Title of the European Green Capital for 2018 was awarded to the Dutch city of Nijmegen last week in Ljubljana, while the award Green Leaf for 2017 was assigned to the Irish city of Galway.
European Green Capital Award highlights the important contribution that cities provide to global environmental sustainability, and Joanna Drake, Deputy Director General of the Directorate for Environment of the European Commission, said: “Being ‘green city’ means to pay attention to the health and welfare of people, cleaner air and water, access green areas, but it is very important and leading role of the city in addressing major issues such as climate change and loss of biodiversity. Both cities have in a very interesting presentation convinced the jury that they just inspire other European cities and pave the way towards sustainable urban development.”
Nijmegen presented a clear and integrated vision of the environment in the city, and impressed the judges broad involvement of stakeholders and citizens. The jury particularly appreciated Galwayev access to green growth and support to SMEs, but also commitment and enthusiasm to become a green ambassador for 2017 and after.
So far, nine cities have won the recognition of the European Green Capital, and these cities are: Stockholm (2010), Hamburg (2011), Vitoria-Gasteiz (2012), Nantes (2013), Copenhagen (2014), Bristol (2015) Ljubljana (2016), Essen (2017) and Nijmegen (2018). So far, three of the city won the European Green Leaf. In 2015, the first year of the competition, the prize went to the town of Mollet del Valles (Spain), and last year the award went Torres Vedras (Portugal). Recognition of European Green Leaf for 2017 goes to the city of Galway.