11 May 2022

Sustainable Cities Platform launches sixth edition of the Transformative Action Award

Local and regional authorities spearheading the implementation of Local Green Deals and civil society organisations advancing the sustainable urban transformation in Europe are encouraged to apply for the chance to win 10,000 EUR.

The sixth edition of the Transformative Action Award is now underway! Organised by ICLEI Europe and ICLEI Member Aalborg (Denmark), with support from the European Investment Bank and the European Committee of the Regions, the award launched its annual call for applications at the ICLEI World Congress on 11 May during a session on localising the European Green Deal.  

Transforming Europe

More than 80,000 towns and cities across Europe are responsible for ensuring the wellbeing of their citizens and local environments, while implementing 70% of all EU legislation. Local actors are at the heart of sustainable transformation and policy, and the annual Transformative Action Award seeks to recognise these innovative efforts.

Lasse Frimand Jensen, Member of Aalborg City Council and ICLEI Regional Executive Committee Member, underscores the pivotal role of local governance in creating a better future for Europe:

"As the governance level closest to citizens, local governments are a key factor in realising the lofty ambitions of the European Green Deal. Without local actors’ - including civil society organisations - grass-roots approach, it will be next to impossible to achieve a Europe that is sustainable, climate-neutral and resilient."

So, what makes an action transformative? Initiatives that help catalyse the socio-cultural, socio-economic and technological transformation of societies and further the local implementation of the European Green Deal will be considered for the Europe-wide sustainability award. Actions should also reflect local or regional contributions that support the fulfilment of the Paris Climate Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals, as well as other relevant frameworks and governance.

Wolfgang Teubner, Regional Director, ICLEI Europe offers a closer look at the type of actions that will stand out to the Transformative Action Award jury in 2022:

For this year’s edition of the Transformative Action Award, we are looking for actions that will not only catalyse sustainable urban transformations at the local level, but we are hoping to see actions that go above and beyond the usual scope of implementation. Particularly, by making business, stakeholders, civil society initiatives and others responsible and accountable actors in line with the local sustainability and climate strategies. Local governments are in a unique position to build bridges between sectors and align political ambitions with the nine policy areas of the European Green Deal. A strong applicant will demonstrate their action’s commitment to achieving this type of transformation.

Past winners

Previous winners include La Titaranya SCCL and ICLEI Members Katowice (Poland) and Ghent (Belgium). The Catalan cooperative snatched the award in 2021 for its holistic long-term strategy that generated plans for social housing, cooperatives, attractive public spaces, a climate shelter and more. Meanwhile, Katowice won the title in 2020 for developing environmental apps and campaigns that encouraged residents to make the city more sustainable. Finally, Ghent walked away with the prize in 2018 for transforming the city’s local food system through participative governance models. 

How to apply

The award is open to any local or regional authority, or civil society organisation located in an EU Member State, EEA country or EU candidate or accession country that has endorsed the Mannheim Message. In honour of the European Year of Youth, applicants with a focus on youth or with youth as organisers are strongly encouraged to apply. 

The applicant must be responsible for the implementation of the Transformative Action and the Action must have been in place for at least three months, but no longer than five years, at the time of submission. All applications must be submitted in English. 

The application deadline is 14 October 2022.

Alongside previous Transformative Actions, the 2022 winner will be widely recognised as a leader of the sustainable urban transformation in Europe. The winner will also receive 10,000 EUR to help initiate further actions in their city or region.

Submit your Transformative Action here

Learn more about the Transformative Action Award here and more about Local Green Deals here