Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

PRIMUS Report Summary

Project ID: 226814
Funded under: FP7-ENVIRONMENT
Country: Germany

Final Report Summary - PRIMUS (Policies and Research for an Integrated Management of Urban Sustainability)

Executive Summary:
The Informed Cities initiative was a European project which aimed to enhance connectivity between research and policymaking in sustainable development, with a focus on tools for urban sustainability management. The initiative was funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the EU, under the acronym PRIMUS (its full title being ‘Policies and Research for an Integrated Management of Urban Sustainability’), and ran for three years, from 1st May 2009 to 30th April 2012.
Informed Cities has two separate but linked elements: improving processes for knowledge brokerage for urban sustainability, and the explorative application of two European monitoring tools for local governments: Local Evaluation 21 (LE21) and Urban Ecosystem Europe (UEE). Ultimately, 57 local governments from 18 European countries applied LE21, and 53 local governments from 16 European countries applied UEE. 32 local governments applied both tools.
The project was built around a series of events aimed at improving links between researchers and policy-makers: Informed Cities Fora, European Round Tables, and Implementation Workshops.
All of the events and meetings within the initiative gave practitioners (staff from local, regional and national government) and academics the chance to explore discourses around knowledge brokerage for local sustainability.
To present the outcomes of the explorative application and the knowledge brokerage process, the PRIMUS Final Report: Making research work for local sustainability (to be published as a book) was prepared. The report contains extensive details and analysis of data obtained via the explorative application of LE21 and UEE by European local governments which has been analysed and aggregated by the project Partners. The report combines findings on both policy processes (qualitative data) and indicator-based data on urban sustainability (quantitative data). In addition, two brochures were produced: a knowledge brokerage guide entitled Knowledge brokerage in action in European cities, which functions as a ‘how to guide’ and contains key insights for five successful local brokerage initiatives; a brochure on European Frameworks for local sustainability. The role of researchers, policy-makers and European institutions in shaping local commitment, exploring the usefulness of European schemes in supporting the local sustainability process and presenting recommendations on the role of researchers in shaping local processes.

Project Context and Objectives:
The renewed EU Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS), adopted in June 2006, recognises the need to strengthen research and technological development in order to effectively respond to the sustainable development challenge, promoting a forward-looking and integrated approach to sustainability. With the adoption of the 7th Framework Programme (FP7), research policy has been mobilised to fully support the SDS.
In June 2007 the European Commission hosted the workshop titled “Research for Sustainable Development - How to enhance connectivity” that brought together experts from national research agencies, involved in financing or managing research for sustainable development. The concluding report and background documents stressed that innovative ways for linking research to policy need to be experimented with, if we want to exploit the "untapped potential" of research.
The recommendation to experiment with knowledge brokerage to increase connectivity, as formulated by workshop participants, has been later translated into a topic of the 2008 Work Programme in Theme 6 (Environment). Existing initiatives (e.g. Science meets Policy process) have usually approached the question of connectivity between research and policy for sustainable development from the national perspective, focusing mostly on integrating research results into national policies. However, taking into account the potential of local action to respond to the challenges of sustainable development, the role of informed local policy making cannot be underestimated. In order to bring about timely and effective action, local governments should have direct access to the latest tools supporting sustainable urban management, adapted to their specific needs and context.
In this context, the concept underpinning the Informed Cities Initiative was the need to bridge the gap between research at European level and policy-making at (and for) the local level. The theme chosen for this co-ordination action was 'sustainable urban management', so as to highlight the ways in which the various policy areas of urban development (energy/water/waste, transport, planning and design, social inclusion) are integrated, rather than focusing on a single policy theme. This was based on the premise that the decoupling of environmental degradation and economic growth can only be achieved through better management and governance of all of the inter-dependent factors which make up urban development. Indicators and information systems, efficient and effective policy processes, and innovative public participation are the main instruments to achieve this, enabling us to set targets, gain wide acceptance, and implement behavioural changes in society.
Informed Cities has two separate but linked elements: improving processes for knowledge brokerage for urban sustainability, and the explorative application of two European monitoring tools for local governments. The two tools are:
- Local Evaluation 21 (LE21): an online assessment which analyses the quality of local management and governance processes for sustainability, and can serve as a guide for political decisions on improving local management and governance mechanisms.
- Urban Ecosystem Europe (UEE): a set of advanced sustainability indicators enabling local governments to measure their performance in response to the renewed EU Sustainable Development Strategy, the Urban Thematic Strategy and the Aalborg Commitments, providing a basis to develop measurable targets and timeframes for the mid-term.
These tools were selected because they encompass a wide range of sustainability-related themes, and focus on the 'how' of urban management in different ways. While Local Evaluation 21 is designed for mass application with automatic web-based management and feedback to the users, Urban Ecosystem Europe requires a greater degree of input from users and, in return, allows greater depth in terms of data analysis and aggregation.
The original aim of the project was to recruit 100 local governments from across Europe to use both tools, through contacts with cities that had either previously applied the tools or that the research team already developed relationships with through other initiatives.
The project was built around a series of events aimed at improving links between researchers and policy-makers: Informed Cities Fora, European Round Tables, and Implementation Workshops. There were two Informed Cities Fora (in Newcastle, 2010 and Naples, 2011), bringing together European local government representatives and researchers/research organisations active in the field of local sustainability. Potential participants included local governments active in the European Sustainable Cities & Towns Campaign, the researchers involved in relevant FP5/6/7 funded projects, and the Linkage Fora or European Roundtables of national representatives.
An additional three Informed Cities European Roundtables brought together National government ministries and agencies from a majority of EU Member States, responsible for national policies for urban sustainability management in their respective countries, and constituting an important link between European research and local policy making. The first Roundtable meeting discussed the outcomes of EU-funded research projects with the researchers involved, producing detailed information on the application of tools developed for the local level. The aim was to understand the different barriers to, and specific requirements for, the effective application of research results in each of the Member States.
The second meeting allowed a cross-European group of national governments to understand and pre-evaluate the 'explorative application' of the two tools, UEE and LE21. It also provided a starting point for organising a series of national (country-specific) Implementation Workshops. The final meeting discussed the outcomes of the Fora and workshops, and the potential benefits of a future Roundtable for participants. It also defined proposals to enhance future integration of the research results into national policies related to urban sustainability management in the Member States.
The aim of the Implementation Workshops, which were originally to be undertaken in 12 countries, was to offer tailored support for those local governments applying the tools for monitoring delivery of urban sustainability, thus demonstrating in practice the connectivity between research and policy-making. The idea was to bring together all the local governments from each country participating in the explorative application, researchers from the consortia involved in developing the tools, and other interested local governments from the same or neighbouring countries. The aim was to give local government representatives advice during the application phase, and to find out how connectivity between research and policy making works in practice. In reality, the recruitment of 100 cities was a far greater challenge than had been predicted and the Workshops were in fact used to encourage local governments who had expressed an interest to utilise the tools.
Ultimately, 57 local governments representing 18 European countries applied LE21, and 53 local governments representing 16 European countries applied UEE. 32 local governments applied both tools.
To present the outcomes of the explorative application and the knowledge brokerage process, the PRIMUS Final Report (to be published as a book after the project ends) on making research work for local sustainability was prepared. The report contains extensive details and analysis of data obtained via the explorative application of LE21 and UEE by European local governments which has been analysed and aggregated by the project Partners. The report combines findings on both policy processes (qualitative data) and indicator-based data on urban sustainability (quantitative data). In addition, two brochures were produced: a knowledge brokerage guide entitled Knowledge brokerage in action in European cities, which functions as a ‘how to guide’ and contains key insights for five successful local brokerage initiatives; a brochure on European Frameworks for local sustainability. The role of researchers, policy-makers and European institutions in shaping local commitment, exploring the usefulness of European schemes in supporting the local sustainability process and presenting recommendations on the role of researchers in shaping local processes.
In total, over 200 cities (local governments and research organisation) were active in the Informed Cities Initiative (see Table 1 in Annex), through involvement in one or more of the events, or in using one of the two tools. Figure 1 (in Annex) shows the geographic range of cities involved across Europe.

