Oceania eNews 
June 2013   

From the Desk of the CEO              


This month’s overview is from Bonn, Germany where I am attending a meeting of ICLEI Regional Directors from across 9 regions and 85 countries. The challenge is to ensure that the global agenda reflects regional and local issues and furthers the cause of sustainability in our cities and towns. The 8 ICLEI Agendas adopted at the World Congress 2013 provide a framework for the meeting – Low Carbon, Resilient City, Biodiversity, Green Urban Economy, Resource Efficient Cities, Smart Urban Infrastructure, Sustainable Cities and Happy and Healthy. However the challenge is to ensure that we do not silo actions but provide local governments with a holistic approach that will build their capacity to support a sustainable future.

Following the meeting the Resilient Cities 2013 Congress opens with 450 delegates from around the world. The Congress has become an annual watershed on urban resilience and adaptation. This year Congress will host two special forums on urban resilient food systems and building and construction while city leaders will once again gather at the Mayors Adaptation Forum.

Martin Brennan

CEO & Regional Director
ICLEI Oceania

June News

City of Sydney and Eco Mobility

The City of Sydney will host the next ICLEI EcoMobility Alliance meeting in October 2014. Timed to align with the city's hosting of the International Walk21 Conference and its own two week cycling festival, the Alliance will be concentrating on the barriers to walking as a mode of transportation.
Sydney is committed to EcoMobility and joined the Alliance in recognising its desire to improve. The Alliance has proved interesting for Terry Lee-Williams, the City’s Executive Manager of City Access and Transport, because it confirms that many cities struggle with the same issues, but are in a different phase on each issue.
Photo: Stephan Boehme of Munster City leads Alliance members and affiliates on a tour of Munster's state of the art underground cycle parking facility.

Local Government Recognition  

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) is urging federal MPs to support legislation introduced into parliament to allow a referendum to be held at the time of the September federal election to include local government in the Constitution.
The Constitutional Alteration Bill outlines a simple and pragmatic change to Section 96 of the Constitution to acknowledge the financial relationship between the Commonwealth and local government and confirm the continuation of direct federal funding for community infrastructure and services.
"We want to stress to every MP that without recognition in the Constitution, direct federal funding for their communities is under threat," ALGA President, Mayor Felicity-ann Lewis said.
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2013 Resilient Australia Awards

Nominations are now open for the 2013 Resilient Australia Awards. Natural disasters are a feature of the Australian climate and landscape and are likely to continue with increasing regularity and severity.

Nationwide, there are projects and initiatives making our communities safer, stronger, more resilient and better prepared for disaster. The Resilient Australia Awards provide an opportunity to recognise and promote these activities.
If you know of a project that has helped your community be more disaster resilient and has commenced or demonstrated significant outcomes after 1 January 2011, you are welcome to enter now. Entries close 5 July 2013.
Nominate Now

Copenhagen’s Vibrant Streets

‘When it comes to creating a city where mobility and quality of life are put ahead of auto capacity and speed, Copenhagen is a great model to follow. While I've spent a lot of time on main streets (it's hard to stop staring at all the bike traffic!), I want to share two examples of wonderful side streets: Blågårdsgade and Elmegade (gade is "street" in Danish). Both of these streets are directly off Nørrebrogade, a street that has a frequent bus service (nearly bus rapid transit) and very high volumes of bike traffic’.
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Green Growth in Cities

Pursuing green growth in cities is more important than ever in the light of the explosive urban growth expected over the coming decades. The OECD Report synthesizes the findings from six case studies of urban growth policies at the city level (Paris, Chicago, Stockholm and Kitayushu) and two at the national level (China and Korea). It offers a definition of urban growth and a framework for analyzing how it might play out.
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Advancing Sustainable Urban Transformation

The Special Volume of the Journal of Cleaner Production on Advancing Sustainable Urban Transformation is now published! Over 50 authors have contributed to 20 articles based on 35 cases and 130 surveyed examples of urban initiatives on sustainability in many countries around the world.

Many ICLEI members are included in the examples and there is an article by ICLEI entitled “Bridging the gap between science and practice: an ICLEI perspective”. The article was edited by Kes McCormick, Stefan Anderberg, Lars Coenen and Lena Neij.

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Long-term Warming

A new study has been reported in Climate Spectator that suggests the short-term warming due to increasing greenhouse gases may be less than previously feared. However, when we look at the bigger picture, we still find that climate change is an issue that demands our attention.

The new work by Alexander Otto and colleagues, published in the journal Natural Geoscience, uses observations of surface temperature and the earth’s heat budget spanning the last 40 years. This differs from many previous studies, which have been based on computer models of the climate system.
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City of Fremantle is Growing a Green Skin

Green walls and facades are some of the City of Fremantle’s latest tools in the effort to adapt the city to climate change. The City of Fremantle has commenced the Fremantle Green Skins project, aimed at encouraging the local community to design and construct living walls and rooftop gardens in Fremantle.

The venture forms part of the city’s strategic imperative to lead in the provision of environmentally sustainable solutions for the benefit of current and future generations. The project also aims to encourage native and community gardens.

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Pathways to a Thriving Neighbourhood

ICLEI Oceania Briefing Breakfast @ ALGA National General Assembly

Monday 17 June, 2013 7.15 am – 8.30 am
Derwent Room, National Convention Centre, Canberra
Local governments are the sum of their neighbourhoods and we want them to be thriving. So what are the processes and practical actions to enable neighbourhoods to thrive?
Speakers include:
Mayor Felicity-ann Lewis, President ALGA
Mayor Troy Pickard, Vice President ALGA
Wayne Wescott, Senior Consultant & Director, Thriving Neighbourhoods
Martin Brennan, CEO ICLEI Oceania
Registration: $55.00
Bookings are essential and are filling fast. Email:
For information contact: Martin Brennan 03 9639 8688 or

ACCCRN Workshops Have Started

The ICLEI Indonesia team started working with two cities this month.  We have held introductory meetings and a first workshop in Sukabumi and Cimahi – both cities in the mountainous region of western Java. Sukabumi is a large inland city specialisng in textile and clothing manufacture, and Cimahi was historically a centre for the Dutch armed forces, with many heritage buildings and a distinctly “European” feel.  Both cities are concerned about the effects of climate change on the quality of their air and water resources, and have listed health problems, landslides and flash flooding as additional climate risks.

ICLEI Oceania at UNISDR Global Platform

Steve Gawler, Director International Programs, travelled to Geneva this month to represent the ICLEI World Secretariat at the biennial global platform held by the United Nations disaster agency, ISDR. 

ICLEI President David Cadman and Steve participated in a range of sessions and spoke with senior ISDR officials, as part of the strategy to develop cooperative programs between ICLEI and ISDR, particularly finding ways to link more closely programs tackling disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

Click here for more updates on International Programs.

2013 Thriving Neighbourhoods Conference

Registrations for TN2103 Conference are open as well as the call for abstracts.

The program is being finalised over the coming weeks. Robert Hammond, co-founder High Line NYC, will be a keynote speaker and will deliver in addition workshops in both Sydney and Melbourne.

The deadline for abstract submissions is 28 June, so lodge your abstracts now!

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Sustainable Australia Report 2013

On 9 May 2013, the National Sustainability Council presented the Sustainable Australia Report 2013 to Minister Burke. The report provides a picture of Australia - what we look like and who we are. It tells the story of how we have changed as a nation over the last 30 years. We have made great progress in many areas. Australians are living longer, our health and levels of educational attainment have improved. We have benefited from a strong economy, with low unemployment and increasing incomes. However, inequality has increased and the health of our natural environment has continued to decline in some key areas.

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Urban Ruins: Does Seattle need a High Line?

At a luncheon this week for the Urban Land Institute's local sponsors, guest speaker — and Seattle restaurateur — Tom Douglas toyed with the idea of abandoning the Seattle monorail. The move, he explained, would save the cost of future maintenance and repair, and (even better) the monorail track could be replaced with a walkable, elevated green space in the spirit of the High Line, New York City’s much-touted elevated railway-turned-park. In the Tom Douglas version restaurants would, of course, line the old tracks — perhaps, even in the abandoned monorail cars themselves.
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2013 Banksia Sustainability Awards

It’s time to be recognised...

The Banksia Foundation, through their Award Programs, aims to raise the profile of the current sustainability issues facing Australia and recognise those whose initiatives are an encouragement and an example for others to follow. New to 2013 are the following Local Government categories:

Local Government Sustainability Award
Recognises leadership by fully integrating sustainability principles and practices into operational activities at all levels and reducing the organisation's footprint.

Local Government Sustainable Procurement Award
Recognises leadership in achieving environmental, social and economic outcomes through the purchase of goods and services.

For more information and details on how to enter in 2013 click here.


ICLEI World Secretariat based in Bonn provides a range of programs for towns and cities to participate that add value to their sustainability and climate action policies and practices.

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The Oceania Secretariat provides advocacy, networking, information sharing and targeted projects that enhance the work of Members and informs the broader Local Government sector.

See Our Work

Host City, ICLEI Oceania Secretariat

The Thriving Neighbourhoods Blog

Have you heard of Thriving Neighbourhoods?

It is exploring your neighbourhood and the ways that you can enable it to become thriving.

Posts are updated weekly, so have your say and start reading the Thriving Neighbourhoods blog today!

ICLEI Oceania Regional Executive Committee – RexCom

Chair - Cathy Oke, Councillor, City of Melbourne, Victoria
Stephen Yarwood, Lord Mayor, City of Adelaide, South Australia
Paddi Creevey, Mayor, City of Mandurah, Western Australia
Wayne Walker, Councillor, City of Auckland, New Zealand

Troy Pickard, Mayor, City of Joondalup, Western Australia - Global Executive Committee Member (Biodiversity Portfolio)
Member - Global Biodiversity Portfolio & Cr Cathy Oke, Global Water and Sanitation Portfolio

Host City, Water Campaign Australia
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