The European Green Capital Award
The European Green Capital Award, is a European Commission initiative and was developed to promote the important role that local authorities play in improving the environment, to reward their high level of commitment to make the environment greener and thus, improve the quality of life of its citizens.
“The European Green Capital Award is a powerful incentive to help convince local authorities that sustainable urban development is the key to a successful future. I am looking forward to receiving new applications from all over Europe showing how investing in environmental protection can be combined with economic growth and improved wellbeing.”
European Commissioner for the Environment
All the European Green Capital cities are ICLEI members and will be present at the ICLEI European Convention 2011.
Green Capital 2010: Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm impressed the evaluation panel with its holistic vision, which combines growth with sustainable development. Its plans for the future include becoming fossil free by 2050, and the city has put strong green programmes and measures in place across the board. The city has a long tradition of fighting climate change. In 2006, in collaboration with ICLEI, it hosted the “A Future with Zero CO2 Emissions” conference, calling for all committed communities to join forces and commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions at a local level. The Swedish capital has also introduced a pioneering congestion charging system resulting in reduced car use and emissions.
Green Capital 2011: Hamburg, Germany
Hamburg was commended for its many comprehensive approaches, policy commitment and for having a strong green vision. The city has set ambitious climate protection goals and has put the infrastructure in place to carry them out. It also contributes to improving its inhabitant’s quality of life by running an excellent transport system: almost all citizens have access to optimal public transport within 300 meters of their given location.
Green Capital 2012: Vitoria Gasteiz, Spain
Vitoria Gasteiz is recognised as an environmentally advanced city as a result of its ambitious plans to combat climate change. This reputation comes as a result of its air quality; Green Belt (a semi-natural green area partially reclaimed from degraded areas that surrounds the centre and brings nature into the city)., water conservation plan, waste management, energy efficiency, sustainable town development and many thriving parks and gardens. Above all, the city prides itself on having excellent public participation and recognises that it is the commitment and enthusiasm of its citizens that make Vitoria-Gasteiz a green city inside and out.
Green Capital 2013: Nantes, France
Nantes is the sixth largest city in France and has a population of 285,000. The city has successfully linked its green and blue urban areas, integrating urban challenges with its location on two major rivers (the Loire and the Erdre), through a sustainable water management programme.
Nantes has a long established integrated and sustainable transport policy with a focus on public transport and cycling and was the first French city to successfully reintroduce electric trams. Its ambitious transport policy has reduced air pollution, and a new climate plan aims to cut CO2 emissions by a quarter by 2020.