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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 21 June 2013

Will your city be the European Green Capital 2016?

The Commission has launched its search for the 2016 European Green Capital. The European Green Capital Award recognises cities that are at the forefront of environmentally-friendly urban living. The annual award is intended to inspire European cities to take action to become more attractive and healthy places to live, work and visit – cities that are “fit for life”.

For the first time, cities across Europe with more than 100,000 inhabitants can apply for the title. Previously only cities with a population of 200,000 or more were eligible. The change means that the award is now accessible to over 400 cities across Europe.

The benefits of being a European Green Capital start with a cleaner environment, new jobs and investments, and include an increase in tourism, with benefits from positive international media coverage and more sponsorship for environmental projects.

European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik said: “The European Green Capital Award showcases local efforts to improve the urban environment and promote sustainable growth. As we launch the competition for the seventh European Green Capital, for 2016, I would like to encourage smaller cities to apply and to use this as an opportunity to review and highlight their environmental achievements and plan a sustainable future for their citizens.”

The award aims to:

  • Recognise cities that have a well-established record of achieving high environmental objectives

  • Encourage cities to commit to ambitious goals for future environmental improvement and sustainable development, and

  • Inspire other cities through new ideas, best practices and experiences.

Entries will be assessed on the basis of 12 indicators: 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; wastewater treatment; eco-innovation and sustainable employment; energy performance; integrated environmental management.

The award is open to EU Member States, acceding and candidate countries, (Croatia, FYROM, Iceland, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey) and European Economic Area countries. Cities can apply online at www.europeangreencapital.eu. The deadline for applications for the 2016 title is 17 October 2013. The title is awarded by a European jury supported by a panel of renowned experts in different environmental fields. The winner will be announced in June 2014.

Background

The European Green Capital Award is the outcome of an initiative taken by cities with a green vision. The concept was originally conceived at a meeting in Tallinn, Estonia, held on 15 May 2006, at the initiative of Mr Jüri Ratas, former Mayor of Tallinn, where 15 European cities and the Association of Estonian cities signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of such an award.

Six cities – Stockholm, Hamburg, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Nantes, Copenhagen and Bristol – have won the award so far, from 2010 to 2015 respectively. The 2015 Green Capital, Bristol, was announced last Friday in Nantes at the annual award ceremony.

Europe is now an essentially urban society, with three out of four Europeans living in towns and cities. Many environmental challenges facing our society originate from urban areas but it is also these urban areas that bring together the commitment and innovation needed to resolve them. The European Green Capital Award was conceived as an initiative to recognise efforts, to encourage cities to take further action, and to showcase and encourage exchange of best practice among European cities.

In addition to inspiring other cities, this increased profile can enhance the winning city’s reputation and attractiveness as a destination for people to visit, work and live in.

For more information:

www.europeangreencapital.eu

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EuropeanGreenCapitalAward

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EU_GreenCapital or tweet us @EU_GreenCapital

Contacts :

Joe Hennon (+32 2 295 35 93)

Monica Westeren (+32 2 299 18 30)


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