ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability
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European Sustainable Cities & Towns Campaign
The European Sustainable Cities & Towns Campaign was launched at the end of the First European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns which took place in Aalborg (Denmark) in May 1994. Until today, more than 1000 local authorities from all over Europe have joined the Campaign by signing the Aalborg Charter. They represent more than 100 million European citizens from 36 countries.

The overall objective of the Campaign is to promote development towards sustainability at the local level and to support European local authorities in developing and implementing appropriate policies and actions. This should be achieved through Local Agenda 21 and similar processes, and by strengthening partnership, mutual support, and exchange of experiences among all partners involved.

Any local authority including city, town, or network of local authorities from any part of Europe may join the Campaign by adopting and signing the Charter of European Cities & Towns Towards Sustainability, the Aalborg Charter, and implementing the steps outlined in the Lisbon Action Plan which was endorsed at the Second European Sustainable Cities & Towns Conference, held in Lisbon (Portugal) in October 1996.

The European Sustainable Cities & Towns Campaign is supported by five international networks and associations of local authorities:
  • Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
  • United Towns Organisation (UTO)
  • Eurocities
  • World Health Organisation (WHO)-Healthy Cities Project
  • ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability
An important role of the networks is to co-ordinate the Campaign through the Co-ordinating Committee of the Campaign which also involves the European Commission, the EU Expert Group on the Urban Environment, and elected representatives of local authorities. This Committee meets regularly in order to co-ordinate the work of all actors and to discuss and decide upon the development and activities of the Campaign.

Additionally, these five networks undertake a variety of activities to support the Campaign and its participants. These cover areas such as awareness-raising and consultation, good practice seminars and technical guidance and training. The activities in the framework of the Campaign are open to any participating local authority of the Campaign.

For more information please visit the European Urban Governance and Local Agenda 21 website or contact the Urban Governance Team at urban.governance@iclei-europe.org