Green Cities Fit for Life

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Europe 2020: Capital of Innovation – Six finalist cities announced

12th February 2014

Barcelona, Espoo, Grenoble, Groningen, Malaga and Paris are the six cities which have been shortlisted for the inaugural European Capital of Innovation Award, or iCapital. The award aims to encourage innovation in cities and create a network of cities which can share their best ideas for the future. Cities were assessed by an independent panel of experts on the basis of initiatives they had already taken, as well as their future plans to enhance innovative capacity.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

The shortlisted cities are listed below along with their key accomplishments:

  • Barcelona, Spain: for introducing the use of new technologies to bring the city closer to citizens;
  • Espoo, Finland: for the creation of strategic partnerships uniting science, business and creativity;
  • Grenoble, France: for investing in scientific and technological breakthroughs through synergies between research, education and industry;
  • Groningen, Netherlands: for the use of new concepts, tools and processes to develop a user-centred smart energy ecosystem;
  • Malaga, Spain: for a new urban regeneration model where people and creative industries cooperate and spur growth; and
  • Paris, France: for opening up municipally-owned property to experimental innovative solutions, driven by all types of businesses.

The iCapital title will be awarded to the city that is creating the best “innovation ecosystem” – involving citizens, public organisations, academia, and business – with a view to helping the city expand its efforts in this area.

The winning city will be announced at the Innovation Convention 2014, Europe’s premier innovation event which will take place in Brussels on 10th and 11th March 2014. The winning city will receive a prize of €500,000 to help it scale up its achievement.

The European Green Capital

More than two thirds of the EU population now lives in urban areas. These areas therefore have a key role to play in making Europe more innovative. Eco-innovation and sustainable employment is one of the twelve environmental indicators used to assess cities applying for the European Green Capital Award.

For more information on the European Green Capital Award click here.

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