European Green Capital Award

The European Green Capital Award as an award for a European Capital based on its environmental record. The award was launched by the European Commission on 22 May 2008 and the first award was given to Stockholm for the year 2010. The aim of this award is to recognise and reward local efforts to improve the environment, the economy and the quality of life of growing urban populations and to provide an incentive for cities to inspire each other, and share best practices, while at the same time engaging in friendly competition.

Cities as role models

The aim of this European Green Capital Award is to recognise and reward local efforts to improve the environment, the economy and the quality of life of growing urban populations. With around 80 per cent of Europeans living in urban areas, the establishment of the award is timely. Most of the 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. It is therefore natural that cities play a key role in making the environment greener and improving the quality of life of its citizens. The award aims to provide an incentive for cities to inspire each other and share best practices, while at the same time engaging in friendly competition. In other words, cities become role models for each other.

Healthy urban living

The European Green Capital Award is given to a city that has improved its urban living environment as a whole through concrete activities such as:
  • Cooperation and partnership between authorities, citizens, business and other stakeholders aimed at developing and improving urban living conditions
  • Implementation of sustainable mobility solutions
  • Introduction and expansion of parks and recreational areas
  • A modern approach to waste management • Innovative solutions to noise pollution
  • An integrated approach to urban management ensuring positive long-term effects.


All cities across Europe with more than 200,000 inhabitants can apply for the title of European Green Capital 2014. The award is open to EU Member States, Candidate Countries (Turkey, FYROM, Croatia, Montenegro and Iceland) and European Economic Area countries (Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein). In countries where there is no city with more than 200,000 inhabitants, the largest city is eligible to apply.

Entries will be assessed on the basis of 12 indicators: local contribution to global climate change, transport, green urban areas, noise, waste production and management, nature and biodiversity, air, water consumption, waste water treatment, eco-innovation and sustainable employment, environmental management of the local authority and energy performance.

The title is awarded by an international jury supported by a panel of supposed experts in different environmental fields.

The winner will be announced in June 2012.


The European Green Capital Award is run by the European Commission.

The idea of a European Green Capital was originally conceived at a meeting in Tallinn, Estonia. The meeting was held in May 2006 on the initiative of the former City Mayor, Jüri Ratas. He says: "It is my belief that a green and sustainable Europe is essential for improving public health and the quality of life of our citizens".

The Tallinn Memorandum: The EGCA is the result of an initiative taken by 15 European cities and the Association of Estonian cities in May 2006 in Tallinn. The 15 cities were Tallinn itself, Helsinki, Riga, Vilnius, Berlin, Warsaw, Madrid, Ljubjana, Prague, Vienna, Kiel, Kotka, Dartford, Tartu and Glasgow. The initiative was turned into a joint Memorandum and submitted to the European Commission in which they proposed the establishment of an award rewarding cities that are leading the way in environmentally friendly urban living.

This meeting was held on the initiative of former Tallinn City Mayor, Jüri Ratas
Jüri Ratas
Jüri Ratas is an Estonian politician, since 2 April 2007 Vice-President of the Riigikogu. He was also the mayor of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, from 2005 to 2007.He is a member of the Estonian Centre Party...

, and resulted in a joint statement, known as the Tallinn Memorandum, proposing the establishment of the European Green Capital Award.

Award Winners

The Award was launched in May 2008, and each year one European city will be selected as the European Green Capital of the year. The first Award was given to Stockholm in 2010.

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.
After two application award cycles, the first winners of the European Green Capital Award have been selected and announced. The European Green Capitals are:

2010:  Stockholm

2011:  Hamburg

2012:  Vitoria-Gasteiz

2013:  Nantes

2010 and 2011 awards

Thirty-five cities applied to be European Green Capital for the years 2010 or 2011. Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

 and Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

, respectively, were chosen as winners by the award jury in February 2009. The other finalists were  Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

, Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

,  Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

,  Freiburg
Freiburg im Breisgau is a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. In the extreme south-west of the country, it straddles the Dreisam river, at the foot of the Schlossberg. Historically, the city has acted as the hub of the Breisgau region on the western edge of the Black Forest in the Upper Rhine Plain...

,  Münster
Münster is an independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in the northern part of the state and is considered to be the cultural centre of the Westphalia region. It is also capital of the local government region Münsterland...

 and  Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...


The European Green Capital Conference 2010 (EGCC)

From 20 to 22 October 2010 the official European Green Capital Conference was held in Stockholm. European mayors and other decision makers in the environmental field met to exchange ideas on how European cities can improve their environmental efforts. The conference also featured the European Green Capital Award Ceremony presenting the European Green Capitals for 2012 and 2013.

2012 and 2013 awards

For the 2012 and 2013 awards, 17 cities applied. On 9 April 2010, six finalists were shortlisted:  Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

,  Malmö
Malmö , in the southernmost province of Scania, is the third most populous city in Sweden, after Stockholm and Gothenburg.Malmö is the seat of Malmö Municipality and the capital of Skåne County...

,  Nantes
Nantes is a city in western France, located on the Loire River, from the Atlantic coast. The city is the 6th largest in France, while its metropolitan area ranks 8th with over 800,000 inhabitants....

,  Nuremberg
Nuremberg[p] is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Situated on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it is located about north of Munich and is Franconia's largest city. The population is 505,664...

,  Reykjavik
Reykjavík is the capital and largest city in Iceland.Its latitude at 64°08' N makes it the world's northernmost capital of a sovereign state. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxaflói Bay...

, and  Vitoria-Gasteiz
Vitoria-Gasteiz is the capital city of the province of Álava and of the autonomous community of the Basque Country in northern Spain with a population of 235,661 people. It is the second largest Basque city...


Vitoria-Gasteiz and Nantes were announced as the European Green Capitals for 2012 and 2013 respectively at an award ceremony in Stockholm on 20–22 October 2010 during the official Euopean Green Capital Conference.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.