A high-level NLC delegation of local officials has begun to arrive at the inaugural European Green Capital Conference, with the intent of sharing the successes and challenges of U.S. work on sustainability, while gathering best practices from across Europe. Stockholm, Sweden, is serving as the host of this inaugural sustainability conference, having been officially designated by the European Union as its first “European Green Capital.” The meeting’s purpose is to present examples of how European cities are working to meet the demands of growing cities while maintaining sustainable economic development and decreasing the negative impact on the environment.
NLC received a grant from the U.S. State Department to send a delegation of U.S. mayors and other top local officials, wanting to demonstrate that the U.S. is active on these issues, while highlighting that it’s the local governments in the U.S. who are taking the lead. NLC’s sustainability program in the Center for Research and Innovation has been working closely with the staff of the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm, which originated the grant.
Eleven officials comprise the U.S. contingent, which has already generated considerable buzz at the conference and in the press. Six officials are attending on behalf of NLC:
• NLC President Ron Loveridge, mayor of Riverside, Calif.;
• NLC EENR committee chair Henrietta Davis, vice mayor of Cambridge, Mass.;
• Mayor Sam Adams of Portland, Ore.;
• Councilmember Matt Appelbaum of Boulder, Colo.;
• Mayor John Marks of Tallahassee, Fla.; and
• Mayor R.T. Rybak of Minneapolis.
NLC is partnering with the Institute for Eco-Municipality Education and Assistance, which identified representatives of four U.S. towns which have formally adopted the eco-municipality program which originated in Sweden:
• Mayor Dave Cieslewicz of Madison, Wisc.;
• Mayor Larry MacDonald of Bayfield, Wisc.;
• Councilor Eric Spear of Portsmouth, N.H.; and
• Township Manager Rich Krawczun of Lawrence, N.J.
Additionally, the group is joined by the President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors:
• Mayor Elizabeth Kautz of Burnsville, Minn.
The group will be active participants throughout the conference, highlighted by a Thursday plenary session dedicated to American “green success stories.” Following the close of the conference on Friday, the delegation will also meet with several dozen officials from Swedish cities at a session hosted by the embassy.
Stay tuned for updates from Stockholm. If you wish to follow the conference live, much of the proceedings will be streamed at the conference website: