Sustainable Cities Bulletin 3/2019

Dear UBC colleagues,

Two weeks ago, the XV UBC General Conference was held in Kaunas Lithuania and a new presidium and executive board were elected.

"In UBC’s future, I see an inclusive and value-based UBC by the content and the results, and also some developments inside the Union. I am looking forward to putting shoulder to shoulder to deliver the results the Member Cities want.", states newly-elected UBC President Mantas Jurgutis.

This marks a new era for the network and also the Sustainable Cities Commission is entering the next two-year period with a newly appointed Advisory Board and co-chairs. We are happy to have members with different types of experiences represented in the Advisory Board and we are looking forward to a successful two years of improving and developing our commissions work and the exchange between our member cities. We are also renewing some of our methods for exchange and networking with the aim of activating members and providing cities with new impulses to meet colleagues and to learn from each other. The new formats, organized in collaboration with the commission and member cities, include study visits, peer reviews and thematic workshops.

 “These new ways of exchange will hopefully facilitate more concrete and active exchange between our member cities. We will approach you all with this new initiative in the coming weeks and hope that many of you will embrace this opportunity”, envisions our Communications and Network Manager Jutta Mäkinen.

We have modified the contents of our eBulletin as well, it includes now a section dedicated to news from our member cities. We hope you will be active in sending us your news so that also our eBulletin along with our website and other media channels will work as a platform to share and connect. A more local approach was also added to this year’s UBC-CDP cooperation report. Instead of comparing our member cities climate efforts to other cities on a global level, we instead dug deep into the specific actions our member cities are taking to tackle climate change, in order to share these best practices with our network. One of the best practices coming from St. Petersburg is the Clean Beach Campaign and we encourage all our member cities to join this initiative - let's keep our beautiful Baltic Sea beaches clean!

All in all, we wish that through these efforts we will be an active commission that brings an added value to the membership in the city network.

Björn Grönholm                                               
Head of Secretariat                                        
Union of the Baltic Cities – Sustainable Cities Commission


The XV UBC General Conference was held 15-18th October in Kaunas, the historical center of Lithuania, with the topic “Building an inclusive and resident-focused city. The Baltic way”. The conference marked the beginning of a new era for UBC as Mantas Jurgutis, Deputy Mayor of Kaunas, was voted for becoming the president of the UBC.

Tamarinden is located in Sörbyängen, an expansive area in southern Örebro, just over two kilometers south of the city center. As the area develops, the focus will be on the life between the houses and smart solutions.

To develop the environmental culture of St. Petersburg residents, to promote the sound use of nature resources, the Committee for Nature Use, Environmental Protection and Ecological Safety, City of St. Petersburg is implementing measures including both environmental activities (campaigns, cleaning actions, workshops, trainings etc.) and dissemination of environmental publications (posters, leaflets, brochures).

Kemi is situated in Northern Finland and Southern Lapland by the Gulf of Bothnia, 35 kilometers from the border of Sweden. City of Kemi has committed to Sustainable Development Goals and Green acting and thinking model is included in city strategy. Green and sustainable Kemi project brings these decisions in practice. Within the project we have embraced the world or at least the city and have taken lots of bigger and smaller actions. Social Kitchen is one of the most interesting models we have developed.

On July 11-14th, the European Athletics U23 Championship 2019 was held at the Gavlehov Stadium Park in Gävle, Sweden. 1500 competitors from 51 countries, 500 volunteers and over 13 500 visitors. With the goal to offer a sustainable championship in world class, a festival atmosphere and full stands, Gävle Municipality invested a great deal in working sustainably in all dimensions and minimizing the environmental impact on the city’s environment.

A well-known environmental problem within the Baltic Sea region is caused from shallowed overgrown bays, which occur when dead biota and particles are transported to coastal areas and accumulate at the bottom, adding to the sediments. The LifeSURE project tests and demonstrates how to restore the ecological status and hydro morphology of Malmfjärden Bay in Kalmar, Southeast of Sweden.

For the second year in a row, the students of the Cēsis Pastariņš Primary School are enjoying the benefits of attending a sustainable, energy efficient school.

Since the first edition of the SUMP Guidelines was published in late 2013, it was THE main European reference document for urban transport and mobility practitioners involved in the development and implementation of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs). Many cities in Europe and around the world have developed SUMPs, while numerous European Union-funded projects and programmes have contributed valuable knowledge that helped cities to develop this new generation of mobility plans.

This year´s CIVITAS Forum returned after 16 years to the place where it started- to Graz, Austria. From October 2nd -4th a record number of 650 participants from Europe and beyond gathered for three days, filled with sessions, presentations, study visits, networking and discussions around sustainable mobility.

The HUPMOBILE project is looking for Follower Cities who will uptake the solutions and guidelines developed in the project and test them in their own context as well as give feedback to project management.

CMM Living Street Brainstorming

The sudden appearance of e-scooters, some cycling paths or other single mobility measures here and there will not increase the use of sustainable modes of mobility – at least not in a longer term.

The CIVITAS SUMPs-Up project offers free webinars for European cities enabling capacity building in the sphere of sustainable urban mobility planning. Check out the upcoming webinars. We hope that you will take use of the already recorded webinars when a need arises.

The CASCADE “Community Safety Action for Climate Adaptation and Development” project funded by EC DG ECHO and awarded the EUSBSR Flagship status by PA Secure operates as a pilot example for cross-sectoral cooperation in the Baltic Sea region. The CASCADE project brings together civil protection specialists and climate change adaptation experts for the first time to fight the impacts of climate change jointly.