Green Cities Fit for Life

Image by Ursula Bach

AUPA! The Scouts in Álava lead by example and support the European Green Capital

9th May 2012

More than 300 young scouts from Álava celebrated the feast of the patron, Gorka Deuna, with a series of events with the environment at their core.

More than 300 young people from the five groups that promote scouting in Álava, gathered around the federation Euskalerriko Eskautak Araba, celebrated their big day in Vitoria-Gasteiz, the 2012 European Green Capital.

Environmental Workshop- Photos coutesy of Vitoria-Gasteiz.
Environmental Workshop- Photos courtesy of Vitoria-Gasteiz.

These scouts commemorated the day with several events focussing on the land and nature which reflects the philosophy of the Scouts “strengthens the body, opens the mind and softens the soul.”

The event took place in the European Green Capital to show the close relationship between the Scout movement and the environment. The president of the federation, Janire Buruaga Saenz explained that the scouts try to ‘establish a green lifestyle in the kids. So where better for them to celebrate than in Vitoria-Gasteiz, the city that is the European Green Capital.”

The 2012 European Green Capital Vitoria-Gasteiz is the capital of the Basque country in northern Spain, and is the thrid European city to gain the prestigious tile of European Green Capital since the scheme was launched in 2010, following in the footsteps of Stockholm and Hamburg.

Vitoria-Gasteiz prides itself on being a city that is green inside and out, with a high proportion of green public areas, so the entire population lives within 300m of an open green space. Public gardens cover 1,091 hectares making up 32.6% of the urban area. Many of the hundreds of green spaces in Vitoria-Gasteiz take the form of smallish urban gardens, open 24 hours a day. Together they form a biodiversity resource sustaining some 50 000 tress of 381 different species and 12 160 shrubs.

Vitoria-Gasteiz builds on the experience of over three decades of environmental planning. The Environmental Sector Council is now the key mouthpiece for local associations, groups and institutions.

The Action Plan for 2012 places citizens at the heart of the strategy, involving all sorts of civic organisations (schools, community and professional associations such as the Scouts), citizens and industry in the city’s environmental projects and has raised awareness and led to a high level of public commitment to sustainability. The aim being to foster a sense of ‘belonging to a green community.”

To find out more about the 2012 European Green Capital click here

For more information on the European Green Capital Award click here

For more information on the Euskalerriko Eskautak Araba click here