The European Commission recently announced the five cities that will progress to the next stage of the European Green Capital 2016 Award. This annual award is designed to reward cities that are making efforts to improve the urban environment and move towards healthier and sustainable living areas. The shortlisted cities – Essen, Ljubljana, Nijmegan, Oslo and Umeå – now go forward to present their vision, their potential to act as a role model to other cities, and their communication strategy to the Jury in Copenhagen, the current European Green Capital, on 23 June. Read more...
The shortlisted cities were selected from 12 entries across Europe. An independent panel of experts assessed each entry in several areas. These included climate change (mitigation and adaptation), local transport, green urban areas incorporating sustainable land use, nature and biodiversity, ambient air quality, noise pollution, waste production and management, water management, waste water treatment, eco-innovation and sustainable employment, energy performance, and integrated environmental management. For the first year since its conception, European cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants were eligible to apply for the award – previously only cities with a population of 200,000 or more were eligible.
Europe is now, essentially, an urban society, with more than two-thirds of the population living in towns and cities. The European Green Capital Award, based on the central premise ‘green cities – fit for life’, was conceived to recognise sustainability in urban areas, encourage cities to take further action, and to showcase and encourage exchange of best practice among European cities.
Previous cities to have been awarded the title of European Green Capital since its inception in 2010 include Stockholm, Hamburg, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Nantes. Copenhagen holds the current title, which it will pass on to Bristol in 2015.
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