EU launches 2016 European green capital city award

24 June 2013

BRUSSELS: The European Commission has launched its search for the 2016 European Green Capital, an award which aims to honor cities which are at the forefront of sustainable energy and clean technological progress. The Commission believes that by formally recognizing the efforts of these environmentally conscious cities, others will be motivated to improve their own sustainability efforts

When first conceived, only cities with populations of 200,000 or above could apply, but this year the threshold is reduced to 100,000, meaning over 400 cities across Europe are eligible for entry. The award is open to EU Member States, acceding and candidate countries, (Croatia, FYROM, Iceland, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey) as well as European Economic Area countries.

European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Poto?nik is positive about the role the Award plays in creating a better Europe: “The European Green Capital Award showcases local efforts to improve the urban environment and promote sustainable growth. As we launch the competition for the seventh European Green Capital, for 2016, I would like to encourage smaller cities to apply and to use this as an opportunity to review and highlight their environmental achievements and plan a sustainable future for their citizens.”

The award has three main aims:

  • Recognize cities that have a well-established record of achieving high environmental objectives
  • Encourage cities to commit to ambitious goals for future environmental improvement and sustainable development
  • Inspire other cities through new ideas, best practices and experiences.

There are twelve indicators on which entries are assessed: climate change, mitigation and adaptation; local transport; green urban areas incorporating sustainable land use; nature and biodiversity; ambient air quality; quality of the acoustic environment; waste production and management; water management; wastewater treatment; eco-innovation and sustainable employment; energy performance; integrated environmental management.

Since its inception in 2010, six cities have been awarded the prestigious title: Stockholm, Hamburg, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Nantes, Copenhagen and Bristol. The closing date for applications for the 2016 honor is October 17 2013.

Cities can apply online at


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