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Circular Berlin, Leuven2030 and the City of Lousada shortlisted for the 2019 Transformative Action Award  
​ The award ceremony will be hosted by the European Committee of the Regions on 21 November. The winner will receive €10.000 to kick-start a Transformative Action in its municipality, city or region

The projects Circular Berlin (Germany), Leuven2030 (Belgium) and the City of Lousada (Portugal) have been shortlisted as the finalists of the 2019 Transformative Action Award.

Now in its third year, the Award recognises projects that contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement and the achievement of the socio-cultural, socio-economic and technological transformation of societies, using the 15 pathways outlined in the Basque Declaration .

The Award celebrates the ambition of cities and municipalities to create sustainable communities ,” said Karl Heinz-Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions. “It sends a clear message that local democracy and citizen engagement are the driving force for a sustainable future , he added.

In the running for the title of “Transformative Action of the year 2019” are:

  • Circular Berlin , for advancing circular economy in the German capital, through providing platforms for engagement and knowledge exchange and supporting local actors through collaboration;
  • Leuven2030 , for bringing together all local stakeholders to create a comprehensive roadmap to a carbon-neutral future, and for creating an innovative governance model to implement it, and
  • The City of Lousada , for using environmental education to promote environmental practices, inspire and support alternative ways of creating conservation areas and job opportunities, and reconnecting local citizens with their rural landscape.

I would like to extend my congratulations to each of the finalists and indeed to all who applied for this year’s edition of the Award ,” said Cor Lamers (NL/EPP), Mayor of Schiedam, Chair of the CoR's ENVE Commission and jury member. “ It is encouraging to see such a high number of strong entries. Each of the finalists highlights the local, innovative and inspiring steps cities, towns and civil society organisations take to tackle climate change in order to preserve and restore our planet, make our economy more circular and our citizens healthier. Such projects transform our societies for the better, ” he added.

From the strong field of 40 applications, the jury also singled out the City of Umeå (Sweden), for a special mention for their transformative action, which consists of a public library for sports-equipment, toys and leisure items.

“Umeå deserves particular recognition for their inspiring and heartening transformative action, which allows children to overcome economic barriers to participating in cultural activities, fosters inclusion, and supports and strengthens the local community, while reducing environmental impact,” said ICLEI Europe Regional Director and jury member, Wolfgang Teubner.

The award ceremony will take place on 21 November 2019, at the European Committee of the Regions (CoR). The winner will receive €10.000 to kick-start a Transformative Action in its city or region or municipality.

The winner will also receive a trophy, the right to be called “Transformative Action of the year 2019” alongside a free entry and a presentation at Mannheim2020 , a European conference which offers cities and urban stakeholders a platform for inspiration, action and the commitment to take sustainability to the next level. From 30 September to 2 October 2020, Mannheim will bring together over 800 participants and 100 speakers, acting as the multi-level interface between the European Union and sustainability action at local level.

For more information and to learn more about the finalists, click here .


The Transformative Action Award is co-organised by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the Basque Country, and the City of Aalborg (Denmark) and supported by the European Committee of the Regions and the European Investment Bank.

ICLEI Europe – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network of more than 1,750 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development. Active in 100+ countries, we influence sustainability policy and drive local action for low emission, nature-based, equitable, resilient and circular development. Our Members and team of experts work together through peer exchange, partnerships and capacity building to create systemic change for urban sustainability.

The Basque Declaration outlines new pathways for European Cities and Towns to create productive, sustainable and resilient cities for a liveable and inclusive Europe. The document aims to support and accelerate socio-cultural, socio-economic and technological transformation. The Basque Declaration is the next step for local sustainability following the Aalborg Charter (1994) and the Aalborg Commitments (2004). The Basque Declaration highlights the need for ambitious local leaders to think outside the box and find innovative ways to engage with civil society in order to meet economic, environmental and social challenges and at the same time marks the importance of finding sustainable solutions that increase economic value for the benefit of the local population.

The European Sustainable Cities Platform was launched in 2016, following the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns in the Basque Country. Supported by the City of Aalborg, Denmark; the Basque Country, and ICLEI Europe, it focuses on the uptake of the Basque Declaration , which is the main outcome of the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns. The 9 th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns will take place from 30 September - 2 October 2020 in Mannheim (Germany).

For a selection of downloadable photos from the 2018 Transformative Action Award ceremony, visit our Flickr album .

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