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CHAPTER 3 Powered By Docstoc
					Investing for a Sustainable Future :
from best practice to common practice
        A call for EU-wide investment
        in sustainable housing and transport innovations :
          the economy,
          the environment
          and creating
          social cohesion.
          A booklet produced by
           EEB, ETUC, and Social Platform
           as part of the campaign
          “ Investing in Sustainable Development ”
           January 2004
    Investing for a Sustainable Future:
  From best practice to common practice

                                A call for EU-wide investment in sustainable
                                          housing and transport innovations:

                            driving the economy, improving the environment
                                               and creating social cohesion

A booklet produced by EEB, ETUC and Social Platform as part of the campaign
                  “Investing in Sustainable Development”

                               January 2004
Photo and Image Sources

Front Cover:

Dailylife Presse-Edition, Lille, France

Back Cover:

Photo 1, ‘Flats awaiting renovation’:
Information and Communications Unit, Directorate-General Regional Policy of the European

Photo 2, Austrian city centre:
Information and Communications Unit, Directorate-General Regional Policy of the European

Illustration, Impression of the traffic situation in town of Hilversum:
Novem Agency, the Netherlands


Page 7, Girl with low-energy lightbulb: Northern Ireland Housing Executive
Page 8, Sunderland Road Flats: University of Ulster
Page 12, Retrofitted Building: Opac 38
Page 13, Opac 38 Logo: Opac 38
Page 19, Impression of traffic situation in town of Hilversum: Novem Agency, Netherlands

Project Information

Our thanks go to all people from the described projects who kindly provided us with
information and suggestions.:

1. Renovating Buildings for Jobs and the Environment, Germany
      Dr Werner Schneider, DGB, Berlin/ KfW

2. Reducing Fuel Poverty and Improving the Environment, Northern Ireland
      Northern Ireland Housing Executive

3. Urban Regeneration, Torino, Italy
       Elisa Frassetto, Communication and Press Office, The Gate Project

4. Sustainable Social Housing, France
       Michel Gibert and Benoît Jehl, OPAC 38

5. Congestion Charging, London
      Una McCarthy, Transport for London

6. Moving Freight from Road to Rail, Switzerland
       Barbara Schaer, Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and
       Communications, Switzerland.

7. Spatial planning for Sustainable Transport, Netherlands
     Jessica Dirks and Suzan Reitsma, NOVEM


Introduction                                                   Page 5

Part 1: Best Practice in Housing and Transport                 Page 7

A: Housing                                                     Page 7

1. Renovating Buildings for Jobs and the Environment,          Page 8

2. Reducing Fuel Poverty and Improving the                     Page 10
Environment, Northern Ireland

3. Urban Regeneration, Torino, Italy                           Page 12

4. Sustainable Social Housing, France                          Page 14

B: Transport                                                   Page 17

5. Congestion Charging, London                                 Page 17

6. Moving Freight from Road to Rail, Switzerland               Page 20

7. Spatial planning for Sustainable Transport,                 Page 22

Part 2: From best practice to common practice:                 Page 24
Proposals for EU leadership

The Campaign Manifesto                                         Page 25

Useful Links                                                   Page 30

This report can be downloaded from the Social Platform website,,
EEB website, and ETUC website,

The organisers acknowledge the financial support of the Commission of the European
Communities. The publication reflects the organisers’ views. The Commission is not liable for
any use that may be made of the information contained in this publication.

This report was also made possible thanks to the financial support of the Dutch Ministry

Reproduction of all or part of the publication is encouraged with acknowledgement of the

Compilation of case studies: Maria Buitenkamp, Sylvain Chevassus

Editing: Kathleen Spencer Chapman


For the last few years, trade unions together with social and environmental organisations
representing a large and diverse group of NGOs from all over Europe, have been
cooperating in the field of sustainable development. We share a common belief that
sustainable development serves the goals and values of our organisations and members.

In joint publications we have welcomed and commented on policy initiatives on Sustainable
Development from the European Commission and European Council. Since 2003, we have
intensified our cooperation into a common campaign for Sustainable Investment, as we felt
the need to campaign more strongly for real and visible implementation of Sustainable
Development in the EU.

Many fine words have been devoted to the topic, but our organisations and members – and,
we believe, a majority of EU citizens – want to see sustainable development in the real world,
in concrete projects, in their daily life. Many inspiring examples exist, in various cases even
supported by EU money, but too often they remain exceptions.

Our organisations believe that an ambitious policy for investing in sustainable development is
in the interests of economic innovation, of social inclusion and cohesion, of the environment
and of quality of life for EU citizens. Concrete ambitious projects that deliver tangible results
are urgently needed for the credibility of the European Union to its citizens.

This booklet starts with an overview of some inspiring examples in the fields of sustainable
housing and sustainable transport. These cases aim to illustrate the kind of projects we wish
to become common practice thanks to ambitious EU leadership. The booklet ends with the
text of our common Manifesto, being co-signed by many other organisations and individuals,
which sets out the kind of policy changes which are necessary to make the case studies in
this booklet the norm, and not the exception.

We hope that you will be inspired by this booklet.

Social Platform

January 2004

PART 1: Best practice in housing and transport

Innovative, integrated solutions to local housing and transport questions have shown that
they can reduce energy use, decrease public and private costs, improve access, create jobs
and stimulate innovative business ideas at the same time as enhancing social inclusion,
increasing quality of life and reducing environmental impacts.

In Part 1, we have included examples from various countries in Europe, that illustrate good
practice in housing and transport and which can serve as examples for wider application.
This does not mean that they can be simply transplanted in blueprint fashion to other projects
in different contexts, but they are part of an ongoing process of learning and innovation. In
many cases, useful lessons have been learnt by public authorities, NGOs, business, trade
unions and citizens involved in such projects, leading to further innovation and better
achievements in new projects.

A: Housing

All over Europe, local authorities and housing organisations have initiated hundreds or
perhaps thousands of innovative housing projects, with a variety of economic, social or
environmental objectives, in various cases assisted by EU funds or programmes. When two
or three of these objectives have been integrated into one project, we can truly speak about
sustainable housing projects.

For example, the Irish Carbery Housing Association recently successfully completed the
European Commission-funded RENEASE project – Renewable Energy Against Social
Exclusion. It has just started a similar European project with partners in 9 countries.

In Amsterdam (The Netherlands) a former municipal waterboard site was transformed into a
green car-free public space with 591 environmentally-friendly dwellings. Of these homes, 273
are social housing and 214 are state-subsidised private homes, with 5 apartments for
disabled people, a sheltered housing project for children with multiple disabilities, 17
commercial spaces and a community centre. Old buildings such as the pump house were
transformed into a café, offices, TV studio and work units.

The level of investment needed for such projects is not necessarily always higher, as shown
by a project of 64 rented homes in Langenhagen, Germany. Construction costs were
reduced while high social and environmental standards led to lower carbon dioxide
emissions, higher resource efficiency, lower rental charges, lower heating costs, a positive
community spirit and lower levels of vandalism.