Project Results:
The PRIMUS project (Policies and Research for an Integrated Management of Urban Sustainability) has been designed to bridge the gap between research on the European level on one hand, and policy-making at (and for) local level on the other hand in sustainable development, with a focus on tools for urban management.
The purpose of this section is to report on the main results achieved, as envisioned within the project. The section determines in detail how different elements of the project link to and build upon each other, with reference to key objectives and main groups targeted. The structure is as follows: in paragraph 1, we discuss in detail the Informed Cities events. Then in paragraph 2 we briefly present an analysis of research projects/tools existing at the European level. We also briefly indicate need for integration, knowledge and use of existing urban sustainability tools. Then we report on the explorative application of UEE and LE21 in paragraph 3 followed by the experiences of end-users in paragraph 4. Finally, we conclude in paragraphs 5 and 6 with results concerning the brokerage process, other key results and recommendations.
All major documents related to the deliverables have been elaborated in a very close co-operation between all partners and approved during the meetings. In particular, seven project team meetings took place during the whole project. Besides organised meetings, continuous communication via electronic mail and phone conferences ensured the active involvement of all project partners.

1. Informed Cities Events
The Informed Cities initiative was built around a series of events aimed at improving links between researchers and policy-makers: Informed Cities Fora, European Roundtables, and Implementation Workshops, which aimed to encourage local governments to use the tools.

Informed Cities Fora
The Informed Cities Fora (Connection Fora) played the key role in bringing together European local government representatives and researchers active in the field of local sustainability. The purpose of the first Informed Cities Forum, held on 14-16 April 2010 in Newcastle upon Tyne (UK), was to present existing research-based tools for urban sustainability management and provide a platform for local government representatives to discuss with researchers the conditions under which these research results may be applicable and beneficial for cities. The Forum gathered 110 participants and used to recruit the participants for the explorative application of selected research-based tools.
The second Informed Cities Forum was held 26-27 October 2011 in Napoli (Italy) and attracted 175 participants. Its main purpose was to discuss experiences gained through an explorative application of two research-based tools and formulate further recommendations for linking research and policy making for sustainability. The findings were then fed into the final Informed Cities Roundtable (see below), in order to enhance the future integration of research results into national policies related to urban sustainability management in the Member States.
Each of the two Informed Cities Fora brought together over 100 participants, representing all Member States except Luxembourg. Most participants came from academic or local government community, with additional participants representing national institutions, consultancies and civil society. In addition to placing all the materials from the events on the project website, ICLEI also made them available via SlideShare to reach a wider audience.
Since the brand “Informed Cities Forum” has gained recognition among European researchers and local policy-makers and became a synonym of interesting discussions and inspiring encounters, efforts are underway to continue organizing those events on an annual basis.

Informed Cities European Roundtables
The PRIMUS project included the organisation and facilitation of 3 Linkage Fora (now named Informed Cities European Roundtables), aiming at bringing together researchers and National ministries/agencies with representatives from at least 15 Member States. In order to ensure adequate support for the linkage process on the national level, both Informed Cities Fora were held back-to-back with the Informed Cities European Roundtables (Linkage Fora), gathering representatives of national institutions responsible for dealing with sustainability policies directed at the local level.
The role of the first Roundtable, held back-to-back with the first Informed Cities Forum, was to encourage the national institutions to take ownership of the brokerage process, facilitating the recruitment of cities for the explorative application and supporting the preparation of the national Implementation Workshops. The national representatives discussed with the researchers the applicability of certain tools in their specific national and local contexts. These discussions were continued throughout the implementation phase, contributing to better understanding of different barriers to and specific requirements for an effective application of research results in each of the Member States.
The second Roundtable, held in Milan in January 2011, focused on monitoring and pre-evaluation of the explorative application, serving also as coordination platform for the organization of the 12 Implementation Workshops (see below).
A Roundtable session (not foreseen in the project proposal) was organized, back-to-back with the second Informed Cities Forum, to provide additional opportunity for exchange among the national representatives. The focus of the session was to make a link with the preparations for the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, as the issue of science-policy interface is an important theme of the upcoming conference. The momentum generated by the Rio+20 Conference, a major global event on sustainable development, can play a strong role in supporting national and local processes and therefore the Roundtable participants expressed the need for an additional meeting. Organizing this session has also enabled them to participate in the Informed Cities Forum.
The third and final Roundtable, held in February 2012 in London, defined proposals to enhance future integration of research results into national policies, based on the conclusions of all the previous meetings, the results of the explorative application, as well as the findings of the draft European Report on Urban Sustainability.
Each of the Roundtable meetings gathered between 13 and 21 representatives, representing 20 countries (including 18 EU Member States) and was documented with a report.

