Vitoria-Gasteiz Green Book Citizen Comments
As Councillor responsible for the Environment Department of the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz, I want to thank all citizens for their involvement and support. Without them this would not have been possible. This award was for everyone as well as for all the pride of being green city now and in the future. Thank you!
Although the European Green Capital year is over, the feeling of pride will walk with us forever. In 2013 we are no longer European Green Capital, but Vitoria will forever be Green, and that is something no one can take away from us.
GASTEIZ ON – Association of shops and services of Vitoria-Gasteiz.
The Green Capital award has supposed an effort, an opportunity and an encouragement to Gasteizon and also to the over 600 associated shops.
An EFFORT because we had to work hard to spread the “green” awareness in a large collective, which has responded with massive adherence to the “Green Agreement”, and with 260 establishments committed to introduce environmental improvements.
An OPPORTUNITY because it allowed us to launch creative campaigns to attract tourists and allows them to know a city unjustly forgotten by the visitors. Thanks to all the campaigns, 145 shops have offered products, mainly through programs as “Green weekend” or “Gasteiz On Card 365 days”, and services during the interesting events as Triathon, Azkena Rock Festival, Jazz Festival, Festival TV, Greenkana as well as throughout the visits to the tourist office, conferences and hotels in the city.
And an ENCOURAGEMENT to the business as it animated us, both the shops and the Association, to create products (T-shirts, candys, merchandising…etc.) and implement initiatives (use of eco-friendly package …) that have contributed to improve the sector and enhance the green capital Vitoria.
The title of European Green Capital 2012 has provided Vitoria with international recognition for its environmental policy.
As a citizen from Vitoria, I have always been aware of how lucky I am to live in a city in which mobility is comfortable, green areas are integrated into the urban core and streets and public spaces in general are habitable. Vitoria is also a place where generally citizens are aware of recycling, waste reduction, as well as with the sustainable use of resources. The award has allowed us to showcase a city that Europe found interesting, while Vitoria’s citizen thought that it was just normal.
The European award has placed Vitoria on the map, while showing us as an attractive city as well as a role model for other countries.
I loved seeing my city active in the media, hosting important meetings, being visited by technicians and politicians who came from all over the world to learn from our management, and also as a city full of tourists who visited us, attracted by the award.
A thousand reasons to be proud of my city. I am sure the title will remain beyond 2012 because, Vitoria-Gasteiz, will always be a Green Capital.
The Green Capital title made it possible to me to discover areas of the city I did not know. Thanks to this award too I now value the environmental policies launched from the City Council. I it consider very important that the citizens feel part of the award. Our City Council has perfectly known how to transmit the title with numerous initiatives that raised the awareness of citizens. The sentiment that remains is that Vitoria is a Green Capital forever, it is its hallmark. It was a prize of all and for all.
The Green Capital has achieved for the first time all citizens to be united for a reason, for something that belongs to everyone. We finally have a reason to be proud of, regardless of ideologies and colours, well, it has a colour, green.
With the ‘Green’ year the citizens have had something to feel proud of and have realised the value the city has. We have discovered parts of the city that we did not even know and have appreciated the ones we already had a record of them.
In conclusion, the ‘Green’ has meant a lot to me, outside the borders of the city; I am and will always be Green. Even if the Green Capital is something that lasts a year, for me, it is a feeling that will last a lifetime.
Green Capital has been an excellent device to place the Basque capital on the European map. Sustainability is a key element that has connected Vitoria’s citizens, not only in the last years, but also now, as the city keeps working for sustainable development every day. 2012 is over, but the Vitoria’s green spirit will remain over time as far as institutions and citizens keep working on it.