European Cities

Sixteen cities across the wider European region, with a rich diversity of experiences on local climate action, are exchanging their knowledge with the other Urban-LEDS cities in the eight project countries (Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Rwanda and South Africa) to support implementation of Low Emission Development Strategies. This Urban-LEDS International City Network was created to enable local decision-makers and technical municipal staff to share experiences and address concerns with their peers and with experts in national, regional, and international fora.

Selection criteria

The selection of the European cities to be involved has been finalized following the selection of the cities in the project countries. The selection criteria utilized for identifying these cities include size, geographical distribution, climate, sector of expertise, variety of needs and challenges, and best practices to share.

In particular, the aim of the selection was to ensure that the needs of the newly identified cities could be addressed by the European local governments (topic and available staff/time capacity). In addition, an assessment of the European cities topical interested and needs was carried out, to guaranteed a bilateral maximum value from the exchange with the Global South.

Contact us

ICLEI European Secretariat
Leopoldring 3, 79098 Freiburg, Germany
Tel: +49-761 36 89 2-0
Fax: +49-761 36 89 2-19
E-mail: iclei-europe@iclei.org

Results from Phase I

In April 2014, 13 cities took part in the European Study Tour “Low Carbon Solutions in Europe”. Host cities Almada, Portugal; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Hannover, Germany; shared their approaches to waste-to-energy systems, buildings, district energy systems, and sustainable transportation solutions. The tour was a successful peer-learning and experience-sharing event. The Mayor of Recife, Brazil, for example was impressed by the green roofs project and availability of bike lanes in Copenhagen, which inspired the city’s 2014 Green Roof Law as well as an expansion of bicycle lanes with the river restoration program in Recife. Other regional and global events used for networking, experience sharing, and training included the ICLEI World Congress 2015, Metropolitan Solutions 2014, and the Local Climate Solutions for Africa Congress (LOCS) 2015.

The Urban-LEDS European cities also benefited from this project, and established valuable cooperation with their counterparts from the Model Cities (not through direct one-to-one twinning but rather using an ad hoc approach as interests emerged and then facilitated connection). This was largely as a result of the staff exchanges and study tour that took place within the project. Thanks to these activities the European cities gained insight on the visions of the Model Cities, and were able to successfully inspire and provide hands-on examples and ideas for speeding up local low-carbon development.

Staff exchanges were organized in 2015 and early 2016 to provide in-depth support to the Model Cites on topics of their choice. The purpose of the staff exchange was to visit the European cities to explore details of local low-emission policies and measures, be inspired, and explore how these could be successfully transferred (where relevant) to their own local context. City representatives from 6 Model Cities participated, with 4 European cities acting to host one or two people from the Global South. The staff exchanges that had been organized are as follows:

  • The chief planner from KwaDukuza (South Africa) engaged in a one week staff exchange in Helsinki, Finland, in October 2015 to learn more about the European cities approach to green buildings and the integration of sustainability into urban planning.
  • The administrative head of the city of Thane (India) visited Zagreb (Croatia) in March 2016 to explore examples of citizen engagement, energy efficiency through sustainable urban mobility, and sustainable buildings.
  • The Spatial and Environment Subdivision of the Municipality of Bogor took part in a one week staff exchange in Warsaw, Poland in November 2015 based on the Indonesian city’s interest in Warsaw’s LEDS and green growth vision.
  • The City of Bologna, Italy, hosted the Assistant Director of local Economic Development in Steve Tshwete Municipality, South Africa, alongside the Executive Secretary for the Environment and Sustainability of Recife, Brazil, in December 2015. The delegates gained insight into Bologna’s sustainable energy action plan, and the use of public-private partnerships to deliver this.

Cities

Almada, Portugal
Bologna, Italy
Helsinki, Finland
Hannover, Germany
Warsaw, Poland
Zagreb, Croatia
Riga, Latvia
Alba lulia, Romania
Madrid, Spain
Aalborg, Denmark
Budapest, Hungary
Cork, Ireland

See tabs below for city profiles.

Almada participated in Urban-LEDS I. Almada is a ICLEI GreenClimateCities (GCC) Europe Ambassador and has committed to test the program, provide feedback, and represent GCC Europe in their country and globally. This helps facilitate links and provide support to other local governments wishing to use the GCC methodology to create a global community and network of peers. Almada is taking active action to reduce city-level climate emissions and providing an example for other rapidly growing cities on how a city’s growth and determined reduction in climate emissions can be implemented.