Informed Cities Implementation Workshops
The aim of the national workshops (Implementation Fora) was to offer a small group of local governments hands-on advice in the explorative application of LE21 and UEE as well as to discuss the contextual challenges of evaluating sustainable urban development together with invited researchers and national representatives. Ten workshops were organised and conducted in Member States, with one workshop arranged outside EU: London (UK); Katowice (Poland); Sibiu (Romania); Brussels (Belgium); Rome (Italy); Turku (Finland); Madrid (Spain); Dessau (Germany); Coimbra (Portugal) and Belgrade (Serbia). Following each of the workshops, a short report has been produced by the project partners present. Collected reports were used as background documents for the Informed Cities Forum and European Roundtable.
The workshops were held between September 2010 and April 2011. They were mostly focused on supporting local governments from the country hosting the workshop, with the exception of the one held in Turku (Finland) that combined cities coming from Baltic and Nordic countries. This workshop was held in conjunction with the Nordic Conference on Sustainable development in the Baltic Sea Region from January, 31 to February, 2 (http://www.solutions2011.fi/). The conference gathered approximately 500 delegates from all the Baltic and Nordic countries to discuss sustainable development, and represented a good opportunity to recruit city and National representatives from this our target group.
The Informed Cities Consortium planned also to arrange one workshop in France, but this did not happen due to lack of take-up. One reason for this reluctance to engage from French cities was the Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities (RFSC).
In order to reach French local governments, a dedicated Informed Cities session has been organized during the 6th European Sustainable Cities and Towns Conference, a largest European gathering of local governments working on sustainability, taking place in Dunkerque (France) in May 2010 with more than 1800 participants coming from over 50 different countries (more than 1.000 from France).
Finally, another session was organised at the Crafting Sustainable Communities in SEE conference organized by the Regional Environmental Center (REC) and attended by more than 100 local decision makers in local communities from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Serbia: representatives from 25 cities attended the conference.

Detailed list of all workshops
• Dunkerque, 20 May 2010
• Skopje, 28 October, 2010
• London, 28 September 2010
• Katowice, 21 October 2010
• Sibiu, 9 November 2010
• Brussels, 24 November 2010
• Rome, 2 December 2010
• Turku, 1 February 2011
• Madrid, 16 February 2011
• Dessau, 4 March 2011
• Coimbra, 17 March 2011
• Belgrade, 14 April 2011

Most workshops brought together over 20 participants, with the exception of those held in Belgium, UK and Germany. As explained in the final project report, the local governments from these countries have a number of local sustainability tools available to support their local processes and therefore it was more difficult to attract them to use the ones selected for the project and therefore to participate in the workshops.
The Implementation Workshops played an important role in supporting the explorative application process, described in more details in section 3 of this document.
2. Analysis of research projects/tools existing at the European level
In order to enhance understanding about how European local governments engage with the plethora of existing urban sustainability tools and initiatives, the Informed Cities initiative developed a comprehensive methodology to explore the nature of the relationship between local governments and tools for urban sustainability. The first step involved a desk-based review to identify and classify all existing European-funded (completed FP5 and FP6) projects which had developed tools for urban sustainability. The review identified 151 relevant European projects in which tools had been developed. The research team decided that 34 of the projects should be subjected to more detailed analysis. Co-ordinators and other key stakeholders from the 34 projects were invited to the first Informed Cities Forum in Newcastle (in April 2010) to share their knowledge about European local governments’ engagement with and knowledge of urban sustainability tools.
Then the project Consortium explored European local governments’ knowledge of and usage of existing urban sustainability tools. The policy framework on urban development has evolved rapidly over recent decades, and a common European framework for sustainable urban development has begun to form, with the initiation of a number of urban monitoring tools as a response to EU urban policy. A summary and comparative analysis of seven key European sustainable urban development monitoring tools has been made: the European Green Capital Award; The Covenant of Mayors; The Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities; European Capital of Biodiversity; Local Evaluation 21; The European Green City Index; and Urban Ecosystem Europe.
A number of key challenges to approaches to monitoring sustainable urban development emerged. Such monitoring currently relies on the voluntary application of tools by local governments, because the relevant EU policy framework has no EU Treaty basis. Successfully encouraging local governments to voluntarily apply a tool depends on several factors, including the relevance of the evaluation outcome, the effort required to apply the tool, and its usability.
There is also a lack of systematic co-ordination between existing monitoring tools, and few are available for continuous use. Most tools are no longer maintained when their funding ceases, which is a major source of frustration for local governments. As a result usage levels fluctuate over time and few - if any - tools are used on a constant basis by European local governments.
Most voluntary tools remain largely unused by the majority of local governments in Europe. Although Europe-wide use is not the aim of every tool – and indeed some tools deliberately target only a specific group of local governments - the lack of utilisation of monitoring tools is a concern, and may eventually undermine their legitimacy and creditability. The exception is the Covenant of Mayors, which has been applied on a broad scale across Europe.
At the events described earlier, European local governments’ knowledge and use of existing urban sustainability tools was explored. A key issue is the burgeoning scale of sustainable development as a policy discourse over the past two to three decades, and the commensurate rise in the number of urban sustainability policy instruments (tools, accords, awards and agreements) created at supra-national level. For local governments, this has meant an almost overwhelming stream of initiatives to digest and respond to. A second factor is the EU’s lack of direct jurisdiction over nation states’ urban policies; instead, its approach has been to encourage and ‘nudge’ nation states, regions and cities towards more sustainable pathways.
The Informed Cities research highlighted the following key points about the current use of urban sustainability tools by European local governments:
- The global financial crisis has had a substantial negative impact on the capacity of many European local governments to engage with urban sustainability tools. The focus in many European nations is on maintaining the delivery of core services in very challenging circumstances.
- Some European local governments have difficulty accessing the necessary data to populate urban sustainability tools, especially when it involves accessing data controlled by the private sector.
- Knowledge of existing urban sustainability tools varies markedly amongst European local governments, both between and within nation states.
- The political will of local government leaders, and the personal dynamism of individual local government policy officers, are key factors regarding the likelihood that local governments will gain knowledge of and engage with tools.
- The terminology employed by specific tools can be a barrier to comprehensive usage across Europe, due to differences in national sustainability discourses.
- Some European local governments are very cautious about their sustainability performance data being released into the public domain outside of their immediate control, due to the potential for poor performance to cause political embarrassment.

