urban services. SCIIP 2 also supports institutional reforms to provide investments into urban services and infrastructure and develop capacities of new institutions.


Resilient Cities 2013 ends with a call for bottom-up change
"Integrated solutions was the answer at Resilient Cities 2013. How should cities move towards adaptation and resilience to climate change was the question [...]
Every year, since 2009, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, with the City of Bonn, and other partners has been organizing the Resilient Cities Congress in Bonn, Germany. The Congress brings together local government leaders and climate adaptation experts from around the world. It serves as the meeting ground for innovative ideas, strategies for resilient urban planning and knowledge sharing. Sessions and forums were convened with the support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Rockefeller Foundation and Siemens. Resilient Cities 2013 saw 528 participants, among whom there were 117 local government representatives from 60 cities.


2013 a key year for towns, cities and regions throughout the world
For a vision of territorial solidarity at national and international level: towns, cities and regions responding to new challenges at the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders in Rabat.
2013 will be a decisive year for towns, cities and regions all over the world. From 1 - 4 October 2013, United Cities and Local Governments will hold its fourth Congress and Summit of Local and Regional Leaders in the city of Rabat, Morocco. The Congress will coincide with the run up to the tenth anniversary of our World Organization’s Founding Congress in Paris in 2004.


UN Secretary General: political spaces for local authorities to be nurtured
"It is often said that, like all politics, all development is ultimately local.  As the world strives for a more sustainable path in the years ahead, particularly beyond 2015, local voices and local action will be crucial elements in our quest.
That is why I welcome the creation of the Global task force of local and regional governments. The task force will provide important inputs for post-2015 development planning and for efforts to articulate a set of goals for sustainable development. It will also help us prepare for the 3rd UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, Habitat III, scheduled to take place in 2016.
As these processes unfold, it is crucial to preserve and nurture political spaces where local authorities can have an impact on decision-making at the global level.  "


Rwandan Town Takes Top Honors at CNU Charter Awards
A student project to radically rethink housing projects on New York’s Lower East Side and a holistic approach to a Rwandan village took top honors at the 2013 CNU Charter Awards, announced this week at CNU 21 in Salt Lake City.
University of Arkansas Community Design Center / 2013 CNU Charter Awards
Architect Doug Farr, who chaired the jury selecting the awards this year from a couple of hundred entries, said at the awards presentation that "This year’s winners are a world apart from any narrow impression of New Urbanism. The winners are global, sustainable and tactical, visionary and incremental, and? are tackling the issues of today’s world."
The student project, from University of California, Berkeley student Momin Mahammad, proposes revitalizing a stretch of housing projects on the Lower East Side of Manhattan by restoring the street grid through the open spaces and filling in strategically with new mixed-use development - all while preserving the much-needed affordable housing.
The Kigali project departs in many ways from what one considers new urbanism, with modular, simple building structures and a unique plan that takes advantage of the hillside environment.


Historic Preservation Analysis Reveals Positive Impact on Communities
According to the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Main Street Iowa program is accomplishing its mission of helping Iowa communities use their historic downtowns and neighborhoods as effective vehicles for economic development. A recent analysis of the economic impact of Main Street Iowa programs found that there has been net growth in new businesses every year for the past quarter century in Main Street Iowa districts.

Rapid Growth in Immigrant Population Brings Policy Challenges to Singapore
Singapore’s multicultural identity is a source of pride for this highly globalized city that attracts a growing population of new immigrants, expat professionals and low-skilled migrant workers. Experts Brenda Yeoh and Weiqiang Lin (National University of Singapore) share insights on the impact and future challenges of new immigration policies for the Migration Policy Institute.


City to City Barcelona FAD Award 2013 Winners
The Jury has decided to recognise Glasgow for the candidature Stalled Spaces as the winner of the City to City Barcelona FAD Award 2013.
Through this award, the Jury recognises the city’s efforts to promote the temporary uses of abandoned lands in the city, transforming them into spaces managed by the community to favour an urban revitalising process; for empowering the people to take over the spaces; for the dynamism and temporary nature of the actions, involving an exemplary management structure of how to take over a space and place it centre stage; because it is a financially viable initiative that contributes to the creation of communal spirit, social cohesion and to putting down roots. The jury has emphasised the fact that this is not an isolated initiative but rather forms part of the Local Development Plan for the City, the Glasgow Open Space Strategy and the City Council Strategic Plan 2012-2017, seeking, through the improvement of the spaces open to the citizens, to activate the economy and the vitality of the community.
And with the aim of recognizing the diversity of candidatures the jury has also decided to award two mentions, to Cape Town for the Abalimi Bezekhaya- Farmers of Home, and to  Malmö for Augustenborg - Green Roofs and Stormwater Management.


Partnership for Sustainable Communities Identified as a Model for Collaboration
The Urban Institute has been studying the HUD-EPA-DOT Partnership for Sustainable Communities to increase understanding of how the federal government could break down institutional or political barriers to cooperative and collaborative efforts. Their findings suggest that focused efforts like those used by the Partnership can, indeed, help break down silos within the federal government.


ICLEI Completes Urban Resilience Toolkit as ACCCRN Scales Up to New Countries
ICLEI has finalized a new guide and toolkit aimed at helping municipal governments in Asia build City Resilience Strategies to cope with the growing impacts of climate change as part of its engagement with the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN).
A number of municipal bodies in cities not previously associated with ACCCRN have already committed to undergo training on use of the new toolkits and to embark on year-long programs to create City Resilience Strategies, representing significant expansion of ACCCRN initiatives to new geographies.
The new municipalities involved include Barisal Municipal Corporation, Singra Municipality and Mongla Municipality in Bangladesh; Shillong Municipal Corporation, Leh Municipality and City Corporation of Panaji in India; Quezon City and Makati in the Philippines and Sukabumi and Cimahi cities in Indonesia.
The ICLEI-ACCCRN Guide and Toolkit is one of the first products to emerge from a US$1.75 million grant extended to ICLEI, one of the key partners involved with ACCCRN, by the Rockefeller Foundation in November of last year.
Since 2008, the Rockefeller Foundation has supported ACCCRN, a 9-year initiative aimed at building climate change resilience among vulnerable and poor urban communities in Asia.
The ACCCRN program began with 10 core cities in four Asian countries (Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and India). ICLEI is using its grant to directly engage up to 40 new cities in India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Bangladesh to plan similar urban climate change resilience interventions.
“The Rockefeller Foundation and our partners are committed to building a more resilient future. With the completion of the new Guide and Toolkit, this marks an important milestone in efforts  to scale up ACCCRN initiatives to more cities and new countries everywhere so that they can prepare for and enable a swifter recovery to shocks and stresses that are only going to increase in frequency and scale,” said Heather Grady, Vice President of Foundation Initiatives at the Rockefeller Foundation, speaking at the Resilient Cities 2013 4th Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation in Bonn, Germany on 31 May.

Polis and H3B Media join forces for exciting "Thinking Cities" multimedia project
Polis, the network of European cities and regions for innovative transport solutions, and H3B Media, publishers of Thinking Highways magazine, are pleased to announce the launch of a joint venture multimedia project, Thinking Cities.
Thinking Cities is a print and online publication, a tablet app, a website, a podcast and a webinar series, focusing on shaping thought in intelligent innovation in transport for cities and regions. The magazine will be launched at the 2013 Annual Polis Conference in Brussels on 4 December.
Never before have urban and regional planning authorities had so much information and data at their disposal. Shaping integrated strategies addressing economic, social and environmental aspects requires access to and exchange of information as well as the right framework for making the best use of it. The keys to the truly Thinking City are now at the fingertips of those responsible for the design, planning and integration of our urban spaces and regions.
Thinking Cities brings together the vision, the tools and the technology cities and regions need to find sustainable solutions that answer the challenges deriving from demographic development and climate change, and to successfully implement their policy agenda. Thinking Cities editorial content is divided into four distinct areas, supporting Polis' central pillars:
•  Environment and Health in Transport
•  Mobility, Multimodality and Traffic Efficiency
•  Transport Safety and Security
•  Social and Economic Challenges of Transport
"Thinking Cities will give cities and regions a central platform for European and international exchange. It will allow them to move towards the centre of debate, and to engage in the discourse about new and sustainable transport solutions in cities and regions," says Polis Secretary General Sylvain Haon. "Thinking Cities is an exciting opportunity for Polis and its members as it will help stakeholders understand the central role local and regional authorities play in achieving transport innovation."
For more information on Thinking Cities please contact Dagmar Röller from Polis at or Kevin Borras, editor-in-chief at
A landing page for the website, is online now and the full site will be launched in due course, featuring details of forthcoming Thinking Cities-related events. A media pack is available upon request.