In the UK, an architect has developed an urban development concept called ‘BedZED’ which
has been implemented in the London Borough of Sutton, involving well-insulated, low-energy
and low land-consuming home and work units which are attractive for inhabitants. It
integrates sustainable transport ideas and aims to enable a carbon-neutral lifestyle. In
Vienna (Austria) thermal rehabilitation for old, post war residential buildings (Thewosan) is in
operation since 2000. Around 28,000 housing units have been rehabilitated and heating
requirements have been reduced by an average of 53% in most cases. This is a significant
improvement for the residents, who formerly had to spend a large part of their income on
heating costs. The additional construction volume thus achieved amounts to approx. €95
million annually, generating approximately 1800 jobs in the building sector.

We could continue with many more examples, but prefer to concentrate on detailing a
smaller number of examples from different parts of Europe in more depth.

1. Renovating Buildings for Jobs and the Environment


 In 1998 the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) proposed a scheme to the
 government which would aim to both create employment, and contribute to the fight
 against climate change through environmental protection. The DGB worked on this project
 in partnership with a broad coalition of government, industry and environmental NGOs, the
 ‘Alliance for Work and Environment’ (Bündnis für Arbeit und Umwelt). It was adopted by
 the German government at the end of 2000.

 The key component of this scheme is the retrofitting of buildings to reduce energy
 consumption, thereby creating jobs in the construction, environmental products and
 technology, research and consultancy sectors. The scheme in turn promotes the export of
 German environmental technologies, as well as renewable energies.

 Key objectives:

 •   Renovation of 300,000 dwellings per year
 •   Creation of 200,000 jobs
 •   Reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 2 million tons per year
 •   Reduction of heating costs for tenants and owners
 •   Save the state €4 billion due to decreased demand for unemployment benefits, and
     increased tax income.

How it works

Flat owners, lodgers or housing associations submit proposals for retrofitting projects to the
responsible authorities, including information on energy use reduction. In order to maximise
the efficiency of the retrofitting works, and to ensure public money is well spent, the projects
are chosen predominantly according to energy efficiency criteria. If the project is accepted,
the applicant gets a cheap credit, which has to be paid back. About half of the applicants
are private owners, half are housing associations.

The plan is to improve the heat insulation in the building envelope (for example through
insulating roofs, windows and walls), replace condensing or low-temperature boilers, and use
renewable energy (for example by introducing photovoltaic technology and solar heat to
create an independent supply of electricity and hot water).


€1 billion in subsidies given to applicants since January 2001 for the credit-financed
programme is generating an estimated €5 billion of private investment. The total amount
invested by the government by the end of the project will have been €1.8 billion, leading to
an estimated €8 billion of private investment.

Figure 1

     2500                                                300
     2000                                                250
       500                                               50
           0                                             0


        kt i

        kt i

       Fe ber

       Fe ber
       O n

       O n







 Vertical pillars: cumulative total credits issued for renovation (left hand figures, in million euro) –
 €2.1 billion by September 2003
 Horizontal line: credits issued per month (right-hand figures, in million euro)
 Source: Dr Werner Schneider, DGB, Berlin/ KfW


So far (from January 2001 until September 2003) €2.1 billion of credits have been issued for
the renovation of 115,000 dwellings. (See Figure 1)

According to the DGB, thousands of jobs are being created in companies operating in the
building industry and related sectors, including in air-conditioning and heating industries.
Additional jobs are expected to be created in other sectors, such as in the window and glass
industries (for window replacement and insulation), in photo-voltaics and solar heat, in heat
                                                           insulation manufacturing    and    in
  Looking to the future                                    insulation technology, manufacturing
                                                           insulation material and the building
  In the light of the positive experiences of the Alliance materials    industry. Environmental
  for Work and Environment, the Alliance partners,         advisors, engineers and architects
  including the DGB and member trade unions,               have also been employed through the
  companies        from      relevant   industries     and
 professionals, are continuing this work together in
 order to take further advantage of these opportunities
 to   protect     the    environment    and    reduce
 unemployment.                                                 As a result of the renovation activities,
                                                               inner city areas have been revitalised
 A European Alliance for Work and Environment?                 and become more attractive for
                                                               tenants. Simultaneously the pressure
 The DGB trade union confederation proposes to                 to develop rural areas near city
 strive for a European Alliance for Work and                   boundaries (creating urban sprawl) has
 Environment in relation to the EC Directive                   been reduced, keeping travelling
 2002/91/EC on energy performance for buildings,
                                                               distances for work and leisure activities
 with the objective of climate protection and

                                                 After renovation, tenants and owners
experience a reduced household energy consumption, which can amount to up to 85% lower
energy use.

2. Reducing Fuel Poverty and Improving the Environment

Northern Ireland

 An estimated 203,262 households, or one third of total households, in Northern Ireland
 experience, are in or at risk of fuel poverty (2001 data). Low income, high fuel prices and
 poor quality of buildings are the main causes.

 The government of Northern Ireland developed a Northern Ireland Fuel Poverty Strategy,
 following the UK Fuel Poverty Strategy of November 2001.

 In Northern Ireland it was decided that tackling the third cause and improving the energy
 efficiency of the dwellings was the best way to make a long-term impact.

How it works

The 1995 UK Home Energy Conservation Act requires a significant improvement of energy
efficiency in the housing stock. This Act was an important starting point for energy
conservation activities in the domestic sector in the UK. In November 2001 the UK Fuel
Poverty Strategy was published, but gave little priority to energy conservation.

However, The Department for Social Development in Northern Ireland linked this with the
Home Energy Conservation Act and developed energy conservation as a core tool in the
Fuel Poverty Strategy for Northern Ireland.

 Fuel poverty is defined       The Northern Ireland Housing Executive is responsible for the
 as ‘a condition where         implementation of the strategy, in close cooperation with
 householders need to          other Government departments, such as the Department for
 spend more than 10% of        Social Development, Department of the Environment,
 their income to heat          Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety and
 their home to an              the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.
 adequate standard’.
                               The main programmes for tackling fuel poverty are:

“Warm Homes Scheme” (Department for Social Development)

The Warm Homes scheme was introduced in July 2001. It provides grants for a range of
energy efficiency measures for owner-occupiers and private rented sector tenants who meet
certain criteria. Almost a quarter of owner-occupiers and almost half of the private rented
sector tenants are in, or at risk of, fuel poverty (2001 data).

“Energy Efficiency Improvement Programmes”
(Housing Executive)

For its own housing stock, which represents almost a fifth of Northern
Ireland’s dwellings, the Housing Executive works on conversion of
solid fuel to gas or oil, wall and loft insulation, double glazing, and low-
energy lightbulbs. In addition, renewable or innovative energy demonstration projects and the
application of combined heat and power are developed. Housing Executive tenants can use
a special service – Heatsmart – for advice on the best use of their heating systems control,
which some people find difficult to manage, especially elderly tenants. About 60% of the
tenants of the Housing Executive are at risk of fuel poverty (based on 2001 data).

“Energy Efficiency Levy” programme (Northern Ireland Electricity)

Managed by Northern Ireland Electricity, this fund provides grants for a range of different
measures, from promoting and subsidising low-energy lightbulbs and other electric
appliances, to improving heating systems and applying photo-voltaic panels.