It is located on the left bank of the Tagus River, bordering the municipality of Seixal in the east and the municipality of Sesimbra in the south. To the west the municipality of Almada is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. It belongs to the district of Setúbal and the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon. The city has 35 km of continuous border with the Atlantic Ocean and the Tagus River, mostly covered by requalification projects.

Size of population (year) 169,241 inhabitants (2017)
Size (km2) 70.2 km²
Population density (year) 2,479 inhab/km² (2011)
Official language(s) Portuguese
Major economic activities in the city Situated a few minutes from the capital of the country, served by important road infrastructures and a wide public transport network, Almada is especially attractive in the areas of tourism, small industries, research, technology, commerce and services.

After a time of strong industrialization, Almada is now a municipality where the sectors of education, local administration, public enterprises, and health are highlighted. Trade also stands out due to its dynamism and potential.

Population growth trend TBC
% of population living in urban areas TBC
Average annual rate of urbanisation TBC
Greenhouse Gas emissions (total in C02e/year) 291,735.181 tCo2e (2013)
City official website Click here
carbonn Climate Registry (cCR) profile Click here
Urban-LEDS city profile Not available yet

Greenhouse Gas emissions by sector

  • Transport
  • Residential
  • Tertiary
  • Industry
  • Municipal
Source Amount tCO2e %
Transport 95,965.402 33.48%
Residential 93,011.62 32.45%
Tertiary 71,979.95 25.12%
Industry 17,342.05 6.05%
Municipal 8,302.043 2.90%
bologna

Bologna is the capital of Emilia-Romagna region, in northern Italy and is Italy’s 7th largest city in population. Bologna participated in Phase I of Urban-LEDS and is a ICLEI GreenClimateCities (GCC) Europe Ambassador, committed to testing the program, providing feedback, and representing GCC Europe in their country and globally. This helps facilitate links and provide support to other local governments wishing to use the GCC methodology to create a global community and network of peers.

Bologna is taking active action to reduce city-level climate emissions and providing an example for other rapidly growing cities on how a city’s growth and simultaneous determined reduction in climate emissions can be implemented.

The city Bologna is located in the Emilia Romagna Region, which lies between the River Po to its north and the Apennine Mountains to its south. It is one of the most fertile and productive agricultural regions of Italy, thanks to the mitigating effect that the Adriatic Sea has on the coastal climate. The topography surrounding Bologna is diverse and spreads over the plain of Po River Valley, along the Reno and the Panaro Rivers, in the hills and mountains, along the backbones of the Santerno and Senio Rivers to the east, and the Dardagna in the west.

Size of population (year) 389,261 inhabitants (2017)
Size (km2) 716.75 km²
Population density (year) 2,763 inhab/km² (2017)
Official language(s) Italian
Major economic activities in the city Bologna is of paramount importance as a road and rail center. The city is an important agricultural market and food-processing center, but also has developed into an important industrial center as well. Its chief manufactures include agricultural machinery, electric motors, motorcycles, railway equipment, chemicals, and shoes.
Population growth trend TBC
% of population living in urban areas TBC
Average annual rate of urbanisation TBC
Greenhouse Gas emissions (total in C02e/year) 2,451,798.88 tCo2e (CoM)
City official website Click here
carbonn Climate Registry (cCR) profile Click here
Urban-LEDS city profile Not available yet

Greenhouse Gas emissions by sector

  • Residential
  • Tertiary
  • Transport
  • Industry
  • Other
  • Municipal
Source Amount tCO2e %
Residential 787,378.42 39.35%
Tertiary 628,019.43 31.38%
Transport 332,732.81 16.63%
Industry 196,531.41 9.82%
Other 30,793 1.54%
Municipal 25,678.29 1.28%

Helsinki is the capital and largest city of Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland of the Baltic Sea. Helsinki was the first European capital with a comprehensive sustainable development action plan in 2002. Helsinki has participated in Phase I of URBAN LEDS and is an ICLEI GreenClimateCities (GCC) Europe Ambassador and has committed to test the program, provide feedback, and represent GCC Europe in their country and globally. This help facilitate links and provide support to other local governments wishing to use the GCC methodology to create a global community and network of peers. Helsinki is taking active action to reduce city-level climate emissions and providing an example for other rapidly growing cities on how a city’s growth and simultaneous determined reduction in climate emissions can be implemented.

