Green Cities Fit for Life

Image by Jean-Dominique Billaud

2017 EGCA Shortlist

The German city of Essen has won the European Green Capital Award for 2017. The award was presented by Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, at a ceremony this afternoon in Bristol, UK, which currently holds the title. Essen was singled out for its exemplary practices in protecting and enhancing nature and biodiversity and efforts to reduce water consumption. Essen participates in a variety of networks and initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to improve the city’s resilience in the face of climate change.

Commissioner Vella said: “It gives me great pleasure to present Essen with the European Green Capital Award for 2017. Essen has used the lessons from its industrial past to build an environmentally sound future. They have applied the principle of working with nature and reaped spectacular results. We have a great deal to learn from Essen’s green infrastructure and indeed from its ambitious plans for the future. I look forward to the events that will mark its year as the 2017 European Green Capital.

Essen, together with all the previous European Green Capital winners, will act as a role model for other cities aspiring to improve their environmental performance, encouraging them to develop and apply innovative solutions as they progress towards sustainability targets.


Applicant Cities for the European Green Capital 2017

Essen (Germany), ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands), Nijmegen (Netherlands) and Umeå (Sweden)  were shortlisted from 12 entries across Europe. An international and independent panel of Experts assessed each applicant on the basis of the following indicators:

  • Climate change: mitigation and adaptation
  • Local transport
  • Green urban areas incorporating sustainable land use
  • Nature and biodiversity
  • Ambient air quality
  • Quality of the acoustic environment
  • Waste production and management
  • Water management
  • Waste water treatment
  • Eco-innovation and sustainable employment
  • Energy performance
  • Integrated environmental management

Bristol, the current European Green Capital, hosted the Jury deliberations on 17th June, where the four shortlisted cities presented their future goals, their citizens’ communication activities, and their readiness to act as a role model.

Read the Technical Assessment Synopsis Report for the 2017 EGCA Cycle here

For more information on the European Green Capital Award please click here.