Other Activities

In addition to these programmes, voluntary sector bodies are sponsored, such as National
Energy Action (NI) which campaigns for the eradication of fuel poverty in Northern Ireland.
Promotional activities and information and advice services are also funded by the Housing

A wider range of activities is carried out in the framework of the Home Conservation Act,
which we have not mentioned as they do not specially relate to fuel poverty. All citizens can
benefit from the various schemes, including cashback schemes for private householders and
interest free credit schemes.

Project example: Sunderland Road Flats, Belfast

The Housing Executive provided Photovoltaic (PV) panels to three blocks of social housing
flats in Sunderland Road, Belfast. Two blocks contain twelve flats each while the third has six
flats. The array of panels over the roofs of the three blocks has provided approximately
5000kwh of energy over the first six months of monitoring. The production of electricity and
                                     the tenant’s usage of the electricity are being monitored
                                     in order that detailed information can be provided.

                                      The tenants received an energy efficient fridge freezer,
                                      a kettle, low-energy light bulbs, a time switch (so that
                                      tenants can get the most benefit from the system) and
                                      energy efficiency advice. Each flat was fitted with a
                                      solar meter in the hall to indicate to the tenants how
                                      much electricity is available to them to be used at any
                                      given time.

                                        Monitoring is ongoing and it will be late 2004 before any
                                        meaningful conclusions can be drawn. However, early
                                        indications are that the tenants are using around half of
the electricity produced by the panels with the remainder going back into the grid. The
electricity bills of tenants are being further reduced due to the fact that they are now using
energy-efficient appliances.


The three schemes mentioned above represent an annual government investment of more
than £41 million (about €57 million). Of this, the Warm Homes Scheme accounts for 8
million, the Housing Executive’s own improvements account for 30 million and the NI Energy
Efficiency Levy programme accounts for £3.3 million. Of the total amount, approximately
80% goes to households who are in or at risk of fuel poverty.


By 2001, a 13% improvement in energy efficiency of the housing stock had been achieved
                                            since 1996. This compares to a requirement
 • Total number of households in            under the Home Energy Conservation Act for a
    Northern Ireland: about 615,000         34% increase in energy efficiency of the total
 • Dwellings      without    double-glazing Norther Ireland housing stock, with substantial
    decreased from 60% in 1996 to 31 %      progress over a 10 year period.
     in 2001.
 •   Dwellings without wall insulation       The target is that by December 2004, at least
     decreased from 53% in 1996 to 39% in    20,000 households should be lifted out of fuel
     2001.                                   poverty.
 •   In 1996 only 10% of households used
     low energy lightbulbs: in 2001 almost   The implementation of so many energy
     one third used them.
                                             conservation measures had also had a positive
                                             effect on businesses and employment in
                                             Northern Ireland.

3. Urban Regeneration

Torino, Italy

 Since 1998 the City of Torino has started several innovative projects in close cooperation
 with the regional government, housing agencies, business representatives, social
 organisations and residents. The objective was to improve the living and working
 conditions of its citizens, especially in deprived areas with large numbers of immigrants,
 high unemployment and single-parent families.

 Better housing and health services, training, job creation, urban renewal, waste recycling
 and promoting social inclusion are important elements in this approach. The projects
 depended on large government investments, which were partly supplemented by EU
 funding and private investors.

How it works

Porta Palazzo project

The neighbourhood of Porta Palazzo, located in Turin city centre, has around 9,500
households from a wide range of ethnic groups. This Urban Pilot Project, entitled ‘The Gate -
living not leaving’, ran from 1998 – 2001 with the objective of improving living and working
conditions, with some sub-projects still continuing. To manage the project a special
committee was established by the City of Torino, in January 1998. This "Porta Palazzo
Project" Committee is a non-profit initiative that involves participation by both public
institutions and private companies as promoters and local partners. Residents were actively
involved in the planning and decision-making.

The project consisted of a variety of activities aiming to foster economic development and
environmental improvement, as well as social and cultural initiatives. It included the
renovation of buildings, the market place, meeting places and public spaces.

Some specific actions were:
- The creation of a space for craft businesses
- The creation of Apolie, an office to help with setting up small businesses and helping
citizens into jobs, especially immigrants, with the help of cultural mediators
- Financial grants for energy-saving measures in individual dwellings or for whole apartment
- Action to sort waste from the market for a re-use and recycling strategy, to collect organic
waste from the market to produce high quality compost, and to encourage food market
traders' responsibilities for disposing of and re-using packaging

Mirafiori Nord

In 2001 another project started in Mirafiori Nord, under the EU Urban II Programme. This
suburban area is situated near the Fiat factories and has around 25,000 inhabitants. As
employment in the car industry decreased, the socio-economic situation in this
neighbourhood has deteriorated. The project aims at physical, social and economic
regeneration of the area. Some elements of this project are:

•   Waste recycling in cooperation with Amiat, the City’s Urban Hygiene Company. The
    objective is to double in one year the proportion of separated refuse turned in by the
    inhabitants, through an awareness-raising campaign and the reorganisation of the
•   Training and support for setting up new small businesses, e-commerce and exchanging
    contacts and skills;
•   Helping the disadvantaged access new technologies, job search services and organising
    training activities;
•   Setting up special shops where people can exchange skills and experience in different
    fields, including tailoring, gardening, and household maintenance and repairs;
•   Training for people working in the social welfare and health care sectors to investigate
    the actual needs of the population, and to use them as mediators and agents of local
•   A new civic centre offering activities and services for families, children, women, the
    elderly, and a place where local associations and individuals can meet, share
    experiences and provide mutual support.
•   Services for the elderly and for families, and health and drugs prevention.
•   A Time Bank through which people can offer services in exchange for others, such as
    small repairs, shopping, cooking, or caring for pets and plants.
•   Reconstruction of several roads and buildings, restoration of a church and construction of
    a park, installation of underground high voltage lines.

ATC, a regional social housing agency with 32,000 dwellings, is investing large sums of
money in the renovation of their housing stock. They offer facilities to residents’ organisations
in their premises, train volunteers to staff a help-desk for residents, and improve energy
efficiency when they renovate the flats, thus helping residents to save money.


For the Gate project the City of Torino received co-funding from the European Union and the
Ministry of Public Works. Business contributed 258,288 euros to specific employment
initiatives. Besides the €6,197,482 of the European project, investments within the area by
the public sector amounted in total to at least €51,646,000 in the three years of the project
duration (1998 – 2001).

For the regeneration of Mirafiori Nord, an investment of over €40 million is foreseen. ATC is
currently spending €250 million on maintenance and construction work for its 32,000 flats in
the Piemonte region. A large part of this money comes from ATC itself, which claims it
cannot continue this level of spending without additional government support.


According to the authorities, the impact of the Gate project is visible in employment effects.
In particular renovation of housing stock in the market area and construction of the
underpass below the market has led to the direct employment of approximately 1,000
people. It is expected that overall revitalisation of the local economy will result in the creation
of 100 permanent jobs. Training and temporary employment via job placement schemes will
benefit young immigrants without formal skills and qualification.

