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European Commission - Press release

Environment: Two exhibitions show cities can be sustainable

Brussels, 7 September 2011 – The 'Train of Ideas' rolls into Brussels today, the latest city in a series of stops around Europe which has included Paris, Copenhagen, Munich, Warsaw, Barcelona and others.

The arrival of the exhibition on sustainable urban living created by Hamburg, European Green Capital 2011 will be attended by EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, Hamburg's Senator for Urban Development and Environment Jutta Blankau and Brussels' Minister for the Environment, Energy and Urban Renovation Evelyne Huytebroeck. At the same time they will inaugurate the exhibition "Brussels, A Sustainable City!" showing how Brussels Capital Region plans to become a European model of sustainable development. Both exhibitions aim to demonstrate how cities can be both attractive and sustainable in the future.

Commissioner Potočnik said: “Sharing good ideas and practices is vital if we want our cities to change for the better. The European Green Capital Award is a powerful instrument to convince local authorities by real life examples that sustainable urban development is very much possible. The Train of Ideas and the Brussels exhibition are models of what can be done in two very different contexts. I encourage as many Europeans as possible to visit both exhibitions."

The European Green Capital Award recognizes and rewards cities that are at the forefront of environmentally-friendly urban living and which can act as role-models to inspire other cities. Europe needs this kind of inspiration as cities strive to overcome increasingly persistent environmental problems.

The Train of Ideas

The Train of Ideas exhibition, entitled “Visions for the Cities of the Future", focuses on the challenges of designing European cities that are sustainable, environmentally-friendly and attractive to live in. With more than 70 exhibits and 26 touch screens, the exhibition presents best practices from Hamburg and features exemplary projects from other European cities. The exhibition presents the topics of “Urban Development and Living”, “Mobility”, “Energy and Climate Protection”, “Nature and Urban Green”, “Resource Protection and Business” and “Consumption” in an interactive way. Visitors see the city from various perspectives: personal, local, regional and global.

Train timetable

  • 7 - 13 Sept: Brussels (The "Train of Ideas" is displayed along the Boulevard de l'Impératrice, close to the Central Station)

  • 15 - 19 Sept: Amsterdam

  • 21 - 25 Sept: Antwerp

  • 29 Sept - 22 Oct: Hamburg

The Exhibition: "Brussels, a Sustainable City!"

Housed in a 25-metre-high tower, the Exhibition shows how Brussels is planning to become a European model of sustainable development. It offers an overview of the actions and projects already put in place by Brussels Capital Region to improve the quality of life of its people, while at the same time placing less of a burden on the environment. The "Brussels, A Sustainable City!" exhibition is at "Parvis Sainte-Gudule" and will be open until 30 October 2011.

The European Green Capital Award

The European Green Capital Award recognises and rewards local efforts to improve the environment, the economy and the quality of life in cities. Vitoria-Gasteiz will be European Green Capital in 2012 and the title will pass to Nantes in 2013. The competition to find the 2014 European Green Capital is currently open for entries. Cities across Europe with more than 200,000 inhabitants can apply using the online application form before 14 October 2011. The 2014 winner will be announced in June 2012 following an assessment of entries by an international jury supported by a panel of experts in different environmental fields.

Further details

Read more about the Award and applications on

Read more about the Train of Ideas on

Read more about the Brussels Exhibition on

See also

Contacts :

Joe Hennon (+32 2 295 35 93)

Monica Westeren (+32 2 299 18 30)

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