Newsletter #1
Sept 2016

www.rfsc.euRFSC - Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities
A tool to develop, assess & monitor sustainable urban development


The new version of the RFSC had its official launch during the CEMR Congress in Nicosia, Cyprus, in the presence of urban stakeholders from all Europe.

Frédéric Vallier, Secretary General of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, welcomes the new version: “RFSC is just about that: better policies definition and implementation, better appropriation by the citizen, better use of money“. Yves Laurent Sapoval, Special Adviser to the Director of Spatial Planning, Housing and Nature, from the French Ministry of Housing and Sustainable Homes, express its confidence that this tool will help local authorities from all across Europe to build bridges with the Global and European Urban Agenda, when fostering sustainable urban development. llmar Reepalu, CEMR spokesperson on Urban Issues, and based on his experience on sustainable urban renewal in Malmö as the city Mayor, stressed the importance of the tool in the delivery of a vision towards a green, attractive and inclusive city, and the potential of sharing this vision with the local community. Albert Edman, Strategic Development Officer, explains how RFSC can help to share experiences between cities, as its city Umea experimented it with La Rochelle (FR) and Hradec Kralove (HR), and how it can help foster dialogue and achieve an integrated approach to sustainable development.

Feel free to try and register in the new RFSC tool with one click here. For more information, please contact
What is the RFSC and how it can help you towards integrated and sustainable urban development?
A self-assessment tool: since each urban project/strategy is unique, the RFSC invites local authorities and urban development stakeholders to prioritise your strategic objectives through an integrated approach, on the basis of 30 sustainable development objectives covering 5 dimensions of sustainable development. You can test this function by clicking on "Add a new project" button in the projects section. You can then select in "Project status" whether you want to add a real project or a training project just to try the RFSC webtool.

The latest sustainable urban indicators to help you in the monitoring of your Sustainable Development Strategy/Project at the local level. You can access their full description, including the methodology of calculation , the European background and targets, and where to find the data sources. You will thus benefit from all the progress that has been made in relevant indicators at the local level since the first edition of RFSC indicators database in 2011 consisting in a collection of indicators from several sources (e.g. Eurostat, EEA, ISO, SDG's, Citykeys etc.). Go to the indicators section to have a look at the first 30 key indicators, to be followed very soon by more.
A ”good practices” portal to facilitate networking and cooperation. It offers you the opportunity to find peers, search projects by working themes, share good practices and to be visible on the international stage. Go to Network section in the tool to see how it works. With the international HABITAT III conference in Quito in October 2016 approaching, we want to collect interesting examples on sustainable urban development strategies or projects in Europe. Therefore, we invite you to provide a good practice by going to the projects section and click on “add a new project”.  

RFSC  officially recognised as a delivery tool in the Pact of Amsterdam

The Urban Agenda for the EU has been adopted during the meeting of EU ministers for urban affairs on 30 May 2016. This Agenda will help towns and regions face current urban challenges – i.e., migration, housing or urban poverty - through an integrated approach. How? By leading to greater coherence and ensuring an urban dimension in EU policies that affect urban areas, namely, by identifying "better regulation, better funding, better knowledge" that can contribute to shaping EU legislation.

The RFSC has been officially recognised as a delivery tool in the Pact of Amsterdam, contributing to the principle of integrated approach by helping to develop and assess integrated and sustainable urban development, alongside others programmes like the EU Urban Innovative Actions and the Covenant of Mayors.

RSFC and Habitat 3
How can RFSC help you follow up your SDGs and your local urban Agenda ?

The New Urban Agenda has been agreed on at the Habitat III Informal Intergovernmental Meeting which took place at in New York from 7 to 10 September 2016, and it will be adopted in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016. 

We welcome the fact that the
Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities' vision of integrated and sustainable urban development is represented in the views expressed in the New Urban Agenda. Thanks to the RFSC's self-assessment tool and this common vision on sustainable urban development, it can help you to develop, implement and monitor your local urban agenda in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda.