Thanks to the ambitious approach, large parts of the city have been and are being revitalised
in economic, social and environmental terms, offering amongst others better and more
energy efficient housing to its inhabitants, a more pleasant neighbourhood, new small
businesses, better access to jobs and health services and more social cohesion.

4. Sustainable Social Housing

France, Rhône-Alpes region

 OPAC 38 is the biggest council housing provider in the Isère department (Rhône-Alpes
 region), and manages 22,000 accommodation units covering half of the department's
 communes. OPAC 38 aims to provide good quality housing at affordable cost to low and
 medium income households.

 The groups of buildings that it manages range from one or two housing units to several
 dozen. OPAC 38 is also a service provider in the area of building project design and
 development and building management. It carries out ownership access operations and
 has responsibilities in existing housing areas.

 One of the main social objectives of OPAC 38 is the control of costs to tenants in terms of
 rent and service charges. This in turn has an environmental protection dimension since
 lowering energy use is one way of controlling costs. Thus OPAC 38 has developed a
 strong policy in terms of energy efficiency of buildings and renewable energies. The Opac
 38’s sustainability policy also emphasises job creation and tenants’ governance.

How it works

To illustrate the approach in practice, some specific projects are briefly described below.

The “Surieux” project

This project was part of a general district urban renovation and upgrade programme led by
the commune of Echirolles which included the building of
                                                             • 100 m² of photovoltaic
a new cultural centre and installation of a new tram line.
                                                                panels were installed in
In the housing part of the project, 505 dwellings in the        order to produce solar
area were retrofitted with solar and photovoltaic panels.       electricity for the ventilation
This allowed for 25% of the total necessary energy for          motors and for staircases
domestic hot water (450 MWh) to be supplied by solar            lightning
energy.                                                      • 705 m² of solar panels were
                                                                    installed for domestic hot
Households now save €96 each per year on energy bills.              water.

                                Controlling individual electricity consumption

                                OPAC 38 has a policy of controlling individual electricity
                                consumption. It does this in a number of ways, including
                                providing tenants with information on how to save energy at
                                home, training its staff who have contact with the tenants,
                                distributing leaflets with the monthly bill about water,
 Retrofitted building           electricity, electronic equipment, transports and so on. It also
                                provides low-energy lightbulbs.

This project cost €66 500, financed by Ademe and Rhône-Alpes Regional Council.

The “rent + service charges” couple

One of the objectives of OPAC 38 is to control the costs of rent and service charges for
tenants. Service charges are additional to the monthly rent and include maintenance and
central heating costs.
In buildings where a ‘heating conversion’ has been carried out (about 1300 buildings so far),
service charges have decreased mainly due to energy savings. Tenants do not contribute to
paying off the main investment, and although rents increase in order to pay for interest on the
loan, the cut in service charges is larger than the increase in rent, so tenants are better off.

The level of saving depends              Before “sustainable retrofitting” work, total costs to
amongst other factors on the size of     tenants are typically distributed as follows:
the building retrofitted and the type
of energy used.                          1: rent = 69%         2: service charges = 31%
                                         of which 40% is covered by social assistance, 60% by

Tenant participation                     After “sustainable retrofitting” work, total lodging costs
                                         are typically distributed as follows:
For all its retrofitting projects, OPAC
                                         1: rent = 86%         2: service charges = 14%
38 consults its tenants, especially      of which 54% is covered by social assistance, 46% by
when these entail a rent increase, as    tenant
the “energy / sustainability” projects
do. OPAC 38 explains the nature of
the projects to the tenants, why the
rent will increase, and how the service charges will decrease. OPAC also explains to the
tenants the principles of sustainable development.


Since 1996, OPAC 38 has received a total of €1,356,923 from the European Commission for
its investments in more sustainable housing. The main funds come from the EU projects
Green Cities, SUNH (Solar Urban New Housing) and Sustainable Housing in Europe.
Investment is also provided by various levels of the French government. Funding for these
                              sustainability projects comes in a mixture of loans and direct

                               The OPAC 38 projects mainly funded by the EU would not
                               have been possible without the European funding. This
                               demonstrates the importance of investing public money,
                               whether it comes from the EU, national governments or other
                               public authorities.


The OPAC 38 sustainability projects deliver energy savings and switches to renewable
energy sources. They are viable for the lifetime of the new equipment. At the same time they
reduce total costs for tenants, thanks to a cut in service charges.

In the “Jean Jaurès” project, 134 dwellings switched from electricity to district heating (a
common heating supply for a group of flats), partly applying renewables. This resulted in
€61,000 annual savings on heating bills for tenants.

The OPAC 38 itself has created jobs in order to manage its new projects, including 4 highly
qualified jobs related to sustainable development. It has also developed an internal training
scheme on 'Environment, Energy and Social Housing’ for construction programme
managers, agency managers, territorial sector managers and rent department managers.

B: Transport

Many cities and towns in Europe cope with urban transport problems and search for
solutions that benefit their citizens in terms of accessibility, health and quality of life. As
motorised transport is increasing almost everywhere in Europe, it is a challenging task to
reverse this growth, and design more sustainable transport and mobility solutions which are
accessible to all. The EU also offers various programmes aimed at finding such solutions.

In the UK, the White Paper "A New Deal for Transport, Better for Everyone" advised local
authorities to implement "green transport plans" or transport strategies for local areas, in
partnership with local people, transport operators, businesses and others, to improve local
travel. Available funding is £8.4 billion over 5 years.

Since 2000, Paris has developed its Transport Plan which includes bus corridors,
construction of a new tramway line, cycle lanes and more constraints on car use. It resulted
in 6% fewer vehicle kilometres in inner Paris between 2000 and 2002 (measured on working
days from 7am to 9pm) and a slightly increased (about 1.5%) number of trips by public
transport between 2001 and 2002.

Helsinki, Finland, has a highly efficient public transport system and is famous for its
investment in clean buses. There are 10 tram lines, a metro with feeder bus services and a
railway network that operates like an overground metro. Parking restrictions and tram ticket
price reductions were introduced. Some 70 per cent of commuters now use public transport
to access the city centre, and 800 kilometres of cycle path encourage cycling. Traffic lights
favour the slower traffic and pedestrians. Plans have also been prepared for certain car-free
areas and residential units. The Helsinki Metropolitan Area Council (YTV) has recently
prepared a long-term plan for the transportation system of the metropolitan area for the year
2025. This plan aims to improve service coverage and efficiency of public transport by
constructing new rail links and extending the metro.

Rome has two parallel schemes. One is a small car-free zone in the city centre situated near
the parliament. The second scheme is a rather large restricted zone, where only vehicles
with permissions are allowed to enter. The zone is controlled by cameras. The city will also
soon introduce electric buses, and ensure additional buses in the restricted area. Rome is
considering a congestion charge.

We could continue with many more examples, but prefer to concentrate on detailing a
smaller number of examples from different parts of Europe in more depth.

