Local Authority Sustainability News – Latest Action in EuropePublished 06 March 2012 in Local Government
ICLEI, the international association of local governments for sustainability, continues to profile examples of sustainability action being taken forward by councils in Europe and beyond. Recent highlights include: Bologna wins European Mobility Week Award for its promotion of sustainable transport to residents; Stockholm unveils new green urban planning initiative; Freiburg undertakes a major behaviour change project with single and family households; and Vitoria-Gasteiz introduces bicycle parking in refurbished basements.
Bologna Wins Euro Mobility Award 2011
On 5 March, the municipality of Bologna, Italy, won the 2011 European Mobility Award. During Mobility Week last year, Bologna organised a Car Free weekend and set up a large car-free zone at the heart of the city for the week. This pedestrian area was open to street performers, retailers and sports associations and attracted over 60 000 visitors. The city also organised bike tours, bicycle workshops and self-repair stands, games, walks and an exhibition on electric cars. Permanent measures implemented included building charging points for electric cars and a plan to extend the city's network of cycling paths to 130 km. See ICLEI article and EU Mobility Week press release.
Stockholm unveils new green urban planning initiative
ICLEI reported on 27 February that the city of Stockholm, Sweden, has launched a major green urban planning initiative that aims to be a model for other growing cities around the world. Stockholm Royal Seaport will house 10,000 new apartments and 30,000 workplaces, as well as urban parks, an art gallery and a harbour for cruise ships. As well as the construction of sustainable buildings, the area aims to become fossil-fuel free, through initiatives including energy efficient transportation, the transformation of food waste into biogas, and the reuse of water, waste and energy within the district. Programmes for participation and engagement in the district are also included in the plans. ICLEI article and Sustainable Cities blog.
Freiburg Behaviour Change Project
On 20 February, ICLEI reported that the city of Freiburg, Germany, is working with the Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) campaign to involve 200 single and family households in a year-long project that motivates participants to integrate the idea of climate protection in their daily routines. The project is currently 50% complete, and includes interventions such as free energy checks at home, guidance in the field of energy, mobility, food and consumption, and activities like ‘climate cuisine classes’ to encourage voluntary change. Participants have also been involved in an experiment to only eat food produced and processed within 50km for one week, and a month-long experiment to avoid buying any plastic packaging or items. ICLEI article.
Vitoria-Gasteiz Bicycle Parking Initiative
ICLEI reported on 9 February that the municipality of Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, plans to introduce new bicycle parking facilities in refurbished basements. Offering solutions to residents who live in small apartments with no room for bike storage, the facilities are self-managed by user groups, and also aim to strengthen relationships between local residents. The first basement facility is run by a group of 43 users in a publicly owned building, and a second will provide space for 39 users, with some bikes to be stored hanging from the wall. Its construction includes electrical installations, the removal of architectural barriers to facilitate access, as well as the installation of toilets, lockers and bike racks. ICLEI article.