In order to enable and help cities localising the SDG's, a database with the latest city indicators, consisting on indicators developed by RFSC experts and a collection made from different sources (e.g. Eurostat, EEA, Citykeys, ISO, SDGs, etc.) is provided and can be filled online. You can access their full description, including the methodology, and where to find the data sources.


A two day training to learn everything you need to know about the RFSC 20-21 of October 2016
The Cerema will organise a two day training session on the new version of the Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities in Tours, next 20th and 21st of October 2016. Dedicated to any city or urban stakeholder interested in better understanding the reference framework, this training will give the participants a full and deep insight of the multiple functionalities provided by the RFSC application. 
The participants will be invited to create a real life project and implement the three step approach that the RFSC offers: from setting sustainability priorities for their project to selecting relevant indicators to monitor their progress, cities will concretely explore the evaluation tools. Besides, the participants will have the opportunity to directly share their best practices with the growing community of RFSC users in Europe. At the end of the training session, the participants will get a “training kit” to assist them when keeping on using the platform devices and to help them spread the words to other potential users of the RFSC.
If you are interested in participating in the training session, please contact us at:

Other sessions will be organised in the next weeks and months in different locations!

Norms and standardisation in relation to cities - Urban Intergroup, European Parliament
In the meeting that took place in Strasbourg on 7 July, Mr Hilmar von Lojewski from the German Association of Cities, made a presentation on norms and standardisation in relation to cities. It has been mentioned the importance of considering European indicators such as th
e Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities (RFSC) or global indicators like those linked to Sustainable Development Goals when setting up the standards on sustainable urban development.

"In conclusion, participants agreed that careful monitoring of standardisation processes in relation to cities is needed and standards should be understood from the political perspective."


Urban Europe — Statistics on cities, towns and suburbs

The Eurostat Statistical Book "Urban Europe — statistics on cities, towns and suburbs" has been published on the 7th September. It "provides detailed information for a number of territorial typologies that can be used to paint a picture of urban developments and urban life in the EU Member States, as well as EFTA and candidate countries". 

"The publication is broken down into two parts: the first treats topics under the heading of city and urban developments, while the second focuses on the people in cities and the lives they lead. Overall there are 12 main chapters, covering: the urban paradox, patterns of urban and city developments, the dominance of capital cities, smart cities, green cities, tourism and culture in cities, living in cities, working in cities, housing in cities, foreign-born persons in cities, poverty and social exclusion in cities, as well as satisfaction and quality of life in cities."



...are already part of the RFSC community!

The EEA ‘Urban sprawl in Europe’ report is out, check where and how urban sprawl is happening

The report ‘Urban sprawl in Europe’ from the European Environmental Agency provide a snapshot and a comparison of urban sprawl between 32 European countries at three levels (the country level, the NUTS-2 region level and the 1-km2 cell level) and for two years (2006 and 2009), thanks to a new and robust methodology and recently made available Earth Observation data.
The report show that Urban sprawl continues to happen in all European countries, in spite of the European target of no net land take by 2050,with an increase by more than 1% per year, and in many countries even more than 2% per year, between 2006 and 2009.
Check out also the 3 report on resource-efficient cities

Tool to design your local food strategy

In October 2015, more than a hundred world cities around have signed the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, a legacy of the Expo Milan 2015. As voluntary commitment, the Pact Charter encourages local authorities to design a local food strategy with a roadmap around six priority axes. To support the operational application of this charter, the County Council of Gironde and IUFN joined together to develop a practical guide – Designing a local food strategy. The guide offers two methodological approaches - Project mode or LaboM'2 mode, two philosophies adapted to the context of each local authority, but with the same goal: building a sustainable food system as a common good.
The French version of the Guide is available here:
Contact IUFN for English version of the Guide: /

CITYkeys to hold workshop in Vienna

Over the past two years, the CITYkeys consortium has developed a framework for the transparent monitoring and comparability of smart city activities and solutions implemented in cities across Europe. This included the definition of key performance indicators (KPIs), the establishment of guidelines for data collection, and the development of a performance measurement system prototype, which has already been tested in five European cities. 