5. Congestion Charging

London, United Kingdom

Just over a million people enter central London every morning between 7 and 10 am. Over
85 percent of these trips are by public transport, and around 12 percent are by car. In 2003 a
‘Congestion charging’ scheme was introduced with a two-fold objective, to reduce road traffic
while improving public transport. This is a way of ensuring that those using valuable and
congested road space make a financial contribution towards public transport. It encourages
the use of other modes of transport, cuts car traffic levels and is also intended to ensure that,
for those who have to use the roads, journey times are quicker and more reliable.

After intensive consultation on the details of the scheme, in order to meet demands from
businesses, residents and a large number of other interested groups, in February 2002 the
Mayor of London Ken Livingstone announced that the scheme would start a year later.

How it works

Since February 17th 2003, drivers have had to pay £5 per day (€7.50) if they wish to
continue driving in central London during the scheme‘s hours of operation (7h00 -18h30).
Lorries pay more. The zone is 21 square kilometres in size, representing 1.3% of the total
area of Greater London.

All vehicles driving across the £5 charge zone have to pay, with some exceptions such as
taxis, emergency vehicles, blue/orange badge holders and two-wheeled vehicles. Others are
entitled to a discount, including residents and registered alternative energy vehicles .

Drivers can pay by telephone, text message, post, internet, or at a licensed shop, and can
purchase daily, weekly (£25), monthly (£110) or annual (£1,250) passes. The scheme is
monitored and policed by cameras on roads around the centre of the city which read car
registration plates. These cameras send data to a special computer system.Transport for
London, the authority that manages the Charge, has also set aside £100 million for
                                      accompanying traffic management schemes to benefit
  There has been a high level of
                                      drivers and residents across the whole capital. This
  popular acceptance for the scheme,
  for two main reasons. Not only was  includes changing vehicle flows, re-phasing traffic
  London’s traffic very bad (6 most   lights, putting in more road-calming measures and
  congested city in the world), there giving more priority for pedestrians.
    was much consultation in advance of
    the scheme’s introduction, and the    In preparation for the introduction of the Charge,
    use to which the revenue was to be    London Buses added 300 new buses, 6 new routes
    put was very clearly explained.       that go through central London and many more night
    Londoners new exactly what their      routes. This has created an extra 11,000 spaces in
    payments would be used for, and       buses during the peak time.


The total budget to set up the scheme is £200 million, including £100 million of
complementary traffic management measures being spent across Greater London. Running
costs are an estimated £50 million per year.

The charge is expected to raise a profit of at least £130 million a year which, by law, will have
to be reinvested in the public transport system. Thus the expected pay-back time of
investments is only 18 months.

The profit for the first year is expected to be reinvested in this way:
 £84 million on buses
 £36 million on road safety measures such as street lighting
 £4 million on CCTV cameras on buses to enforce bus lanes and to cut down crime
 £ 6 million on road safety specifically around schools.


Three months after the introduction of the Congestion Charge, it appeared that:

•    traffic levels inside the charging zone had fallen by 16%, and 20% fewer vehicles entered
     the zone – or 150,000 fewer car trips in and out of the zone during charging hours
•    the majority of car users had switched to public transport
•    there had been a 1% rise in underground use and a 14% rise in bus use in peak hours
•    the technical system was working effectively

•     diverted traffic was being successfully accommodated
•     traffic speed inside the congestion charge had increased to an average of 17km/h
      compared to 13 km/h at the same time in 2002
•     the level of disruption to bus services caused by traffic congestion had fallen by around
      half in the charging zone, and bus speed increased
•     the charge had not led to an increase in traffic outside the charging zone.
•     Cycling was up 16% in the zone

The reduction in traffic is still exceeding expectations of those behind the scheme, who had
predicted a 10 to 15% reduction in traffic levels.

    Will a high charge be detrimental to Londoners?

    Some opponents argue that those most affected are the ones who cannot afford to pay the
    Congestion Charge. Wealthier drivers are still able to drive into the Charge zone, and enjoy better
    traffic conditions. Those who are expected to switch transport mode are the lower income drivers.

    On the other hand, according to the authorities, most of those driving in central London have
    always been from higher income groups. Most members of lower- and medium-income groups, as
    well as some higher-income groups, already commuted by public transport. Among other factors,
    the cost of parking already deterred many people from driving into central London before the
    Charge was introduced. Thus social patterns should not be significantly affected.

    At the same time, the Charge should bring various social benefits. A better environment tends to
    bring most benefits to lower income groups, who in general suffer most from direct pollution. This
    is particularly the case in London, where lower-income groups tend to live in the inner city. They
    should therefore benefit from the positive effects of lower road traffic in central London such as
    less noise and fewer exhaust gas emissions.

    Better public transport will benefit all actors (inhabitants, commuters, business, visitors etc), but
    low and medium income groups are likely to benefit most. As part of the scheme, Transport for
    London plans to invest an additional £84 million in buses and has already made significant
    improvements. The authorities claim that bus fares are back to 1971 levels in real terms.

    Other accessibility measures are due to be accelerated or extended, including enhancing the
    Taxicard scheme - which subsidises taxi rides for people with mobility problems - or the more
    widespread implementation of 'bus boarder' kerb designs to improve accessibility.

6. Moving Freight from Road to Rail


    In its 2001 White Paper on Transport, the European Commission (EC) predicted a 38%
    growth in demand for goods transportation in the EU up until 2010. In 2001, Switzerland
    was crossed by up to 5500 heavy lorries per day, most of them European lorries crossing
    the small Swiss territory on their journeys from the North to the South of the EU. As these
    trips are concentrated on the very few roads that cross the Alps, the environmental and
    social impacts on these routes are considerable.

    Switzerland started addressing this problem long before the White Paper was published.
    On 20 February 1994, the Article on the Protection of the Alps was adopted by the Swiss
    people in a referendum and is therefore now part of the Swiss constitution. The Alpine
    Initiative was started by an ad-hoc committee of 42 people from the mountain cantons of
    Graubünden, Uri, Ticino and Valais. Their campaign was supported by all the
    environmental organisations, the Swiss Union of Railworkers (SEV) and various political

    The transfer of freight traffic from road to rail is to be achieved by a combination of different
    measures, including a kilometre tax on heavy goods vehicles and promoting combined
    transport. Simultaneously a major improvement of the whole rail network, including for
    passenger traffic, is being undertaken.

