Green Cities Fit for Life

Image by M.Štojs

Finalists announced for European Green Capital 2018 and European Green Leaf 2017

The kids are all right

The European Commission has announced the shortlisted cities that will advance to the final stage of the European Green Capital 2018 and European Green Leaf 2017 award competitions.

For European Green Capital:

  • ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
  • Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  • Umeå, Sweden

For European Green Leaf

  • Cornellà de Llobregat (Spain)
  • Galway (Ireland)
  • Mikkeli (Finland)

The shortlists were decided by a panel of twelve experts who scored each applicant city—seven for Green Capital and 10 for Green Leaf—across a number of environmental indicator areas.

The six shortlisted cities will now advance to the next stage of the competition, where they will present their future vision to a jury including their role as ambassador and promotor of best practices.

Karmenu Vella , EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said that the nominated cities ‘can become real role models for a sustainable future, showing us how we can make cities better places to live’.

Winners will be announced on 22 June 2016 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Europe's current Green Capital.

About the finalists

's-Hertogenbosch (The Netherlands)

's-Hertogenbosch lies at the intersection between Amsterdam, Antwerp, Breda and Tilburg. With over 150 000 inhabitants, the municipality uses smart planning to reduce the environmental impact of new building developments, restricts traffic in the inner city and encourages the use of electric vehicles by developing charging infrastructure. The city is also making sure that municipal property will be carbon-neutral by 2020.

Nijmegen (The Netherlands)

Nijmegen sits on the river Waal, between hills, polders and forests. It is a student city with more than 170 000 inhabitants. Building a sustainable living environment ranks very high on the municipal agenda: health and innovation are priorities. The city, which recognises the logic of moving towards a circular economy, will capitalise on renewable energy with a new energy efficient district connected to a residual heat network. The local energy cooperative is planning to build four wind turbines.

Umeå (Sweden)

Umeå is located in northern Sweden with a growing population of 120 000 inhabitants. It is an international centre for research and education. The city, which held the title of 2014 European Capital of Culture, has invested in green infrastructure such as a municipal co-generation energy system, and in the co-owned hydro-electric power plant and clean water supply. The city council believes that with a growing population, Umeå’s success relies on social, ecological and economic sustainability.

Cornellà de Llobregat (Spain)

Cornellà de Llobregat is a city of around 86 000 inhabitants located inside the metropolitan area of Barcelona. Confronted some years ago with the side-effects of heavy traffic and a lack of green areas, the city decided to implement various environmental projects. Among them is 'Cornella Nature', a plan to enhance the balance of the city and the local area by establishing designated green zones within and around the city.

Galway (Ireland)

Galway is a harbour city on the west coast of the Republic of Ireland with 75 000 inhabitants. In 2015, the city launched its vision for 2025 ‘Towards a Cultural Sustainable Strategy for Galway’. Galway’s ambition is to become a role model in economic sustainability, environmental responsibility, safeguarding cultural heritage, artistic innovation, community participation and social inclusion.

Mikkeli (Finland)

Mikkeli is located in Eastern Finland, 240 kilometres from Helsinki, with a population of approximately 55 000 people. The city aims to promote a healthy and ecologically sustainable urban environment by focusing on four key dimensions: preservation of pure water; promotion of renewable energy sources, namely bioenergy; integration of clean technology in waste management; and systematic implementation of digital solutions.

Read the Commission’s press release announcing the shortlisted cities.