3. Explorative application
The project considered local governments’ application of European monitoring tools. It aimed to explore why monitoring tools are not applied by more local governments, and demonstrate the tools’ potential and capacity. Two tools, Local Evaluation 21 (LE21) and Urban Ecosystem Europe (UEE), were selected for a Europe-wide explorative application by the Informed Cities Initiative.
These tools were developed by partners, ICLEI European Secretariat, Åbo Akademi, Northumbria University (LE21) and Ambiente Italia (UEE), in conjunction with local governments. Both tools are designed to be straightforward to apply, are available in various languages, and are applicable for most types of local government.
The explorative application of LE21 and UEE, which took place between September 2010 and May 2011, aimed to involve 100 local governments representing at least 15 EU Member States. However, this target proved challenging, despite the Consortium petitioning local governments through a number of channels. Economic limitations, in the form of local resources needed for applying the tools, restricted participation. This was especially the case in countries like the United Kingdom, which during the explorative application was experiencing severe spending cuts at local government level.
Ultimately, 57 local governments representing 18 European countries applied LE21, and 53 local governments representing 16 European countries applied UEE. 32 local governments applied both tools.
The majority of local governments using UEE had more than 250,000 inhabitants, whilst the LE21 tool was mainly applied by smaller local governments with less than 250,000 inhabitants. In total, the explorative application involved 18 different European countries, with each country typically being represented by two to four local governments.
Each project partner had the responsibility for a specific geographical area. In particular, Åbo Akademi had the responsibility of Scandinavian and Nordic countries, Northumbria University had the responsibility of UK and Ireland, Ambiente Italia had the responsibility of Southern Europe, ICLEI had the responsibility of Central and Eastern Europe.
The project partners determined the following criteria for the recruitment of participants:

1) availability of a critical mass of sustainable development activities in the concerned city
2) demonstrated commitment and/or active implementation of sustainable development policies at the local level
3) geographical distribution

Before the explorative application, an analysis of opportunities and limits of the two tools was conducted. As evaluation tools LE21 and UEE differ in many respects. LE21 is a fully automatized self-evaluation tool designed for widespread use, offering a fast quantitative evaluation of local governments’ engagement in local sustainable development processes, whereas UEE requires extensive manual input from the administrator as well as from local governments in order to provide an understanding of the local response capacity for sustainable development. Both tools were originally developed with specific target groups in mind: LE21 was developed as a response to Local Agenda 21 processes, whereas medium and larger local governments comprised the population of interest for UEE.
Although the tools differ in character and in their objectives, both have been applied and tested by local governments, limiting random errors that may originate from the design of the tool, such as question order or word selection. Both tools have also in-built functions to minimise errors that may originate from misunderstandings. The LE21 web page has a section dedicated to frequently asked questions and a preview guide of the evaluation that offers local governments the chance to test the tool before using it. The UEE spreadsheet includes a glossary for every evaluation theme, to offer more detailed insight and understanding of the indicators used. The possibility for misunderstanding the terminology used is reduced by the fact that both tools are available in a number of European languages.
Concerning usability, LE21 usually takes less than one hour to complete, although it requires considerable knowledge of the local process for sustainable development. The most likely respondent within a local government is a Local Agenda 21/sustainability co-ordinator, although additional respondents may be involved. The LE21 software allows users to ‘log in’ on several different occasions, although the overall response should be completed within three weeks from the initial registration. There are several built-in mechanisms to ensure data quality: all users of the system are validated to minimise the possibility of ‘fake’ participants; and the LE21 software ensures that all questions are answered in a certain way by offering options for response and refusing to accept partially completed answers. A third built-in control system is through enabling stakeholder input, which means local governments’ responses, can be compared with the opinions of others. However, few local governments have invited stakeholders to apply the tool.
The application of the UEE tool requires more time. This is mainly because of the type of data required for completing the tool, which usually has to be collected by different local government departments, potentially involving numerous respondents and departments. The successful use of UEE depends on local governments’ ability for cross-sector co-operation, which is determined by their capacity and ability to communicate across organisations.
There are also definitional challenges within UEE. There is a lack of standardised definitions at a European level, for example in dealing with green areas or waste processing, which may result in misunderstanding among local governments.
Both LE21 and UEE offer benchmarking opportunities; these are largely limited by the data they rely on rather than by the tools themselves. LE21 focuses on normative aspects, measuring and evaluating what is required for a successful and resilient local process for sustainable development. UEE, meanwhile, evaluates the capacity for sustainable development according to the standards set by International or European authorities. In benchmarking LE21 and UEE evaluations, relevant national differences should be considered, such as political and socio-economic differences, cultural contexts and norms and local government autonomy and capacity. It is important to recognise that progress towards sustainable urban development is not only a result of the actions taken by local governments.
Both LE21 and UEE have the potential to enhance our understanding of key themes for sustainable urban development. UEE focuses primarily on the environmental aspects of sustainable development; this is often the starting point for local governments in their quest for sustainable development, because this is the area where they have the power, knowledge and experience to most readily secure change (Evans et al, 2005). LE21 and UEE can support local governments in their delivery and monitoring of sustainable development, offering decision-making support by identifying areas of progress and challenges, and facilitating their future work on sustainable urban development.

Explorative application of UEE
UEE seeks to provide an integrated evaluation of the urban environment in European local governments by focusing on their response capacity and needs (Ambiente Italia, 2007). UEE was created and developed by Ambiente Italia, a research consultancy, in conjunction with Legambiente, an Italian Non-Governmental Organisation. UEE has been developed and refined as a monitoring tool by applying reflective learning from local governments using the tool. Concerning the results of the explorative application of the UEE tool, 53 European local governments participated, by providing data relating to different aspects of the state of the urban environment and its management in their city.
Cities were clustered according to population size and geographical region. Participating cities were divided in three categories based on population size: Big (above 500,000 inhabitants): 19 cities; Medium (150,000 to 500,000 inhabitants): 20 cities; and Small (below 150,000 inhabitants): 14 cities.
The United Nations Statistics Division definition of European geographical regions was used as a baseline. Participating cities (see figure 2 and table 2 in Annex) were divided into four regions:
- Northern (Denmark, Finland, Sweden): 10 cities
- Southern (Italy, Portugal, Spain): 17 cities
- Western (Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, UK): 16 cities
- Eastern (Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Serbia): 10 cities.

A number of key issues emerged from the application. In some cases local governments were not able to provide the correct data. There were two main reasons for this: firstly, there were different approaches to categorising data or collecting data in individual countries; and secondly, some local governments had weak or underdeveloped monitoring systems. Furthermore, local context is important. Although a variety of different tools, initiatives and programmes – as well as European Directives - have been developed in the last decade, with the aim of defining a common set of indicators for data collection and monitoring systems, significant differences still exist across Europe due to specific geographic, climatic, economic and cultural conditions.

Data availability problems were greatest in the following areas:
- Air pollution: monitoring networks vary greatly in terms of spatial distribution, and the sets of pollutants monitored, from city to city;
- Green areas, due to variations in their categorisation;
- Mobility: spatial and catchment areas can vary, especially for public transport. For example, when calculating how many citizens use public transport (passengers/inhabitants), some cities only count the municipality’s inhabitants, while others consider the inhabitants of the urban agglomeration served by public transport;
- CO2 emissions: some cities calculate only CO2, while others consider all the greenhouse gases (expressed in terms of CO2 equivalent);
- Waste: some cities collect data concerning both municipal and household waste production, collection and treatment, while other cities include only one of these.