How it works

The Swiss Traffic Transfer Act was adopted in 1999 and defines the number of lorries
allowed to cross the Swiss Alps. In the first two years after the enforcement of the land
transport agreement, the number of transalpine lorries is to be stabilised at the level of 2000.
It is then to be reduced to 650,000 lorries a year by 2009. In 2000, 1.4 million trips were
registered. An additional means for the transfer from road to rail is stricter control of freight
traffic on the road (weight, resting time, technical state, etc.). There is also a night and
Sunday ban on road freight transport.
                                                                        The chances of being killed
A kilometre-based tax on HGVs is levied on all roads,                   travelling by road are 35 times
and varies according to weight and emission category                    higher than when travelling by rail.
of vehicles. With a few exceptions, it has to be paid by                The Gotthard tunnel disaster of
                                                                        October 2001 proved once again
all Swiss and foreign freight vehicles above a certain
                                                                        that the price - both human and
weight. The tariff amounts to 1,7 Swiss centimes                        environmental - of allowing huge
(approx. €0.01) per ton-kilometre, i.e. 0,65 Swiss                      lorries to thunder through narrow
francs (approx. €0.40) per kilometre for a 40-ton lorry.                Alpine passes is very high. The EC
This is to pay for hidden infrastructure costs and                      calculates     that    every     ton
external costs (noise, health, accidents, and damage to                 transported on a kilometre of road
buildings). The kilometre-based tax on HGVs came into                   has external costs (in terms of
force on 1 January 2001. The tariff is being increased                  pollution, accidents, infrastructure
gradually up to 2,7 Swiss centimes.                                     and so on) of €0.12, while on rail
                                                                        the cost is €0.051
                                                                        (2001 White Paper on Transport)
‘Combined transport’ options are offered in two ways -
‘intermodal transport’ such as Shuttle Net, which takes
containers from the lorries on board a train, or the Rolling Highway. The Rolling Highway
takes the whole lorry on board the train and provides separate sleeping and resting facilities
for drivers, all the way through Switzerland. The use of these services is growing and

    While Switzerland is not an EU member, the innovative approach of this project could be replicated in the EU

facilities are being increased and improved. In 2002, 44,500 lorries used the 9-hour service
to cover the 414 kilometres from Freiburg to Novara, which is 40 km West from Milano.

A new rail link through the Alps (NRLA) is also under construction, having been adopted by
the Swiss people in 1992. The NRLA aims to make rail transport more efficient and
attractive, with shorter distances, fewer gradients and thus no change of engines mid-way,
longer trains and so on. The plan involves extending the St. Gotthard tunnel (due for
completion in around 2014), and the Lötschberg tunnel (due for completion in 2007).

Furthermore, Switzerland’s railway reform is expected to lead to increased competition.
When completed, it will allow the freight transport free access to the track network, and
Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) will have undergone a refinancing process. Railway reform
was launched at the beginning of 1999.

Money                                                            Revenues and beneficiaries from
                                                                 the HGV tax:
The Swiss government provides 2.85 billion Swiss                 2001: 750 million Swiss francs
francs (c. €1.85 billion) for the promotion of rail freight      (€470 million) revenue goes to:
                                                                 - Swiss Confederation: 500m
transport within a period of 11 years. These funds are
                                                                 (spent on railway projects)
used to subsidise user tariffs for railway lines and non-        - Cantons: 250m
economically-viable offers of combined transport.
Contributions to the construction of terminals in                2005 (estimated): 1500 million
Switzerland and abroad are financed from other sources.          Swiss francs (€950 million)
The framework credit will be discontinued when the               revenue goes to:
kilometre-based HGV tax can be levied at its maximum             - Swiss Confederation: 1000m
level and the Lötschberg tunnel is completed.                    (spent on railway projects)
                                                                 - Cantons: 500m
The decision on the building and financing of
infrastructure projects in public transport regulates the financing of the NRLA, Rail 2000, the
connection to the high-speed network of neighbouring countries and noise protection along
railway lines. The fund is to be fed by two thirds of the revenues of the kilometre-based HGV
tax, part of the tax on petrol, VAT and credits from the capital market.


Although the full implementation of the plans have to unfold further, growth of road freight
transport in Switzerland has clearly come to a halt, or even shows a very small decrease, as
the graph demonstrates. However, part of this can be attributed to the closure of tunnels as a
consequence of large accidents, which resulted in part of the freight avoiding the route
through Switzerland. Without the measures, freight traffic would have continued to increase.
The Swiss Agency for Environment calculated that CO2 and NO2 emissions in 2007 can be
expected to be 30% lower compared to an unchanged situation (where there was already a
flat fee).

Figure 2: Costs to be covered (Source: Barbara Schaer, Federal Department of Environment, Transport,
Energy and Communications, Switzerland
                                         Total: €720 million
          Compensation                                     costs: €11M
          annual flat fee:

                                                               Health care:
      Noise: €160M                                             € 260M

            Damage to
            buildings: €200M                           Accidents: €11M

7. Spatial planning for Sustainable Transport


 As part of the national plan for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the Ministry of
 Transport introduced a subsidy programme for local spatial planning which contributes to
 carbon dioxide reduction, noise reduction, safety and accessibility.

 In 2002, 21 local authorities in the Netherlands received subsidies for developing
 sustainable mobility plan for (all or parts of) their village or town. After implementation, an
 average reduction of 7% in carbon dioxide emissions from transport is expected in the
 plan areas. Plan areas include both smaller towns and cities.

How it works

Two methods developed in the Netherlands,
‘local transport performance’ (‘LTP’ or in
Dutch ‘VPL’) and ‘slower is faster’ (‘Largas’)
offer local authorities tools to improve quality
of life in their residential areas.

With the ‘slower is faster’ method, traffic flows
become slower, safer and more predictable,
leaving more room for pedestrians, cyclists
and public transport while journey length in
time for private car users is not affected or
even improved. Emissions, noise and energy
use decrease mainly because of traffic
calming.                                                         Artists’ impression of Hilversum

With ‘local transport performance’, the results can go even further and decrease total car use
while improving mobility and access for all – making distances shorter, improve conditions for
public transport, walking and cycling. It is a bottom-up design process which starts with the
perspectives of pedestrians and cyclists, then public transport, with private car use included
at the final stage.

Both methods can be applied for the renovation and improvement of existing urban areas,
but in practice ‘local transport performance’ is more comprehensive and integrative and thus
more often applied for new urban developments. The ‘slower is faster’ tool can be part of the
more strategic and overarching approach of ‘local transport performance’, or can be applied
on its own to a specific area where traffic calming is desirable. The tools provide planners
with insight into the effects of various options beforehand, so that they can optimise the
planning. In most cases, inhabitants were invited to participate in the planning process.


The subsidy is provided by the Ministry of Transport, through the Netherlands Agency for
Energy and Environment (NOVEM). €750,000 were available for 2002-2003; for 2003-2004
€500,000 is available.

A typical amount of subsidy for one local project is €20,000 – €25,000. This only partly
covers the additional costs of the extra planning work carried out by the local authorities and
consultants. Total additional costs are on average between €50,000 – €70,000 per project.
The subsidy is not meant for the implementation and construction phase.

The subsidy limit for one project is €25,000, covering a maximum of 50% of the additional
costs. Costs per avoided ton of carbon dioxide cannot be more than €45 and the carbon
dioxide reduction should at least be 5%.


21 local authorities in the Netherlands have started to design local transport plans, based on
these innovative methods for urban planning, that will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from
transport on average by 7%, reduce noise, improve air quality and increase safety and
accessibility for all travellers.

The invested national subsidy has led to an almost threefold larger investment by local
authorities in additional work for innovative transport planning.

