Green Cities Fit for Life

Image by C. Spahrbier

Green Week- Europe’s largest annual environment conference explores the spectrum of resource efficiency

22-25 May, Brussels, Belgium

Come and visit us at Green Week! Opening next Tuesday the 22nd of May, Green Week 2012 launches a call for citizens to “use less and live better”. During the conference’s four days, over 3500 participants will look for ways to use our planet’s resources more sustainably. This year’s Green Week gathers participants from a wide variety of backgrounds, including EU institutions, business and industry, non-governmental organisations, public authorities, the scientific community, academia and the media.

The European Green Capital Secretariat and the Vitoria-Gasteiz the 2012 European Green Capital will be have a stand during the conference and are happy to share information, best practice and talk to you about the Award and what it takes to be the European Green Capital.  We will also be sending updates live from the event, so follow us on our Twitter and Facebook account to find out what is happening.

This year’s theme will focus on water, highlighting its significance in our daily lives. The use, supply and treatment of water will be examined, and best practices to avoid pollution and waste of this vital resource will be discussed. Over 60 speakers will lead the discussion in sessions and workshops in the Charlemagne building, rue de la Loi 170, Brussels.

Commissioner for Environment Janez Potočnik, along with Ida Auken, Minister for the Environment in Denmark and Ruth Mathews, Executive Director of Water Footprint Network, will open the event on the 22nd of May by discussing existing water legislation and the efforts needed to ensure it is implemented fully.

As part of Green Week’s focus on water, representatives from the current European Green Capital, Vitoria-Gasteiz, from the 2011 capital, Hamburg and also from the Committee of the Regions will showcase integrated and sustainable water management, including local actions that link water management and energy efficiency. The discussion will focus on cities that are leading the way with the sustainable management of water resources. This workshop, entitled “Tomorrow’s cities – leading the way on sustainable water management?” will take place on Thursday, the 24th of May, between 14.30 and 16.00. To learn more about the event please click here.

During the four days of the conference there will also be an exhibition with 52 stands featuring green business solutions, NGO activities, local and regional authorities, European and international bodies, etc. This year the European Green Capital Award and the 2012 European Green Capital Award Winner, Vitoria-Gasteiz will be represented at this exhibition. Side events will be held in locations all over Brussels and Europe and will include press conferences, guided tours, exhibitions, fairs, seminars, etc. In 2011, events were held in 15 Member States around Europe, helping to stretch the reach of Green Week beyond Brussels.

Karl Falkenberg Director- DG Environment, Mayor Scholz of the City of Hamburg and the Commissioner For Environment Janez Potocnik standing in front of Hamburg's Stand at Green Week 2011

Water consumption is one of the twelve environmental indicators used to assess applications by cities applying to become the European Green Capital. The 2012 European Green Capital Vitoria-Gasteiz has an ambitious objective of reducing domestic water consumption to below 100 liters per capita per day. Today the water consumption in Vitoria-Gasteiz, has decreased steadily from 1999 to 2009. Water-related investments have been made within the context of the Agenda 21 environmental action plan for improved water supply, to reduce losses, work towards sustainable consumption and improve water quality. A citizen’s information office on Water consumption and efficiency has also been set up. For more information on what Vitoria-Gasteiz is doing click here

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

Over the past decade, Green Week has established itself as an unmissable event for anyone involved with protecting the environment. The 2011 edition attracted some 3 160 participants from government, business and industry, non-governmental organisations, academia and the media and this year is set to repeat that success. So come and visit our stand our follow our updates on





For more information on Green Week please click here.