Swedish cities: ambitious and planning for the future
In Sweden, municipalities have widespread authority over local land use, also referred to as a “planning monopoly”. Responsible for land and water management, they produce binding municipal development plans and issue building permits in compliance with these plans.
In the rapidly-growing city of Stockholm, brown-field sites close to the city centre with good transport systems are considered valuable areas : the municipality requires the land to be reused in order to contain urban sprawl and preserve green spaces on the outskirts. This policy has led to a complete revitalisation of abandoned industrial sites that have been converted into modern and energy-efficient residential and business communities.


EU policy options for climate and energy beyond 2020 (2013)
In 2009, the EU climate and energy package with targets for 2020 were formulated. For the period after 2020, however, there are no legally binding targets at the EU level, except for a decreasing ETS cap which will not be sufficient in light of the ambition for 2050. This leads to uncertainty for market players, as project lead times are long and high upfront investments need to deliver returns well beyond 2020. In its Green Paper on a 2030 framework for climate and energy policies, the European Commission recognised the need for clarity regarding the post-2020 policy framework. Currently under discussion is whether the approach for 2020 should be continued towards 2030 in the form of three more stringent targets or that other approaches would be more appropriate.


Call for cities and regions to apply for E-Visionary Award
The E-Visionary Award is presented by the World Electric Vehicle Association (WEVA) to recognize cities and regions for their initiatives to support the uptake of electric vehicles and for making Electric Mobility a reality in the lives of their inhabitants. Deadline to apply is 1 September.


Cycling Barometer: ECF launches a new benchmark for the promotion of cycling in Europe
The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) has launched a new benchmarking report which provides a multi-dimensional view on cycling in all 27 EU countries.


UN-Habitat joins forces with International Tunnelling Association 
UN-Habitat and the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen their collaboration in urban drainage management. The MOU was signed by the Executive Director of the association, Mr. Olivier Vion, and Mr. Andre Dzikus, the Coordinator of Urban Basic Services at UN-Habitat.


UN-Habitat and UNIDO to promote cleaner urban industries and technologies 
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) will work closely to promote cleaner urban industries and technologies, as well as sustainable human settlements for the poor and low-income people.


4D Cities Project discusses how to capture business in the field of health
How to create a new productive sector which contributes to the diversification and enhancement of the economic activities and social cohesion of territories? 4D Cities is an URBACT project that aims to develop cities through the interaction of the actors which operate in the fields of Health and Innovation such as the knowledge and professional training, the healthcare system, the business and the citizens. The eight European cities participating in the network met in Eindhoven (Netherlands) on 28 and 29 May 2013 for deepening their knowledge in economic development linked to the health sector.


Thomas Fabian: give cities more say in social affairs
An interview with Thomas Fabian, deputy mayor of Leipzig, on social affairs and the EU
Thomas Fabian, deputy mayor of Leipzig and vice chair of our social affairs forum, was in Brussels this week to speak at a high level conference on poverty and social exclusion. The event on 29 May 2013 was organised by the Committee of the Regions and looked at the role of cities and regions in delivering the EU’s policy of reducing poverty and social exclusion by 2020.
Thomas Fabian answered a few of our questions about the work currently taking place in the social affairs forum and gave us his thoughts on what the EU could do to help cities.


