RFSC - The Reference Framework for European Sustainable Cities is available free of charge to all European local authorities and gives a common space and language to the community of cities that are interested in learning from each other, while respecting the diversity of local priorities. It offers practical support in integrating sustainability principles into policies and actions at various urban scales, from neighbourhood level to the wider metropolitan level. There are 3 tools available:

  • a tool to help cities develop an integrated, sustainable urban strategy or project;
  • a tool to help users check current strategies or projects against the EU vision of what a sustainable, integrated city should be;
  • and lastly the website will supply users with a wide range of indicators to help users track the progress of their strategy over a certain period of time.

Sign up as RFSC Cities
RFSC is a joint initiative of the Member States, the European Commission and European organizations of local governments. To make the most of learning and sharing opportunities offered by the tool, all European cities and municipalities are encouraged to sign up as RFSC Cities.

RFSC City status is recommended for cities that want to:
• mainstream sustainability principles within their administration,
• improve the sustainability focus of local policies,
• benefit from dedicated training support and peer learning opportunities,
• be part of the European community of active cities, and
• showcase their commitment to sustainable development.

National Support Groups
There are national support groups all over Europe which provide a platform for cooperation and exchange on the national level. These groups are open to organisations and institutions from all levels of governance. Established as a link between the RFSC process on the European level and urban stakeholders in each of the countries, the National Support Groups play a key role in embedding the RFSC webtool in their respective national contexts. To find out more about the activities in your country, please get in touch with your respective National Contact Point.

In 2007 the European Ministers responsible for urban development signed the Leipzig Charter on Sustainable European Cities. With this charter, the 27 member states have, for the first time, outlined an ideal model for the European Sustainable City and laid the foundations for an integrated urban policy. In 2008 in Marseille (France) the Ministers decided to have a tool created that would translate into practice the common sustainability goals and the Leipzig Charter objectives. That’s how the RFSC was born.

Image: © Doug88888 via Flickr