Assessing and benchmarking complex issues and policies relating to the sustainability of the urban environment by reducing them to a set of quantitative indicators is a difficult task. However, it is possible to highlight some emerging trends in the data from the application of UEE.
Air quality is improving throughout Europe, although levels of particulate matter (PM10) and ozone (O3) remain a matter for concern. PM10 levels were above the EU limit value in many cities - mainly in Eastern and Southern Europe - but the situation was particularly critical in big Southern cities, where annual mean concentrations were above the prescribed limit. The Italian air quality situation was critical in terms of O3: seven out of the nine Italian cities involved in the survey exceeded the limit value.
Waste water treatment and potable water supply is generally well implemented throughout Europe, although leakages in the potable water distribution network are high in many cities.
Urban design, especially with regard to green urban areas and cycling networks, has received a lot of attention in recent decades as a key element in improving the quality of the urban environment. Availability of green urban areas is generally satisfactory, although there is a significant difference between Northern and Western cities, with the highest values of per capita green urban areas, and Eastern and Southern cities, with lower values. Cycling paths and lanes, and cycling network per capita follow the same geographic distribution. Values for these indicators are influenced by urban population density, with denser cities having a lower value even if the absolute amount of green areas is the same.
Mobility remains a major concern in European urban areas, affecting both the environment and human health. Trips by car (rate to total trips) exceed 50% in 15 of the 36 cities that submitted data. Cities with low rates of car use rely on public transport (mainly Eastern cities) and active transportation such as cycling or walking (mainly Southern and Western cities). Particularly in denser urban areas, a positive relationship can be found between a well developed cycling network and the number of cycle trips.
Energy efficiency and energy production from renewable resources has gained a lot of attention in recent years. District heating is widespread in Northern cities and some Eastern cities, while Southern and Western cities lead the rankings for installing solar power in public buildings.
Municipal and household solid waste management has achieved a satisfactory level for almost all cities, mainly thanks to the implementation of the Directive 2008/98/EC. Eastern cities and a few Southern cities have low recycling rates and high reliance on landfill. Some cities, mainly located in Northern and Western regions, have excellent separate collection rates: 12 cities exceed 50% and 27 exceed 35%; moreover 22 cities rely on landfill disposal for less than 30% of waste disposal.
Eco-management is an issue which has emerged recently in the field of urban sustainability. The number of local governments that have adopted a systematic procedure of departmental certification for environmental management is still low. Even if the European Commission implemented EMAS, some local governments have adopted national or sector specific environmental management systems. Procurement of recycled paper and organic food, as well as green vehicle use, are not directly related to the use of environmental management certifications.
Data collected has been elaborated and reported in the final report using a key set of indicators. Bar chart graphs have been used to benchmark cities giving a general overview of the main differences existing between clusters of cities defined on the basis of geographic, climatic, economic and cultural conditions and according to eight different themes and key indicators.

Explorative application of LE21
This section analyses data sampled from the explorative application of the Local Evaluation 21 (LE21) tool. LE21 is an automated self-evaluation tool to monitor local level governance towards sustainable development. It aims to help local governments monitor their progress and communicate this with different stakeholder groups. The tool is an adaptation and upgrade of an older self-evaluation tool, Local Authorities Self-Assessment of Local Agenda 21 (LASALA). The aim of the tool is to identify local governments’ areas of strength and the challenges they face in developing a resilient local process for sustainable development.
The 57 local governments that took part in the explorative application of LE21 represent 18 different European countries (see figure 3 and table 3 in Annex). The Northern European group comprises 13 local governments, representing Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden. The Western Europe group consists of 16 local governments, representing Germany, France, Ireland, Switzerland and United Kingdom, whilst the Eastern Europe group consists of 13 local governments, representing Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Serbia and Romania. The Southern Europe group comprises 15 local governments that represent Italy, Portugal and Spain. Although the number of local governments in each regional group is similar, the explorative application of LE21 resulted in a skewed selection of local governments. The majority (66%) of the local governments that comprise the Northern, the Western and the Southern groups have more than 100,000 inhabitants, whilst most (77%) of the local government that comprise the Eastern European group have less than 100,000 inhabitants. The application of LE21 revealed a number of key findings. Firstly, in most local governments, local processes for sustainable development are not fully mainstreamed or incorporated into local plans, strategies and actions, even though the head of department, mayor, or chief executive is usually responsible for the administration of the local process for sustainable development. In order to be effective, a resilient local process for sustainable development needs to be integrated and mainstreamed into local plans, strategies and actions.
Furthermore, few local governments have a formal mechanism in their local action plan to assess the impact of individual projects on sustainable development, and few have formal mechanisms to assess the effectiveness of the municipal budget and the economic promotion policy in implementing sustainable development. Local governments do, however, have formal mechanisms to assess the effectiveness of land use development plans and environmental protection policies in implementing sustainable development. The majority of the Northern and the Eastern local governments also have a formal mechanism to assess the effectiveness of their integrated urban development policies, whilst most Northern, Western and Southern local governments focus on the effectiveness of their transport policies when implementing the local process for sustainable development.
Most local governments have developed interdepartmental linkages within the local authority in order to promote sustainable development. This is often achieved via cross-departmental joint projects and cross-departmental working groups. Sustainable development is also promoted within local governments via cross-departmental mailing lists or newsletters, as well as formal contact between heads of departments. Local governments commonly utilise cross-departmental linkages in the administration of the local process for sustainable development, in order to respond to the holistic needs of sustainable development.
The basis for a stable local sustainable development process requires both long-term objectives and short-term actions. Even if most local governments have these ambitions, the local process for sustainable development is impeded by financial constraints: most local governments have not devoted sufficient resources for the management and implementation of sustainable development activities.

4. Experiences of end-users
The experiences of end users - largely local government officers – who were asked to reflect on the nature and relevance of the Local Evaluation 21 (LE21) and Urban Ecosystem Europe (UEE) tools have been analysed. The results provide a comprehensive analysis of the positive impacts of such tools, as well as suggestions for potential improvements.
The primary data presented here was gathered by the project consortium during consultation with policy officers from European local governments. The consultation included:
- Online voting sessions (interactive multiple-choice questionnaires) involving over 200 respondents during the two Informed Cities Fora (in Newcastle, April 2010 and Naples, October 2011);
- Working groups and ‘world cafe’ sessions at the Informed Cities Fora;
- Ten national Informed Cities Implementation Workshops from September 2010 to April 2011 to gather feedback from local government officers and technical experts from environmental departments;
- Short questionnaires and phone conversations with policy officers from five local governments who have experience of using the tools;
- Other communication, e.g. questionnaires that all delegates at the 2nd Informed Cities Forum in Naples were asked to complete.

