Healthy competition amongst our European sister cities benefits us all. Going beyond an integrated approach to urban management making cities healthier and better places to live, the awards aim to further encourage cities to achieve a high level of environmental protection and to improve the quality of the environment.
Europe is now an essentially urban society, with four out of five Europeans living in towns and cities. Most of the environmental challenges facing our societies originate from urban areas, but it is also these urban areas that bring together the commitment and innovation needed to resolve them.
The European Commission has long recognised the important role that local authorities play in improving the environment, and their high level of commitment to genuine progress. The European Green Capital Award has been conceived as an initiative to promote and reward these efforts.
The award is given to a city that:
- Has a consistent record of achieving high environmental standards;
- Is committed to ongoing and ambitious goals for further environmental improvement and sustainable development;
- Can act as a role model to inspire other cities and promote best practices to all other European cities.
The award marks a city's wish and capability to solve environmental problems in order to both improve the quality of life of its citizens and reduce the contribution it makes to the global environment as a whole.
At an award ceremony in Brussels on 23 February 2009, the first European Green Capitals were announced:
For inspiration on what we can do and for ways to be inspired - Read more about the finalists.
Submitted by: Kezia Nielson