Part 2. From best practice to common practice: Proposals for EU

These case studies have shown how public investments can make concrete contributions to
building sustainable societies. Public expenditure accounts for between 30 and 50% of GDP
in EU countries. On top of this, the EU budget represents a further 1.27% of the EU GDP,
most of which (1% of EU GDP) is being spent on cohesion policy. Public authorities thus can,
and should, show the way forward on sustainable investment. If well designed, public
expenditure can create a synergy between the three dimensions of sustainable development
and bring significant benefits to society as a whole.
                                                             A       German      study      called
We do not necessarily call for an increase in public         ‘Hauptgewinn                 Zukunft’
spending, but for better targeted public spending. Most      (Okoinstitut/VCD1998) shows that
state support measures in the transport field, for           with redirecting public expenditures
example, are potentially harmful for sustainability. A       and higher taxes on petrol and
recent study concluded that at least €16.7 billion in the    kerosene, a shift to a more
EU 15 is spent annually on environmentally-damaging          sustainable transport system in
                                                             Germany can be financed. This
transport subsidies (CE 2003). The EU Structural
                                                             would deliver 200,000 additional jobs
Funds and the Cohesion Fund also spend large                 (net gain) and reduce CO2
amounts on regional road projects which often cause          emissions from transport with 30%,
adverse environmental effects.                               while drastically improving car
                                                             technology,      public     transport
In the field of housing, public funding is currently by far  infrastructure and mobility for
not sufficient to meet the needs for sustainable housing     pedestrians, cyclists and public
in the towns and cities in Europe. Large investments         transport users.
are necessary to create affordable and resource
efficient housing in neighbourhoods where people are socially included, can participate in
decisions that affect their daily life, and where access and mobility is provided at low cost for
humans and the environment.

A number of lessons can be drawn from the case studies to build on for the future:

•   Cooperation between public authorities and civil society organisations can not only
    substantially increase public acceptance of projects but also help develop innovative and
    realistic proposals;

•   Public seed money in the forms of grants or subsidised loans is often an essential part of
    the intervention of public authorities, including from the EU level;

•   Sustainable approaches are often not inherently more costly than conventional ones, but
    they needed a higher investment in thinking, learning and creativity to find better solutions.
    Some of these cases required higher investments in materials and technology, but all
    delivered financial and social benefits afterwards, lowering long-term costs;

•   Many activities have a positive economic multiplier effect, leading to increased economic
    activity, reduced social benefit costs and increased tax incomes.

•   Providing money is not always enough for projects to be successful. It is important to
    advise, provide information and set up assistance facilities.

•   Political leadership, courage and creativity are essential.

The following campaign manifesto calls for such political leadership, demonstrates what
actions can be taken by EU leaders to start putting a commitment to sustainable development
into practice, and sets specific targets for investment in sustainable housing and transport.

                         Manifesto for Sustainable Investment:

The EU and its member states have committed themselves many times over to the goal of
sustainable development and to building sustainable societies. Now the time has come to
ensure that public and private money really is directed towards sustainable goods and
services. For this reason the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), European Trade Union
Confederation (ETUC) and the Platform of European Social NGOs (Social Platform) have launched
this campaign with the aim of achieving more and better sustainable investment. This manifesto sets
out a vision of how this can be achieved by action at local, national and European level, supported by
all the undersigned organisations and individuals.

In 2001 in Gothenburg, European Heads of State and Government committed themselves to a
strategy for Sustainable Development – "to meet the needs of the present generation without
compromising those of future generations – a fundamental objective under the Treaties." They
confirmed that this "requires dealing with economic, social and environmental policies in a mutually
reinforcing way." And warned: "Failure to reverse trends that threaten future quality of life will steeply
increase the costs to society or make those trends irreversible."

The European Council also agreed to merge this Sustainable Development Strategy with the Lisbon
Process adopted in 2000, which aims to give Europe "the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-
based economy in the world by 2010, capable of sustainable growth, with more and better jobs and
greater social cohesion".

Investing in essential goods and services in a sustainable way is fundamental to achieving these
goals. However, as this cannot be achieved through the market alone, public authorities have a key
responsibility to ensure that sufficient investment is directed in a sustainable way towards public
goods and services such as public transport and social housing, and remove barriers for such
investment. The EU and Member States must fulfil their commitments made in Lisbon and
Gothenburg by guaranteeing this investment, before launching any new growth initiatives.
Furthermore, the necessary incentives and conditions must be created by the EU and Member States
to promote private investment in sustainable goods and services. The multiplier effect of government
investment is one element of this. Government investment can also act as a multiplier and encourage
private funds to be invested sustainably.

Our Call
We call upon the EU and its Member States to show their sincere commitment to a sustainable
future, by launching, at the Spring 2004 Summit, a major programme of public investment in
quality public goods and services with combined positive social, environmental, and
employment results. In particular we propose the launch of substantial new sustainable
investment initiatives, focusing upon housing and transport. We want to see such initiatives
to become part of the Spring Summit agreements in 2004 and thereafter.

Promoting Sustainable Investment

We call for the following measures to be implemented:

1.      The EU must create a climate to encourage Member States to invest sustainably, by
ensuring that the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines (BEPGs), as well as other legislation
and programmes, promote sustainable investment.

2.         The EU must ensure that its own budget is invested in order to promote
sustainability. Sustainability Impact Assessments must carried out on all EU expenditure, including
the Common Agricultural Policy, the Structural Funds, and the Research programmes. Such
assessments must be carried out in an open and transparent manner, with ample opportunities for
citizens' organisations to contribute.

3.        The Stability and Growth Pact must be brought into line with the Lisbon-Gothenburg
sustainable development objectives. The Pact must be intelligently reformed to encourage long-
term public investment that brings about the changes required to promote sustainable development.
In particular, long-term investment spending geared towards sustainable development should be
excluded from the definition of public sector deficit.

4.       Member States’ commitments under the Lisbon Process should include drawing up
annual sustainable investment plans and undertaking ex-post assessments of national
investment and financial assistance programmes. The European Commission should then draw
up an annual synthesis report on the basis of the national plans and assessments to be submitted
to the Spring Summit and discussed there.

Member States’ Sustainable Investment Plans should include:

5.      Measures to encourage public authorities to give social and environmental factors a
prominent place in public procurement decisions.

6.        The redirection of Research and Development investments towards the required
technical and socio-economic solutions to the challenge of sustainable development.

7. Specific programmes and initiatives aimed at promoting investment in sustainable
housing, transport and other goods and services at the national, regional and local level, integrating
and implementing concrete social and environmental objectives.

8.     A shift from taxes on labour to taxes on resources to encourage sustainable investment

9.   Measures to ensure sufficient means for effective implementation and enforcement of
social and environmental legislation.


In order to encourage sustainable investment and show how this can be done, we are focusing
upon two specific areas - sustainable housing and sustainable transport - and making policy
recommendations in each field.

Sustainable Investment in Housing and Transport

Housing and transport are key to quality of life and social cohesion, economic and employment
development, and quality of environment. Investment in these areas is key to achieving these
goals, but currently much investment in housing and transport does just the opposite. Yet a real

commitment from governments to turn around the way in which money is spent in these areas could
make a huge difference. Our member organisations are involved all over the EU in initiatives and
projects that contribute to such goals and that can show the way forward (see separate publication
for examples). We call on governments and the EU to commit to a number of targets in each
area which would constitute a big step towards sustainable development.