This consultation process helped to improve dialogue and connectivity between policy-makers and researchers (particularly the Consortium partners) and to facilitate learning about opinions and expectations vis-à-vis the tools.
Based on the responses from local government representatives who had been involved in using the tools, four issues appeared to be especially significant:

• awareness and usefulness of European urban sustainability tools;
• availability of data;
• impact of tools’ benchmarking results;
• existence of numerous tools for local sustainability.

In order to provide more in-depth analysis of local government officers’ perceptions of LE21 and UEE, the report identified five case studies, from each of the European regions (North, South, West and Eastern), and discussed them in detail. In particular, the cases were the following:
• Vantaa, Finland for Northern Europe;
• Bydgoszcz, Poland for Eastern Europe;
• Augsburg, Germany and Dublin, Ireland for Western Europe;
• Ravenna, Italy for Southern Europe.

The material for these case studies was derived from short structured questionnaires which were sent to respondents and follow-up phone calls.
Certain governments thought LE21 was not relevant to their needs – perhaps because their focus had shifted from process to outcomes - and questioned the added value of applying it. LE21 was criticised for failing to challenge local governments’ monitoring, measuring or delivery of sustainable development. These issues were more often raised by Northern and Western cities. Some Eastern governments felt LE21 was irrelevant to them because it largely derives from the Aalborg Charter – with which many Eastern European local governments are not familiar. However, local governments across Europe thought LE21 was a useful tool for raising awareness about sustainable urban development.
Local governments did not question the relevance of UEE, but they did face challenges in applying it. It was viewed as complicated and time-consuming, and some local governments felt this undermined its value. Compiling the data required extensive input and cross-sector co-operation. Incompatible data was a problem for certain indicators, due to national differences in collecting data, and some data that was not available at all. This was a bigger problem for Eastern European countries. The comparability of UEE data was another issue, given that indicators did not necessarily fit the local context. Some participants suggested that UEE metrics were not robust, and merely provided proxies for some ‘wicked issues’ concerning sustainable urban development. Concern about the weighting of indicators was also raised, and the influence this can have on evaluation results.

Additional issues are highlighted:
- Differences were apparent between old and new Member States regarding the perceived effectiveness of LE21. Most participants from Western and Southern Europe viewed LE21 as a little dated, too general and incapable of monitoring the effectiveness of management processes. Conversely, representatives of Eastern European cities appreciated the focus on management process, describing this as an aspect which is often forgotten when analysing the performance of local governments in their countries.
- Despite largely positive views about UEE, the majority of participants thought that the level of co-ordination required gathering the necessary data was a significant problem.
- In terms of data management, many European local governments showed a lack of capacity to gather, handle or update data. Many experienced difficulties in obtaining data from external organisations or private companies, and compiling data within their administrations, due to a lack of capacity and co-ordination across local government departments.
- The wording of indicators can cause problems. Although UEE is available in seven different languages, a number of users experienced difficulties in understanding the content of the indicators, mainly because they differ from the ones used in their national statistics or because some aspects required by UEE are not measured in their countries at all.
- The majority of local governments do not use the existing tools consistently. This may be because of the time requirements to interact with the tools and collect the necessary data; also local governments can see no direct benefits from changing the way they work to include interacting with tools.

A key issue for participants is that of capacity. Local governments across Europe may be involved in numerous national and European initiatives at any one time, each of which is accompanied by separate and specific tools. The capacity of their staff to collate the data and undertake the associated tasks to populate all the separate tools needs to be urgently addressed.
A European Protocol on Indicators would facilitate effective compilation of data and comparison among cities by establishing a unique set of common indicators, thus ensuring that all European local governments measure the same elements.
Tools for local sustainability need to be developed and updated over time, according to evolving priorities, and within the limits of funding available. In the interests of avoiding duplication of resources or ‘re-inventing the wheel’, and ensuring that existing expertise is built upon, adapting existing tools is preferable to creating new ones.

5. Results concerning the brokerage process
All of the events and meetings within the Informed Cities initiative gave practitioners (officers from local, regional and national government) and academics the chance to explore challenges and benefits of knowledge brokerage for local sustainability.
Within knowledge brokerage discourses there are debates about the types of knowledge that can be transmitted and the processes that lead to knowledge transfer. The distinction between codified (or explicit) knowledge and tacit knowledge is a central theme:
- Tacit knowledge refers to ‘all those pieces of knowledge which are not expressed and/or not expressible and/or not transmissible’ (Ancori et al, 2000, p.270).
- From a research perspective, it is often negative experiences that can provide the richest sources of data when trying to understand how to develop a successful approach to implementing policy.
- ‘Best practice’ case studies can be sanitised leaving out the ‘real world politics’, which can be the crucial factors which determine the success or failure of initiatives.
- A key way to unlock this learning through ‘worst or imperfect practice’ is through informal, ‘off the record’, knowledge exchange and the transfer of tacit knowledge.
- Informed Cities activities aimed to facilitate familiarity and trust between practitioners and academics, so that the richest authentic sources of data about all experiences within the field of local sustainability could be unlocked.

A Brochure on knowledge brokerage entitled – Knowledge Brokerage in action in European Cities: Key insights from five successful knowledge brokerage initiatives was prepared.
The brochure reports the findings from five European case studies of knowledge brokerage initiatives, in Newcastle, Norrköping, Oslo, Tilburg and Turku. The purpose, partners and achievements of each case study are described, as well as the results of interviews with key participants.
Analysis of common elements of these case studies has led to the identification of the following key cross-cutting themes for successful knowledge brokerage:
- All of the case studies build on strong existing, often informal, networks between practitioners and academics/researchers;
- Several case studies held a formal seminar or event at the outset of the formal brokerage process to gather key stakeholders together and discuss research priorities;
- Shared institutional goals, high levels of trust and good interpersonal relationships were associated with successful knowledge brokerage in all of the case studies;
- Adequate financial resources were viewed as essential in most cases, although the Newcastle example shows that knowledge brokerage can be achieved with limited financial resources;
- Physical proximity of key institutions in the brokerage process was viewed as an advantage, but not essential;
- The Turku and Tilburg examples illustrate that having a designated knowledge broker to drive the knowledge brokerage process is a significant advantage;
- Failure to keep an open mind and lack of willingness to truly co-operate were viewed as significant barriers to a successful brokerage process.

