Brussels, 3 April 2014
Environment: Essen, Ljubljana, Nijmegen, Oslo and Umeå shortlisted for European Green Capital 2016
The European Commission today announced that Essen (Germany), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Nijmegen (The Netherlands), Oslo (Norway) and Umeå (Sweden) have been selected as the five finalists to advance to the next stage of the European Green Capital 2016 Award. The Award is presented to one European city every year, commending its achievements in environmental sustainability. For the first year since its conception, cities across Europe with more than 100,000 inhabitants were eligible to apply; previously only cities with a population of 200,000 or more qualified.
EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: “There is great diversity in this shortlist, with cities large and small competing to win the title of European Green Capital 2016. It's encouraging to see the quality of these applications, which all feature local authorities partnering with citizens to improve the urban environment and encourage sustainable development.”
Essen, Ljubljana, Nijmegen, Oslo and Umeå have been shortlisted from 12 entries across Europe. An independent panel of experts assessed each entry on the basis of the following indicators:
The shortlisted cities will now go forward to present their vision, their potential to act as a role model to other cities, and their communication strategy to the Jury in Copenhagen, the current European Green Capital, on 23 June. Following the Jury’s deliberations the European Green Capital 2016 will be announced the next day, 24 June, at an official Award ceremony in Copenhagen.
Six cities have been awarded the title of European Green Capital since its inception in 2010. Stockholm won the inaugural title, followed by Hamburg in 2011, Vitoria-Gasteiz in 2012 and Nantes in 2013. Copenhagen holds the current title which it will pass on to Bristol in 2015.
Europe is now an essentially urban society, with more than two thirds of 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:
LinkedIn European Green Capital Award