What is Sustainable Housing?

Truly sustainable housing supports social, environmental and employment goals and promotes
cohesive societies. Sustainable investment in housing means ensuring that everyone has access to
housing which is in good condition, secure and healthy. It means ensuring that housing
developments and urban planning are socially inclusive and cohesive, generate high quality
employment, prevent "forced" mobility and ensure that people can easily access their workplace. It
also means ensuring that housing is environmentally sound. These goals are mutually supportive.

 Our Demands for Sustainable Investment in Housing

 Social cohesion and employment:

 •   Support urban and social mix in cities (including generational mix), at local but also at national and
     European level by allocating specific budget lines.

 •   Prioritise the affordable renovation of housing in city centres over new developments on the outskirts.

 •   Aim through urban planning to bring housing, workplaces, services (such as shopping facilities) and
     public transport facilities closer together.

 •   Ensure by 2010 that in each city with over 3500 inhabitants, at least 20% of the housing stock will be
     affordable for people on low income (either social housing or subsidised owner-occupier schemes).

 •   Increase significantly access to housing for immigrants in all parts of the housing market, including the
     owner-occupier sector, and monitor policies in this field

 Environmental measures:

 •   Ensure that by 2010 the price of ecological housing is the same as normal construction, through
     funding and use of fiscal incentives, focusing particularly on renovation and retro-fitting costs and
     subsidies to achieve comparable prices, as opposed to new construction.

 •   Improve the energy efficiency of the European housing stock by 50% in 20 years, particularly in social
     housing or subsidised schemes, without increasing the cost for tenants and inhabitants; implement
     specific schemes (including information, loans, and technical assistance) aimed at reducing energy
     and resource consumption for below average income groups.

 •   Ensure optimal use of construction materials and the responsible use of natural resources in dwellings
     by providing guidelines and supporting pilot projects on sustainable housing; these must be supported
     by awareness-raising campaigns directed at the construction sector, tenants and individuals about
     resource use and sustainable construction.

 Social inclusion:

 •   Reduce fuel poverty and inadequate housing by 50% by 2010, paying particular attention to future
     Member States. EU programmes and specific loans schemes from international financial institutions
     (such as the European Investment Bank) should support policies and exchange of expertise in this
     field and the inclusion of sustainable housing pilot projects in the Structural Funds for new member
     states should be considered.

•   Significantly increase efforts to combat homelessness and implement targeted social inclusion policies
    for homeless people

•   Set clear targets for increasing the supply of homes for specific groups in need, taking into account
    environmental, cultural and social concerns, and develop these housing solutions with the participation
    of target groups. Health impacts should be taken into account in construction and regeneration
    activities to reduce the negative effect stemming from poor quality housing, ill-conceived urban
    planning and poor building materials.


•   Governments should carry out a mapping of economic, environmental and social sustainability on
    current housing practices and evaluate progress on a regular basis

What is Sustainable Transport?

Unsustainable transport has extremely high external costs – for example, health, noise and air
pollution, congestion, land-take – almost all of which are caused by road transport. Unsustainable
transport is the worst climate change performer, and has high social costs in terms of hindering
access to goods and services to which people have a right, especially for groups such as disabled
and older people and rural communities. Much current investment in transport is thus undermining
progress towards EU goals both in terms of reducing emissions and achieving social inclusion.

Sustainable transport is smart, accessible to all, linked-up (intermodal), clean, and above
all, transport should be largely unnecessary to access goods and services.

Sustainable investment in transport means a number of things. It means ‘sustainability-proofing’
infrastructure investments. But it also means actively seeking out better ways to invest in
transport, to ensure the development of socially inclusive and environmentally responsible
transport patterns develop - for example, investing in public transport services and systems. It
means focusing on smarter use of existing infrastructure rather than developing new
infrastructure, such as new roads or regional airports (which tend to provide few new jobs, at a
very high cost). It means carefully evaluating the need for new infrastructure – on social,
environmental and economic criteria – before building it. It means ensuring that all have access to
transport including those living in rural communities and disabled and older people. It also means
taking all these considerations into account in urban planning decisions. This translates to a more
intelligent use of public money.

Our Demands for Sustainable Investment in Transport:

 •   By 2010, at least 50% of EU and national transport investments should be spent on accessible,
     affordable, safer, and environmentally, socially and economically sensible alternatives to the private
     car. This will require immediate and progressive re-orienting of transport investments towards this

 •   By 2010, 20% of EU and national transport investment should promote more environmentally-friendly
     and safer modes of freight transport, and prevention of freight transport by other logistics. This includes
     the provision of sufficient resources for enforcement of working time legislation for road transport

 •   Europe’s leaders should immediately call on the Commission to develop a ‘sustainability assessment’
     for infrastructure projects. No EU money can be committed for transport projects until a thorough and
     independent assessment has been conducted of the likely social, economic and environmental impacts
     of the proposed project.

 •   Investments which will work against achieving Europe’s transport safety, air quality and Kyoto
     commitments, as well as investments which lead to more noise, should be discarded or re-thought.

 •   EU funding rules should be changed immediately to allow money to be used for smaller-scale projects
     like better spatial planning for sustainable transport, improvement of access by other means than the
     private car, public transport improvement and inner city walking and cycling infrastructure.

 •   By 2010, all passenger transport investments with European and national public money must focus on
     providing citizens with access rather than mobility for its own sake – this means favouring public
     transport of quality and un-motorised transport over private car transport and ensuring that public
     transport is fully accessible, paying particular attention to disabled and older people, rural communities,
     and areas which have a high density of people living on low incomes. In addition, investments should
     encourage transport prevention by providing access to services within shorter distances or

                                                                                           November 2003

     Support the Campaign – Sign the Manifesto!

     To add your support to the campaign for investment in sustainable development, please
     sign this manifesto. To do so, visit the Social Platform website at
     and click on Campaigns < Sustainable Investment, or go to the EEB website at

Useful Links

Social Platform                           
European Environmental Bureau             
European Trade Union Confederation        
European Liaision Committee on Social Housing
Transport and Environment                 

EU websites
EU portal                                 

EU Sustainable Development Strategy

Lisbon Strategy

Sustainable Development
International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives
European Sustainable Cities & Towns Campaign
and European Sustainable Cities Project:           
Best Practices for Human Settlements Database      
United Nations Human Settlement Programme          
Sustainability Works (Sustainable Housing)         
BedZed Housing Development                         

Described Project Examples

1. Renovating Buildings for Jobs and the Environment, Germany

2. Reducing Fuel Poverty and Improving the Environment, Northern Ireland

3. Urban Regeneration, Torino, Italy

4. Sustainable Social Housing, France

5. Congestion Charging, London, UK

6. Moving Freight from Road to Rail, Switzerland

7. Spatial planning for Sustainable Transport, Netherlands

Platform of European Social NGOs :
       European Trade Union Confederation :
             European Environmental Bureau :

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