More information about the project’s results:  

Smart city experts will gather in Vienna on 25 October for a workshop to assess the results of the CITYkeys project. They will compare notes on their experiences in testing the system prototype and discuss performance measurement and policy making, smart city indicators and indices, and exploitation and business models behind a performance measurement framework.

Agenda and registration: 
Contact: Nikolaos Kontinakis
Share your city urban solution for Habitat 3 global summit in Quito

With the international HABITAT III conference in Quito in October 2016 approaching, CEMR and the French Ministry for Housing and Sustainable Habitat want to collect interesting examples on sustainable urban development strategies or projects in Europe.

Therefore, we invite you to go to the RFSC projects section and click on “add a new project” to provide a good practice. Your good practices can then be featured at the HABITAT III conference, displayed in the French Government Exhibition area and on the publications featured for the event (RFSC Twitter and News section, etc.).

Climate Chance 1st edition 
26 to 28 September 2016 - Nantes, France
This summit of Non State Stakeholders should bring together several thousand participants from all over the world to adopt a joint declaration as a contribution to the COP22. It will launch 18 coalitions of actors on various topics such as urban agriculture, food waste, mobility, awareness raising to energy transition.
27 September - Covenant of Mayors High-Level Dialogue ‘Community based climate actions - taking citizens and local stakeholders on board’

The European Week of Regions and Cities (OPEN DAYS)
Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities (RFSC) - a tool for Integrated Sustainable Urban Development

13 October 2016 – Brussels, Belgium
This event aims to introduce the RFSC to urban stakeholders and to demonstrate its added value in assessing and monitoring integrated sustainable urban projects and strategies. The participants attending this event will benefit from Local Authorities’ and other RFSC users’ experience and best practices using the RFSC tool.

World Summit of Local and Regional leaders 2016 
12 to 15 October - Bogota, Colombia
UCLG - United Cities and Local Governments

Habitat III - United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development
17 to 20 October - Quito, Ecuador
In Resolution 66/207 and in line with the bi-decennial cycle (1976, 1996 and 2016), the United Nations General Assembly decided to convene the Habitat III Conference to reinvigorate the global commitment to sustainable urbanization, to focus on the implementation of a New Urban Agenda, building on the Habitat Agenda of Istanbul in 1996.

Training on the Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities
20 to 21 October - Tours, France
Dedicated to any city or urban stakeholder interested in better understanding the reference framework, this training will give the participants a full and deep insight of the multiple functionalities the RFSC application provides.

United Nations Climate Change Conference on Climate - COP22
7 to 18 November - Marrakesh, Morocco
The COP was created and put in place in order to structure the efforts of the Parties to the Convention as they address climate change. The COP meets annually to review and assess the implementation of the UNFCCC and any other legal instruments the body adopts with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fighting climate change. These annual UN climate change conferences are commonly referred to as COP.

Sustainable City Development 2016
30 November to 2 December - Malmö, Sweden 
The UN's new 17 global sustainability goals mean local challenges and here is neither a lack of will or initiative in Malmö to achieve them. Between the 30th November  -  2nd December 2016, Malmö municipality is organising an international conference on how cities can work with global development and how we have made the UN's goals our own on the road to a sustainable city.

RFSC is designed and developed by France (Ministere du Logement et de L'Habitat Durable / Cerema / CSTB), and promoted in Europe by the CEMR (Council of European Municipalities and Regions)
If you wish to share your thoughts or contribute to the future development of the RFSC, please contact the RSFC Secretariat at
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RFSC · Square de Meeûs, 1 · Brussels 1000 · Belgium

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