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Sustainable territorial and local development

Sustainable development - 27.03.2007

Seville conference: local governments commit themselves to implement sustainable development policies
Over 1500 participants have attended Seville conference on sustainable cities "Taking the commitments to the streets". The event brought together delegates from European local governments who have committed themselves to act and implement advanced policies for local sustainable development, on 23 March 2007.
The conference aimed to highlight the importance of sustainable development for local politicians in Europe and to commit them to immediately advance implementation of the Aalborg Commitments*. Some fourty cities in Europe have signed the Commitments in Seville. The cities include Paris, Munich, Seville, Koprivnica and Lille.
Michael Häupl, President of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), and other speakers called on local governments to sign up to the Aalborg Commitments and join this common process. If every city and town in Europe decides to act with conviction, said Michael Häupl, we can and will make a difference. And unless we act, as individual cities, and collectively together, Europe cannot succeed.
Myriam constantin, Representative of the Congress of local and regional authorities (Council of Europe) also stressed the importance of an active role of the local level towards sustainable development. Local governments are key partners to implement sustainable practices. We at the Congress believe that sustainable development has to be considered in a broad sense and include the protection of the environment, as well as the social and economic dimensions.
The Council of European Municipalities and Regions coordinated two sessions during the event. The first one on "Social inclusion and migration" highlighted good local government practices, with a focus on integrated approaches based on partnerships with third parties (businesses, NGOs, the voluntary sector). The second one entitled "Winning mobility solutions" looked at ways to increase the public and political acceptability of sustainable transport measures.
During this last session, Eleni Kopanezou, the representative of the EU Commission, presented the new green paper on urban transport. She invited all stakeholders to take part in the online consultation (see below).
Keynote speakers at the conference included Cristina Narbona Ruíz, the Spanish Minister of the Environment; Mayor of Sevilla, Alfredo Sánchez Monteseirín; and Dennis Meadows, Honorary Member of the Club of Rome.
Background information
The Fifth European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns, in Seville on 21-24 March 2007, was co-organised by the City of Seville and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, on behalf of the European Sustainable Cities & Towns Campaign.
Sevilla 2007 built upon previous conferences, notably the Aalborg +10 Conference of 2004 which resulted in the Aalborg Commitments*. These are a set of policy commitments that have been recognised by the European Council in the new European Sustainable Development Strategy as the focus of local sustainability. The Seville conference reaffirms the Aalborg Commitments and promotes advanced implementation of local sustainable development strategies.
The EU Commission's consultation: "Preparation of a Green Paper on Urban Transport"
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