Launching event - Reference Framework Sustainable Cities
An integrated approach of sustainability in cities. That is where the Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities (RFSC) aims at. The RFSC is an online tool that helps cities to prioritise the actions needed to meet their objectives regarding sustainable development. On 15 and 16 March 2011 Nicis Institute assisted in the organisation of the launching event for the Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities (RFSC).
In total 66 European cities test the RFSC tool for the European Commission.The RFSC is a joint European initiative of Member States, cities and local authorities networks (CEMR, Eurocities) and the European Commission. Nicis Institute assist the EC in supporting these cities while testing the RFSC tool. The RFSC has its background in the Leipzig Charter of 2007 where Ministers of Urban Development and Territorial Cohesion aimed for an ‘integrated approach’ of sustainability in cities with a special focus on deprived neighbourhoods. The launching event in Brussels was the starting point for the testing phase. An impressive number of participants came to the Centre Albert Borschette to be informed about the RFSC, to participate in workshops and to come up with all kind of questions and feedback about the RFSC website.
How does the Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities (RFSC) work?
RFSC is a practical online tool that helps European cities to:
- enrich and formalize their city’s sustainable strategy in line with their local priorities. By picking the actions that best suit the city’s local priorities. For example, is it important for the city to maintain a degree of permanence in a changing environment? Or is it important to improve the quality and accessibility to public services? And by checking the actions chosen to be an integrated approach;
- evaluate their sustainable strategies and projects with graphs and dashboards.
Commissioner Hahn: ´Reference Framework a valuable tool for the future´
The European Commissioner for Regional Policy Mr. Johannes Hahn held a welcome speech. The Commissioner pointed out that to be “the Reference Framework will be a valuable tool in the future. It can help our cities to identify strengths and weaknesses and to move forward in their strategic planning regarding sustainability”. Furthermore, plenary speeches were addressed by representatives from the European Commission (DG Regional Policy), Member States, LC-FACIL cities (a working group to facilitate implementation of integrated sustainable urban development) and Nicis Institute. The workshop sessions were very useful, because many questions were answered about the RFSC. They were hosted by Nicis Institute. EMI and the European Urban Knowledge Network (EUKN) assist Nicis Institute in its activities for the RFSC.
All in all, the launching event was a good start-up for the testing phase of the RFSC with informative and inspiring plenary speeches and dedicated test cities. As Commissioner Hahn puts it: “I believe that the Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities can be a crucial element in achieving our common goals.”