Riots in Sweden – insights from local citizens
As riots seem to have calmed down in Stockholm, European newspapers try to make sense of the troubled incidents in the country that is known for its openness and model social state. EUKN interviewed citizens from the greater Stockholm area to ask them about their view upon this uban issue: urban planner Britt Olofsdotter, and Nina Edström and Mikael Morberg, from the Multicultural Centre - a forum and meeting place for research and artistic expression relating to migration and social and cultural diversity.–_insights_from_local_citizens


Youth unemployment: time is running out and our national governments need to take action!
Ahead of the EU summit to be held on 27 and 28 June 2013, European municipalities and regions and their representative associations call* on member states to kick-start the fight against youth unemployment and ensure.that the unspent European Social Fund money be used to fund concrete youth employment actions.
The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) has put forward a proposal for a European initiative, called EU Starter, which would offer a year of work experience in a public institution or non-profit organisation to 1 million young Europeans.
Not taking action on youth unemployment directly hinders economic recovery: the financial cost at EU level amounts to an astonishing 1.21% of GDP or an annual loss of €153 billion. We are already facing a lack of confidence vis-à-vis our governments and the European project, which will only get worse as the crisis deepens and unemployment increases.
It is high time for the EU institutions and national governments to put the fight against unemployment at the core of their agenda and to take the necessary steps towards concrete action.  Our EU Starter initiative would help prevent the rise of youth unemployment – currently at 5.7 million unemployed between the ages of 16 and 27 – by integrating 1 million young Europeans into the labour markets.


Connecting the dots in financing resilience
As Resilient Cities 2013 came to an end, ICLEI gathers mayors, funders, foundation representative, economist, researcher, urban and climate change specialists on the last day of the congress to discuss the challenges and strategies in financing urban resilience – an issue that 85% of cities worldwide surveyed in the MIT-ICLEI 2012 report reflect is of critical challenges.
Chaired by Konrad Otto-Zimmermann, Chairman of ICLEI Urban Agendas, the panel discussion was particularly focused on the partnership with the private sector, capacity building at the local level, developing mechanisms and tools for financing cities’ overall infrastructure, pooling capital to fund projects from multiple sources, and providing learning platform for local governments to get technical assistance and knowledge on financing.


WHO launches Pedestrian Safety Manual
The Pedestrian Safety Manual, jointly developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the FIA Foundation, the Global Road Safety Partnership and the World Bank, provides practical information on how to plan, implement and evaluate a pedestrian safety programme.


Youth call for more engagement in local government 
The Commonwealth Local Government Young People’s Forum (CLGYPF) took place on 13-14 May 2013 at the Munyonyo Conference Centre, Kampala, Uganda in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Local Governments Conference (CLGC) .


Gothenburg congestion charge fulfils expectations (Sweden)
Europe’s newest experience with congestion charging has reduced peak hour traffic by 20%, but it may soon face a citizens’ referendum since a protest against the charge has mustered a reported 50,000 signatures.


Urban planning as key priority in addressing risk and disasters 
The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Dr. Joan Clos co-hosted a mayors’ lunch during the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva on 22 May, with noting concern the increasing trend globally of diminishing finance for local authorities combined with increasing demand arising from urbanisation defines a 'perfect storm' for urban failures.


Intermediary cities at a global scale
Are you aware that in 2011, cities with fewer than 500,000 inhabitants accounted for about 50% of the world urban population?
Cities with populations ranging between 500,000 and 1 million were equivalent to 10.1 % of the world urban population. In conclusion, cities with fewer than 1 million inhabitants account for 61 per cent of the world urban population. (World Urbanization Prospects The 2011 Revision. United Nations)
In the global urban context, the growing gap between intermediary cities and large metropolitan areas and cities is evident. The lack of adequate planning strategies in the former requires a response from researchers and practitioners, particularly as these cities are expected to make up much of the urban growth in Southern countries, resulting in an unprecedented demand for services.