Helsinki is geographically situated on the southern peninsula by the Gulf of Finland. Facing Tallinn, Estonia, across the bay, a number of islands, which are part of Helsinki, can be reached via boats and ferries. North of Helsinki leads to other cities in Finland and connects to the borders of Sweden and Russia. Called the “Daughter of the Baltic”, Helsinki is on the tip of a peninsula and on 315 islands. Located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, it is the seat of the region of Uusimaa in southern Finland. Together with the cities of Espoo, Vantaa, and Kauniainen, and surrounding commuter towns, Helsinki forms the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area.

Size of population (year) 628,208 inhabitants (2016)
Size (km2) 719 km²
Population density (year) 2,964 inhab/km² (2016)
Official language(s) Finnish
Major economic activities in the city Helsinki is one of Europe’s richest capitals. Contributing approximately a third of Finland’s GDP, Helsinki profits on serviced-related IT and public sectors. Having moved from heavy industrial works, shipping companies also employ a substantial number of people. The city is the core of an economic area of 1.5 million people and 700,000 jobs. Approximately 75% of foreign companies operating in Finland have settled in the Helsinki region. In 2009, Helsinki was chosen to be the World Design Capital for 2012.
Population growth trend TBC
% of population living in urban areas TBC
Average annual rate of urbanisation TBC
Greenhouse Gas emissions (total in C02e/year) 2,451,798.88 tCo2e (CoM, 2015)
City official website Click here
carbonn Climate Registry (cCR) profile Click here
Urban-LEDS city profile Not available yet

Greenhouse Gas emissions by sector

  • Residential
  • Tertiary
  • Transport
  • Municipal
  • Industry
Source Amount tCO2e %
Residential 917,087.74 37.48%
Tertiary 599,378.03 24.50%
Transport 530,516.87 21.68%
Municipal 262,177.67 10.72%
Industry 137,644.57 5.63%

The City of Hannover is the state capital and economic center of Lower Saxony in Germany. Hannover is a city of international flair with its various trade fairs and events, while also enjoying an outstanding reputation for good business, innovative ideas, and academic excellence. The City of Hannover has participated in the European Study Tour in April 2014. The city of Hannover aims, by the year 2020, to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions within the municipal region by 40 percent compared to 1990 levels.

Nearly 40% of the city’s area is covered by gardens and woodlands. The city lies at the confluence of the River Leine and its tributary Ihme, in the south of the North German Plain, and is the largest city of the Hannover–Braunschweig–Göttingen–Wolfsburg Metropolitan Region. The city is not on a coastal location.

Size of population (year) 558,799 inhabitants
Size (km2) 20.4 km² (2017, IBGE)
Population density (year) 2,566 inhab/km²
Official language(s) German
Major economic activities in the city Industry has traditionally formed the basis of the City’s economy. However, Hannover has recently developed into a center for service industries, now employing 70% of the working population. The close connection between science, trade, and industry is one of Hannover’s trademarks, and the city is a center for environmental technology. With over 70,000 employees and around 3,600 companies, the healthcare industry plays a key role in the Hannover region as a driver of economic growth as well.
Population growth trend TBC
% of population living in urban areas TBC
Average annual rate of urbanisation TBC
Greenhouse Gas emissions (total in C02e/year) 9,585,435.616 tCo2e (CoM, 2011)
City official website Click here
carbonn Climate Registry (cCR) profile Click here
Urban-LEDS city profile Not available yet

Greenhouse Gas emissions by sector

  • Stationary energy
  • Transport
Source Amount tCO2e %
Stationary energy 88%
Transport 12%

Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. Aspiring to become the “green metropolis”, Warsaw sets itself a perspective goal of ensuring a high standard of living for its residents in conditions of sustainable development and respect for the natural environment. Warsaw is a city that pays a great deal of attention to environmental protection. In keeping with the motto “think globally, act locally,” the city works hard to protect the climate and participated in Phase I of Urban-LEDS. In 2011, Warsaw adopted the Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP), which defined a reduction of CO2 emissions in the city by 20% by 2020, while increasing the share of renewable energy to 20%.

