As part of an international exchange highlighting city-led sustainability initiatives, a delegation of six locally elected U.S. officials, organized by the National League of Cities (NLC), will travel to Germany and Sweden. The NLC delegation will exchange best practices with their counterparts in European cities around sustainability efforts.
In each country, the delegates will meet with locally elected officials, non-governmental organizations, and high-ranking government officials. The meetings will create an awareness of local sustainability initiatives to demonstrate the leadership being provided by local officials in the United States.
Delegates will present a ground level view of sustainability efforts happening in their cities and demonstrate the important impact of local leadership in advancing sustainability throughout the United States. The U.S. officials will also hear from their European counterparts about successful approaches being used to further sustainability goals in these communities.
Delegates will tour projects known for significant sustainability achievements in the three cities of Stockholm and Malmo, Sweden and Hamburg, Germany. Among the topics to be covered are: comprehensive community design, advances in renewable energy and energy efficiency, sustainability strategies for ports, and the benefits and opportunities of incorporating sustainability in economic development strategies.
In addition to the exchange of information and ideas, meetings in Sweden also represent an opportunity for continued support of the Swedish American Green Alliance (s.a.g.a.) that was created to encourage dialogue and knowledge transfer between the two nations regarding issues of energy, environment and clean tech. NLC signed agreement to support the goals of s.a.g.a. during a similar delegation's visit in 2010.
Delegates were invited to visit Hamburg, Germany to recognize and help celebrate the city's designation as the 2011 European Green Capital, a prestigious designation awarded annually by the European Commission. The City of Hamburg has received this honor for its consistent record of environmental achievement and long-term commitments in achieving sustainability.
The delegation was assembled at the invitation of the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm and the U.S. Consulate General in Hamburg. It consists of the following local-elected officials:
• The Honorable Ralph Becker, Mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah
• The Honorable Roy Buol, Mayor of Dubuque, Iowa
• The Honorable Christopher Coleman, Mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota
• The Honorable James B. Kraft, Councilman, City Of Baltimore, Maryland
• The Honorable Tom LaBonge, Council Member, City of Los Angeles, California
• The Honorable Matthew Zone, Council Member, City of Cleveland, Ohio
Daily reports of activities will be posted on NLC's blog - www.citiesspeak.org
and communicated via twitter @NLCgreencities April 15-20.
The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.