Neighbourhood walks for public safety and security
A safety and security walk is a survey method for public safety developed in Gothenburg in which people from a local community and representatives of local associations, politicians and the police, go together for a walk in the neighbourhood. An inventory is made of the locations that are felt to be insecure, the circumstances contributing towards the problems, and of proposed solutions.

Urbanization : Catalyst or Impediment for Women’s Empowerment 
A side event at the UN-Habitat’s Governing Council and convened by the Huairou Commission  examined how women are taking advantage of the urban landscape.


Dresden continues to green tram lanes to improve the urban climate
In the mean time, over 29 Kilometer of the 270 Kilometer urban rail network has been covered with grass. This means that the Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe AG is providing the city with an additional 110.000 sqm of green surface.

Dr. Clos gives keynote address at international transport meeting 
UN-Habitat Executive Director, Dr. Joan Clos, on Sunday delivered the main keynote speech on the occasion of the 60th World Congress and Mobility & City Transport Exhibition in Geneva.


Key Messages of the Series of URBACT Thematic Reports Cities of Tomorrow - Action Today
How can cities drive a sustainable economic recovery? How do cities tackle challenges such as carbon targets and growing inequalities? How are an ageing population and migration changing our cities? And what are the policies that will help cities to innovate, to harness local talent and resources, and ultimately to survive the crisis? These are the key challenges tackled by the series of URBACT thematic reports "Cities of Tomorrow: Action Today". The paper "Cities of tomorrow – Action today. Key Messages" written by Paul Soto highlights some of the main points of the six thematic reports with a particular focus on those that are relevant for cities concerned with supporting integrated sustainable urban development in the next round of EU programmes.


An Intercultural Vision for Hamamatsu – Shining into the Future
For over a decade now the Japanese city of Hamamatsu – proud of its manufacturing industry and the contribution of foreign residents to its development – has put in place an intercultural policy focusing on Coexistence, Exchange, Cooperation and Promotion and bridge building between inhabitants with diverse backgrounds. In 2012 foreign citizens – majorly long-term residents from Brazil, Philippines, China and Peru – represented 3.1% of the total city population. This policy built upon the Hamamatsu Declaration (2001) adopted by the national Council of Thirteen Municipalities with a Large Migrant Population, which underlined the importance of foreign residents in city planning and creating a new regional culture, and called for shaping a society “based on the respect for rights and fulfillment of obligations” and “understanding of and respect for the cultures and values of one another”.


New cities network launched for Latin America
A new network for cities in Latin America has launched with the aim of building stronger relationships internationally for its members.
With its headquarters in member city Mexico City, the network brings together Quito (Ecuador); Lima (Peru); Morón (Argentina); Montevideo (Uruguay); Belo Horizonte (Brazil) and Medellín (Colombia).
The Euro-Latin American Alliance for Cooperation between Cities (AL-LAs) has received ?1.4 million in funding from the European Union and includes the French association Cités Unies de France and from Spain the Fondo Andaluz de Municipios para la Solidaridad Internacional.
"This network has a particular function which is to strengthen the capacity of Latin American cities in international relations," said Eugene Zapata, International Adviser to the Mayor of Mexico City and project director. "It will build on the professional networks already in place for international relations directors in Mexico (AMAIE), Brazil (FONARI), Argentina (INTERMUNI) and France (ARRICOD)."
The Mexican network of international relations advisers in local governments (AMIAE) has only 18 members out of 31 federated states, which Zapata says indicates the need to develop the capacity of cities to build international relationships.
"The network will benefit the national associations of local governments and open up the opportunities to develop international relations between cities," Zapata told Cities Today, adding that the network will also work with chambers of commerce and universities with the aim of developing an online knowledge hub for exchange of information for cities.
Eighty-five percent of the network's budget is being met by the European Union with the rest from member subscriptions. A 30-month work plan will be discussed and finalised this week in Mexico City as part of a broader cooperation agreement signed by the Mayor of Mexico City and the European Union.