6. Key results and recommendations

A brochure on European Frameworks for local sustainability. The role of researchers, policy-makers and European institutions in shaping local commitment, exploring the usefulness of European schemes was published.
The brochure begins by considering how tools for urban sustainable development – as outlined in Section 2 of this report – can assist with the five phases of integrated sustainability management: reviewing the baseline; setting objectives and targets; political mandate and resource allocation; implementation; and evaluating and reviewing progress (ICLEI, 2007). It goes on to discuss the need for co-operation between policy-makers and researchers in achieving local sustainable development, how this can best be facilitated, and what the European Commission’s role should be.
The following lessons are highlighted:
- Close co-operation between researchers and local government staff is essential to enhance the connectivity between research and policy-making in the target setting phase.
- Policy makers may not have either the time or the experience to read scientific papers thoroughly. There is a need to translate research outcomes into a format that enables policy makers and wider audiences to identify their content and value. Summaries, recommendations and key messages are suggested in many studies (European Commission, 2008; ODPM, 2005).
- Despite current political demands for evidence-based practice, university research may have a greater value if it is independent of the political process, emerges from the confines of a specific academic discipline, and is a peer-reviewed published output that is written in a style which is accessible to practitioners (staff from local, regional and national government).
- In practice, many cities participate in several supra-national schemes and try to adapt tools and identify pragmatic synergies between tools to suit their individual requirements.
- None of the existing tools for local sustainability fulfils all of the diverse needs of European local governments. Nor does it seems likely that the different actors responsible for the various tools will join forces and create a common European commitment and monitoring scheme for local sustainability.

The authors of this report recommend the adoption of an ideal European commitment and monitoring scheme for local sustainability, with the following 10 key features:

1. Full cycle support
The European commitment and monitoring scheme for local sustainability supports local sustainability management and governance in all five phases of the management and governance cycle: creating a baseline review; setting targets; obtaining political commitment; implementing actions to achieve the targets; and evaluating success and failure.

2. Advanced set of indicators
The European commitment and monitoring scheme for local sustainability is based on a manageable number of indicators mirroring local environmental, economic and social development in a balanced way. Data for these indicators will be relevant and available at the local level.

3. Integrated approach
The European commitment and monitoring scheme for local sustainability integrates different aspects of sustainable development rather than just listing them and tackling them individually. The focus is on developing a holistic approach to protect natural common goods and create decent living conditions for all citizens.

4. Common qualitative objectives
The European commitment and monitoring scheme for local sustainability includes, and is based on, a common set of qualitative objectives for any local government across Europe to commit to. The objectives are balanced and address key sustainability issues.

5. Tailored targets
The European commitment and monitoring scheme for local sustainability offers a procedure for local governments to set measurable targets which are comparable between cities and towns across Europe, and are flexible enough to suit different existing environmental, economic and social framework conditions.

6. Political commitment
The European commitment and monitoring scheme for local sustainability requires political commitment and accountability. Participation is based on a decision by the local council, and the commitments made via this decision are monitored.

7. Benchmarking
The European commitment and monitoring scheme for local sustainability awards highly performing cities and towns with political recognition and provides Europe-wide promotion. The specific focus of the performance criteria for awards changes regularly, and in a transparent way, in order to allow cities from various backgrounds to excel.

8. Guidance and resources
The European commitment and monitoring scheme for local sustainability is linked to a framework that provides technical guidance and access to resources to the participating local governments for the implementation of their commitments.

9. Individual feedback
The European commitment and monitoring scheme for local sustainability delivers individual feedback and results to each participating local government. The feedback is relevant to the city and facilitates further development of its local sustainability policies.

10. Aggregated European reporting
The European commitment and monitoring scheme for local sustainability delivers aggregated findings about the status of local sustainability at a European level. The monitoring system is set up in a way that does not require substantial extra effort at the local level to deliver data; access is open to the public and not controlled by any particular actor, organisation or institution.

The aims of an ideal European commitment and monitoring scheme for local sustainability are to discover and better understand changes in local sustainability. Accordingly, the check-list above should serve as a research agenda for the European Commission and offer a major opportunity for the development of common solutions to benefit all local governments in Europe.
Effective co-ordination of local sustainability between local governments, the scientific community and European institutions is a huge challenge in conceptual and practical terms. However, working together to meet this challenge is essential to reinforce the importance of sustainability issues and to promote their successful implementation to ensure the wellbeing of future generations.

The Informed Cities - Final Project Report, a European report on Urban Sustainability, was produced.
The final project report contains extensive details and analysis of data obtained via the explorative application of 'Local Evaluation 21' and 'Urban Ecosystem Europe' by European local governments which has been analysed and aggregated by the project Partners. The report combines findings on both policy processes (qualitative data) and indicator-based data on urban sustainability (quantitative data). Furthermore, valuable insights into successful knowledge brokerage initiatives have been gathered and a proposal for a reporting mechanism on Urban Sustainability in Europe has been developed. The authors of the report recommend putting in practice a set of 10 key features for an ideal European commitment and monitoring scheme for local sustainability, based on discussions at the two Informed Cities Fora in Newcastle, 2010 and Naples, 2011 and the findings gained during the other PRIMUS events (10 national workshops and 3 European national government roundtables).

A specific web platform has been developed bringing together the complete set of indicators and using all data collected. The platform provides an easy and visually attractive way to access data on local sustainability collected throughout the project, both for the benefit of participating cities and others interested in the state of urban environment in Europe. It is accessible from the Informed Cities web site where each of the 53 cities has the possibility to consult all the information reported.
The portal has been set up in such a way that it can be further developed, even after the lifetime of the project.

Potential Impact:
Clear project branding determines project outreach and communication success. Since the project title was very long and the project acronym (PRIMUS) didn’t convey the content of the project, the project partners decided to promote the project under the name „Informed Cities“, accompanied with the slogan „Making research work for local sustainability“. The name chosen better reflects the objectives of the project and offers greater possibilities for continued activities. However, every document and publication produced within the project contains the following information: “Informed Cities Initiative is co-funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme as PRIMUS – Policies and Research for an Integrated Management of Urban Sustainability”.
In total, over 200 cities (local governments and/or research organisation) were active in the Informed Cities Initiative, through involvement in one or more of the events, or in using one of the two tools.
The debates held throughout the project explored in practice the connectivity between research and policy making and delivered recommendations for general enhancement of this connectivity in the future, in the field of sustainability management and in other thematic areas.
To present the outcomes of the project, the Informed Cities initiative has produced three publications:
• European Frameworks for local sustainability. The role of researchers, policy-makers and European institutions in shaping local commitment, exploring the usefulness of European schemes, such as the Covenant of Mayors or the Aalborg Commitments, in supporting the local sustainability process and presenting recommendations on the role of researchers in shaping local processes
• Knowledge brokerage in action in European cities, analysing five examples of cooperation between researchers and local policy-makers with a focus on sustainable development coming from different European cities, including Oslo (Norway), Tilburg (Netherlands), Newcastle (UK), Norrköping (Sweden) and Turku (Finland)
• PRIMUS Final Report (to be published as a book) on making research work for local sustainability, based on the information collected throughout the project. The need for co-operation between policy-makers and researchers in achieving local sustainable development was further discussed - how this can best be facilitated, and what the European Commission’s role should be.

