Green Cities Fit for Life

Image by M.Štojs

A record number of cities apply for European Green Capital 2019 and European Green Leaf 2018 Awards

The deadline for applying for the 2019 European Green Capital and 2018 European Green Leaf Awards has passed and after six months of preparation from the cities, there have been a record number of 28 applicants with the following cities and towns entering the competitions:

European Green Capital 2019

Arad, Romania

Lisbon, Portugal

Bologna, Italy

Oslo, Norway

Florence, Italy

Pecs, Hungary

Funchal, Portugal

Seville, Spain

Ghent, Belgium

Strasbourg, France

Kamëz, Albania

Tallinn, Estonia

Lahti, Finland

Wroclaw, Poland

European Green Leaf 2018

Alytus, Lithuania

Kukes, Albania

Barreiro, Portugal

Leuven, Belgium

Fundao, Portugal

Lorca, Spain

Gabrovo, Bulgaria

Ludwigsburg, Germany

Girona, Spain

Oliveira Do Hospital, Portugal

Grottaglie, Italy

Taurage, Lithuania

Jonava, Lithuania

Vaxjo, Sweden

EU Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Commissioner, Karmenu Vella said: “I am delighted to see a record number of entries for this year’s competitions. More and more cities are realising that investing in making our cities greener means investing in people's wellbeing, in jobs and in a healthy environment. Cities are the places where Europe's growth potential is greatest and where most Europeans see environment policy in action. These applicant cities are showing us the kind of urban commitment and innovation which will help them, and others, prosper well into the future.”

The European Green Capital Award, now in its tenth year, pays tribute to those cities where innovative urban environmental management and initiatives have taken hold; it is recognition of a city at the cutting edge of environmentally-friendly urban living. European Green Capital Award winners lead the way in setting higher standards in sustainable urban development, listening to what their citizens want and pioneering innovative solutions to environmental challenges.

2017 also sees the third cycle of the European Green Leaf Award, which seeks to recognise the progress made by Europe's smaller cities and towns in their commitment to improving the quality of life for their citizens and exhibiting good environmental practice.

A panel of 12 independent experts will undertake a detailed technical assessment of each applicant city’s entry, on the basis of twelve indicators covering climate change: mitigation and adaptation; local transport; green urban areas incorporating sustainable land use; nature and biodiversity; ambient air quality; quality of the acoustic environment; waste production and management; water management; waste water treatment; eco innovation and sustainable employment; energy performance; and integrated environmental management. Cities applying for European Green Leaf will be assessed on six topic areas: climate change and energy performance; mobility; biodiversity and land use; quality of air and the acoustic environment; waste management and circular economy; water and wastewater management. Following the technical evaluation, in April 2017 a number of cities will be shortlisted for the EGCA 2019 and EGL 2018 titles.

Shortlisted cities will go forward to present their proposals to an international Jury in June 2017. The Jury will assess their commitment to continuous environmental improvement, the level of ambition of their future goals, their communication activities for citizens, and the extent to which they can act as an ambassador and promote best practice in other European cities.

The winners will be announced at an Award Ceremony in Essen, Germany, the European Green Capital for 2017 in June 2017.