Informed Cities

Informed Cities Initiative


The Informed Cities initiative - making research work for local sustainability - is a European initiative driven by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability which aims to bridge the gap between research, policy-making and action in sustainable development, at and for the local level.

Drawing on various research projects, the Informed Cities initiative is a meeting place for dreamers, thinkers and doers who want to co-create the future of European cities.

The Informed Cities Initative was originally a 3-year European project based on a grant from the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission that aimed to examine and enhance connectivity between research and policy-making for sustainable development, at (and for) the local level. This was done through encouraging interaction and face-to-face discussions between researchers and policy-makers, as well as through the explorative application of two research-based tools for sustainable urban management (Local Evaluation 21 and Urban Ecosystem Europe) by local governments across Europe (free of charge). Local Evaluation 21 is a user-friendly online tool of charge to European local authorities for self-assessing their local sustainability processes. The tool, available in 20 EU languages, provides a sound basis for political decisions on improving local management and governance mechanisms. Urban Ecosystem Europe is a core set of 20 advanced sustainability indicators that provides an integrated assessment of EU cities' urban environment. The set is based on the 10 Aalborg Commitments contents and has been aggregated in themes such as Local action for health and natural common goods, Social equity, justice and cohesion, or Local to global: Energy and Climate Change. It is available in English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Spanish and Romanian. The project objectives were the following: * Establishing dialogue between European researchers and policy-makers on local sustainable development, encouraging a back and forth information flow and building lasting contacts between both groups * Examining and evaluating the process of knowledge brokerage, based on explorative application of selected research-based urban management tools by 100 local governments across Europe * Demonstrating the potential of a strenghtened connectivity between research and policy-making through cross-linking data on governance processes with data on policies and outcomes for urban sustainability * Engaging with key stakeholders on national and European level to mobilize their support for the brokerage process and dissemination of project results to a wider audience