A cleaner city, aiming for a better and healthier future. The desire to live in a city that is greener and striving to become eco-friendly is the inspiration that drives the local and national authorities of the different member states of the European Union.
Since 2010, the European Commission has been acknowledging the environmental commitment shown by cities. With a view towards cleaner development, the Green Capital Award has become a stimulus for cities to implement best environmental practices and thus reward their transition to becoming more eco-friendly.
In this year’s edition, the German city of Essen has been chosen as the benchmark for this European award. “Essen has carried out a profound transformation and has left its strong industrial past behind to become a clean and green city,” as pointed out the jury to reward this effort to become a greener city.
Improving air quality and energy efficiency and building green areas partly created by renovating industrial sites are just some of the starting points for working towards a healthier city.
Spain has received the award twice: Vitoria-Gasteiz won Green Capital Award (2012) as a city with a high percentage of green public spaces. The Commission assessed the proximity of the population to such spaces in a range of less than 300 metres. And in 2015, the Catalan town of Mollet del Vallès received the European Green Leaf Award in its first edition.
Many European cities are gradually sharing this initiative to promote the use of cleaner energies and reduce the most harmful emissions to our planet. Several of these cities, like Amsterdam, Stockholm or Copenhagen etc., have been imitated in their exemplary innovative clean energy policies. Cities bearing the brand of sustainability that look forward to a bright and changing future.