The above publications demonstrate the usefulness of collecting data on local sustainability governance and outcomes across Europe, as serving both to show progress on local sustainability and to motivate others to undertake similar efforts, with the help of the tools available.
Since the project focused on personal interaction and therefore was built around a series of meetings, project events played a key role in the dissemination process. However, in order to reach prospective participants and ensure a proper follow-up, a number of targeted dissemination channels were used.
The project design was based on a visual identity developed exclusively for the project by an external designer. To create a coherent visual identity, the designer developed a project logo, the website design and templates to be used for project documents and publications.

Project website
The project website, the main source of information and reference point for all project activities, included the following sections:
• introduction to the project, describing project objectives and expected results, including a news section
• sustainability resources, introducing both tools promoted by the project and further recommendations for local governments interested in embarking on a local sustainability process
• events section, offering background documents, reports and presentations from all project events, as well as information about upcoming events
• opportunities to get involved, focused on benefits offered by the project to each of the target groups
• contact details of the project coordinator and all the partners

The website is designed in a user-friendly, visually attractive manner and will be maintained by ICLEI after the lifetime of the project.

Project newsletter
The project newsletter was published six times during the course of the project, approx. every 6 months. The newsletter was distributed via e-mail (HTML e-newsletter), based on the template provided by the designer. The newsletter was available in English and downloadable from the project website.

The newsletter included the following sections:
• project news
• profiles of selected research-based urban management tools
• upcoming events in the field of local sustainable development
• recommended publications
• opportunities to get involved

The distribution list included 1800 contacts, representing all key target groups. The initial list was compiled using project partners’ databases and has been regularly extended, to include participants of the events organized by the project and people who subscribed through the website.
The publication of the newsletter continues after the end of the project, thanks to successful fundraising efforts of the project coordinator.

Apart from dedicated project communication instruments, other dissemination channels available to the partners were used to promote the project. Project updates and announcements were published on the websites of project partners and fed into partners’ newsletters and other publications. The main channels used included: ICLEI Connections magazine (1.500 subscribers in 60 countries worldwide), ICLEI in Europe monthly electronic newsletter (2.500 subscribers) and website (50.000 hits per month), as well as social media (Facebook, Twitter, Slideshare).
The project gained additional visibility thanks to a dedicated session on linking research and local policy making for sustainability, held at the 6th European Sustainable Cities & Towns Conference in Dunkerque (France) in May 2010. The Dunkerque Conference was a key European event on local sustainability, offering unique opportunity to extend the outreach of the project and get the leading European cities and researchers on board.

Benefits for target groups
The project activities targeted mainly the following groups:

• representatives of local governments from across Europe
• researchers in the field of urban management and local sustainability
• representatives of national ministries or agencies responsible for sustainability policies directed at the local level
The project has also delivered recommendations for policy-makers on European level (e.g. regarding knowledge brokerage and European frameworks for local sustainability) and, thanks to promoting local sustainable development, contributed to increased quality of life for European citizens.
The key benefits, as offered by the project to each of the target groups were the following:

Local governments
• access to latest tools and guidance on sustainable urban management
• active role in adapting urban management tools offered by researchers to the needs of local governments, strengthening local policy for sustainable development
• pilot application of research-based urban management tools for local sustainability, with hands-on support of the researchers involved in the creation of these tools
• exchange of experience and best practices with other local governments implementing sustainability management, both on the national and European scale
• strengthening contacts with national institutions responsible for sustainable development policies at the local level

Researchers
• promoting European-wide application of tools and guidance produced by the research consortia
• refining tools and guidance developed and mapping ideas for future research, based on critical feedback from local and national policy makers
• establishing and strengthening contacts with the national institutions responsible for local sustainable development policies in the respective EU Member States
• participation in the process of developing recommendations on knowledge brokerage and further development of European frameworks for local sustainability

National institutions
• exchange of experiences and best practices on linking policy and research for local sustainable development with other European countries
• establishing and strengthening contacts with the leading European researchers in the field of local sustainable development
• participation in the process of developing recommendations on knowledge brokerage and further development of European frameworks for local sustainability
• access to the review report on existing research results and tools for urban sustainability

The project has managed to reach the representatives of each of the target groups, thanks to the networks and contacts already established by the project partners.
• Local governments were recruited mainly via the European Sustainable Towns & Cities Campaign, with its 2500 participants, and ICLEI Europe, with a number of members exceeding 180. Participation in the project was open to any interested European local authority, with a special focus on those that already gained experience in applying local sustainability management tools (e.g. as partners in the research projects).
• Researchers involved in European projects on urban sustainability were identified based on the CORDIS database and the experience of project partners.
• National institutions responsible for sustainability policies at the local level were identified through the existing European Roundtable of national governments. Other networks that bring together sustainable development professionals were also included in the dissemination lists (e.g. European Sustainable Development Network, European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils, participants in the Science meets Policy process and in the EU Workshop on Research for Sustainable Development).

List of Websites:
http://informed-cities.iclei-europe.org/

For further information or inquiries, please contact:

Dr Cristina Garzillo
Project Coordinator

ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, European Secretariat
Leopoldring 3
79098 Freiburg
Germany

Tel: +49 - 761 - 368 92 0
Fax: +49 - 761 - 368 92 69
E-mail: informed-cities@iclei.org

The Informed Cities project partners bring a wealth of different European experiences to the project. The project consortium is formed by the following organisations:

ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability (project co-ordinator) is an international association of local governments and national and regional local government organisations that have made a commitment to sustainable development.
http://www.iclei-europe.org/

Ambiente Italia S.r.l. – Research Institute is a research and consulting institute working in environmental and territorial planning and analysis, with wide experience of environmental management of urban areas towards sustainability.
http://www.ambienteitalia.it/

Åbo Akademi Department of Political Science and the Social Science Research Institute in Turku are one of the leading Finnish institutes in comparative studies of local government, with a broad experience in analysing local environmental and sustainable development policies.
http://www.abo.fi/public/

Northumbria University Sustainable Cities Research Institute in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK is committed to developing effective, integrated and interdisciplinary approaches to urban sustainability and urban regeneration though high quality research, publication and the public dissemination of knowledge.

Related information

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ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH
Germany
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