Green Cities Fit for Life

Image by Jean-Dominique Billaud

Building Green Bridges

22nd April 2013, Dublin, Ireland

This April, Dublin is hosting an Informal Council Meeting of EU Environment Ministers focusing on the European Green Capital (EGC) initiative. The event is being organised under the Irish Presidency in the Dublin Castle. The Mayor from previous European Green Capital Award winning city Vitoria-Gasteiz, Mr. Javier Maroto Aranzabal, will attend the meeting –EGC 2012.

The Green Capitals session will kick-off with a discussion on Air Quality and Urban Environment. The European Green Capital Award initiative links very well to the discussion on this theme which has been designed to support the objectives of the 7th Environment Action Programme (EAP). The 7th EAP establishes the priority targets for EU environment policy for the period up to 2020, grounded in an ambitious vision for an inclusive, green and competitive European economy that safeguards the environment.

10.04.2013 Green Bridges 1

The event will continue with a brief introduction about the European Green Capital Award initiative from the European Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Janez Potočnik. The speech will be followed by a presentation by the Mayor of Vitoria-Gasteiz outlining its experience as European Green Capital 2012. A small exhibition, showcasing the European Green Capital Award initiative will be held in the lobby area of the meeting venue and will provide an opportunity for the Winning City Mayors to discuss their experience with EU Environment Ministers. After this, the meeting with Ministers will continue at an event being hosted by Dublin City Council showcasing clean technology.

The European Green Capital Award initiative

The European Green Capital Award was conceived as an initiative to promote and reward the important role that local authorities play in improving the environment, and their high level of commitment to sustainable development. Since 2010, one European city has been selected each year as the European Green Capital of the year.

The city that is chosen as the European Green Capital will be a city that demonstrates a well-established record of achieving high environmental standards and is committed to achieving ongoing and ambitious goals for future environmental improvement and sustainable development.

One of the 12 indicators examined by the European Green Capital judging panel is air quality. Efficient, effective air quality management is fundamental to a Green city. Vitoria-Gasteiz, the 2012 European Green Capital adopted an Air Quality Management Plan in 2003. The installation of monitoring systems and an emissions database has made it possible to chart progress and record the impact to control and improve air-quality. Today, air-pollution indicators are already below target and are continuing to fall, reaching 284 days of good air quality each year.

10.04.2013 Green Bridges 2

The panel of experts was particularly impressed by Vitoria- Gasteiz’s outstanding performance on air quality.

For more information on the Award click here.

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