The City of Warsaw has participated in the following Urban-LEDS activities:

  • The 2nd International Networking Seminar (Bogor, Indonesia in May 2015)
  • The European Study Tour: offered Warsaw an opportunity to learn from Almada’s electric bus system, ‘Flexibus’
  • Staff exchange: Warsaw’s carbon-neutral electric buses greatly inspired the delegates from Model Cities Bogor and Balikpapan.
  • COP21 in Paris, France in December 2015

Warsaw stands on the Vistula River in east-central Poland, roughly 260 km from the Baltic Sea and 300 kmfrom the Carpathian Mountains. Almost half the urban area of the city is green space with as many as 95 parks. The Vistula is a semi-wild river that runs through Warsaw, that is part of the Natura 2000 network – a habitat for many breeding species of birds threatened with extinction. The clean and well-maintained beaches along the river foster sustainable urban spaces in the city for citizens to enjoy.

Size of population (year) 1,764,615 inhabitants (2017)
Size (km²) 517.24 km²
Population density (year) 3,412 inhab/km²
Official language(s) Polish
Major economic activities in the city Warsaw is the largest and most important destination for scientific and business events in Poland. It is a hub for political, economic, scientific, and cultural interests in the entire region of Central and Eastern Europe. Many institutions and organizations from the region have their seats here, naturally guaranteeing an inflow of ideas, innovation, and capital. Warsaw is also seen as an attractive place to do business thanks to its well-developed infrastructure, its human capital, and modern office spaces, which pull in an ever-increasing number of international corporations and organizers of large-scale events. Poland’s capital is also home to budding entrepreneurs and start-ups in the tech and creative sectors.
Population growth trend TBC
% of population living in urban areas TBC
Average annual rate of urbanisation TBC
Greenhouse Gas emissions (total in C02e/year) 11,721,774 tCo2e (2016, CDP 2017)
City official website Click here
carbonn Climate Registry (cCR) profile Click here
Urban-LEDS city profile Not available yet

Greenhouse Gas emissions by sector

  • Electricity and heat production
  • Transport
  • Waste management
Source Amount tCO2e %
Electricity and heat production 78%
Transport 15%
Waste management 7%

The City of Zagreb, capital of the Republic of Croatia, is a unit of local administration and at the same time of regional administration at the national level. Zagreb is a distinctly central European city situated in the middle of the triangle of Vienna, Budapest and Venice. It has always been and remains a part of the cultural circle of central Europe.

The City of Zagreb has participated in the following Urban-LEDS activities:

  • The European Study Tour
  • The Staff Exchange: proved a fruitful opportunity for Thane to learn from the European city’s energy management, sustainable urban mobility strategy, and citizen engagement.

Zagreb is a green city distinguished by its mild climate. More than three quarters of the administrative city land consists of green areas – woods, plains, meadows, parks, and nature grounds.

Size of population (year) 802,762 inhabitants (2017)
Size (km²) 641.32 km² (2017, IBGE)
Population density (year) 1,272 inhab/km² (207)
Official language(s) Croatian
Major economic activities in the city Most important branches of industry are the production of electric machines and devices, chemical, pharmaceutical, textile, food, and drink processing. Zagreb is important international trade and business center, and transports the crossroads of Central and East Europe.
Population growth trend In 2017 the population grew by 1.2% compared to 2012.
% of population living in urban areas TBC
Average annual rate of urbanisation TBC
Greenhouse Gas emissions (total in C02e/year) 2,929,734.52 tCo2e (CoM, 2015)
City official website Click here
carbonn Climate Registry (cCR) profile Not available yet
Urban-LEDS city profile Not available yet

Greenhouse Gas emissions by sector

  • Transport
  • Residential
  • Tertiary
  • Municipal
  • Public lighting
Source Amount tCO2e %
Transport 1,100,379.95 37.56%
Residential 1,059,068.18 36.15%
Tertiary 607,754.33 20.74%
Municipal 135,120.22 4.61%
Public lighting 27,411.84 0.94%

More information forthcoming.

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City official website Click here
carbonn Climate Registry (cCR) profile
Urban-LEDS city profile Not available yet

More information forthcoming.

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City official website
carbonn Climate Registry (cCR) profile
Urban-LEDS city profile Not available yet

More information forthcoming.

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City official website Click here
carbonn Climate Registry (cCR) profile
Urban-LEDS city profile Not available yet

More information forthcoming.

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City official website
carbonn Climate Registry (cCR) profile
Urban-LEDS city profile Not available yet

More information forthcoming.

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% of population living in urban areas
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City official website
carbonn Climate Registry (cCR) profile
Urban-LEDS city profile Not available yet

More information forthcoming.

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% of population living in urban areas
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City official website Click here
carbonn Climate Registry (cCR) profile
Urban-LEDS city profile Not available yet

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