The SD-MED initiative was given birth through a multiannual collaboration between a Greek interdisciplinary team (architects engineers, mechanical engineers, physicians, spatial and urban planners, etc. ) with specific interest and scientific work in sustainable development and building issues and some relevant French actors dealing with High Environmental Quality (HQE) in the built environment, idea and practice that is promoted with success by the Association HQE, an Association of public character, that is activated in France already since 1996, presided by M.Dominique BIDOU. This collaboration aimed mainly to create common sensitisation and dissemination actions. The first common international event took place in Drama, in March 2001, with the initiative both of the President of the Enlarged Prefectoral Authority Drama-Kavala-Xanthi, M.Constantinos Tatsis and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Public Administration and Decentralisation, as well.
The establishment and shaping of the SD-MED Network was moreover enhanced by the collaboration of the same Greek Team with the International Network iiSBE, and more specifically with its Executive Director Mr.Nils Larsson and its Marketing Manager Mr Ronald ROVERS, as well as with the officer in charge of sustainable building programmes on behalf of OECD Mr Hirohisa AWANO. Later on, the UNEP/DTIE Programme showed particular interest for this initiative and is now participating officially and actively in the SD-MED Network, represented by M. Arab HOBALLAH, Head of Production and Consumption Branch of the United Nations Environment Program and ex. Deputy Coordinator of the UNEP/Mediterranean Action Plan, Niclas SVENINGSEN, officer in charge of the recent initiative SBCI of UNEP/DTIE and Thierry BRAINE-BONNAIRE ( Arcelor Mittal), President of the SBCI Board.
Nevertheless, the establishment of this informal, up to September 2004, SD-MED network became a reality, through the LIFE-ENV SB-MED Project whose Project Manager and then Scientific Responsible and Coordinator on behalf of the Municipality of Athens Development Agency (AEDA) was Dr Stella Kyvelou, Chairman of the Administrative Council of the Association SD-MED. This Project aimed at enhancing of transferability of know-how concerning sustainable building from northern countries in the Mediterranean region, thus rendering Greece a centre of dissemination of know-how to the wider region. Designed by the SD-MED informal network for the Municipality of Athens Development Agency and thus mostly based on the French approach HQE, it was aiming at shaping a specific Mediterranean methodology based on the HQE, with an adaptability at a macro-regional level (methodology SD-MED). This study has been accomplished by an SD-MED team of experts and in cooperation with the Association HQE for validation issues. The input of the SD-MED experts in order to shape a new "SD-MED process" for the application of sustainable development criteria in the built environment has been presented by the PULIM (Presses Universitaires de Limoges) in 2006.
Furthermore SD-MED mission and role has been enhanced through some international events held under its scientific and organisational coordination. To note, among them, the Athens LIFE SB05MED " Sustainable construction : action for sustainability in the Mediterranean region" and the French-Hellenic and International meeting "Which policies of planning and urban development in the context of sustainability? Transformations of the urban phenomenon, the built environment and the real estate market "held at the French Institute of Athens under the aegis of the French Embassy in Greece, on 16-17 May 2007.
SDMed’s fields of research and action were renewed through the establishment of the International Society of Sustainable Urban Development and Eco-innovation (SDMed Observation, Planning and Eco-innovation) which, in 2013, introduced the ECHOPOLIS INTERNATIONAL 2013 Forum, with a view to be repeated every four years. Thus SDMed introduced a public dialogue around the issues of sound, noise, and soundscapes in the city and how to improve the sound environment.
Another very important sector of research and activity of the International Society of Sustainable Urban Development and Eco-innovation is blue growth and maritime spatial planning mainly in relation to youth entrepreneurship. Thus, in 2014 following the “blue growth” idea and policy that was a priority of the Greek Presidency (first half 2014), SDMed contributed to the debate on all these critical issues starting from the big ESPON-on-the-Road event held in Piraeus. Following this initiative, SDMed continued a systematic activity around stakeholders engagement in MSP which is besides evident by a successful evening-debate on "The sea, new horizon for Greece?" organized by Panteion University in cooperation with SDMed and with communication sponsor the state Audio channel ERT (first programme).