European Commission stimulates cities across Europe to get ‘greener’

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Ljublana has been chosen as Green Capital of 2016. Photo: EC

The European Commission is investing in Green Cities, which also includes excelling in sustainable and climate proof water management. “Two-thirds of Europeans live in towns and cities. Their health and well-being depends on how well city authorities address environmental challenges’, states EU Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Commissioner Karmenu Vella.

During the Green Week 2016, taking place from 30 May to 3 June events are being organised in Brussels and the different Member States. The Green Week theme ‘Investing for a greener Europe’ has to inspire cities to get more sustainable. In order to inspire and stimulate cities the European Commission is annually organizing a competition for European cities. The European Green Capital Award is meant for big cities and the European Green Leaf for smaller ones.

Ljubljana
The winners of both competitions will be announced at an Award Ceremony in June 2016 in Ljubljana, the city that has been chosen as the 2016 European Green Capital. To date, eight cities have been awarded the title of European Green Capital since the start of the initiative in 2010.

History
Stockholm, Sweden won the inaugural title, followed by Hamburg, Germany in 2011, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain in 2012, Nantes, France in 2013 and Copenhagen, Denmark in 2014. The current holder for 2015 is Bristol (UK). Ljubljana in Slovenia will hold the title for 2016 and will pass it to Essen in Germany for 2017. As for Green Leaf, the joint winners of the 2015 Award were Mollet del Vallès, Spain and Torres Vedras, Portugal. The winning cities serve as a role model and other cities can learn from their ‘best practices’.

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