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Where are the greenest cities in Europe?

Nine cities make the shortlist for the European Green Capital and Green Leaf Awards, which recognise those cities that are making urban environments better and healthier places to live.

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Estonia's capital of Tallinn makes the green capital shortlist
Estonia's capital of Tallinn makes the green capital shortlist

Nine European cities have been named as finalists in the European Green Capital and Green Leaf Awards for their continued commitment to sustainability and building urban resilience.

 

Dijon and Grenoble in France, Estonian capital Tallinn and Turin in northern Italy are the shortlisted four cities competing for the title of European Green Capital 2022.

 

Smaller urban areas

 

For the European Green Leaf 2021 contest – open to smaller urban areas – the final five are Elsinore (Denmark), Gabrovo (Bulgaria), Lappeenranta (Finland), and Nyborg and Ringkøbing-Skjern in Denmark). Up to two cities may win the award in any given year.

 

According to the European Commission, which backs the awards, as the world struggles with an unprecedented health, social and economic crisis, this commitment to sustainability becomes even more important. The rationale is that green cities are not only healthier places to live but are also more resilient to the future crises caused by climate change, biodiversity loss and scarcity of resources

 

“In a context of climate emergency, Europe needs inspiring stories and good examples to follow. This year’s finalists are providing that – they are quieter, healthier and greener cities, all proving that local solutions already exist for the vast majority of the urban problems we face,” said Virginijus Sinkevičius, European commissioner for the environment, oceans and fisheries.

 

“They are ambassadors for change, showing that we can build a better environment, creating resilient cities for a more secure future.”

 

The shortlisted cities will now proceed to the final stage of the competition: convincing an international jury of their overall commitment to sustainable urban development, their capacity to act as a role model to other cities, and their strategy for communicating and engaging with their citizens.

“They are ambassadors for change, showing that we can build a better environment, creating resilient cities for a more secure future.”

The jury presentations and awards ceremony will be held over two days, later this year, most likely in Lisbon, the current European Green Capital (2020).

 

The winner of European Green Capital 2022 will win €350 000 and the winner(s) of the European Green Leaf 2021 title will win €75 000 to kick-start their green years (maximum two winners).

 

Since 2008, the European Green Capital Awards have been rewarding and highlighting the achievements of Europe’s greenest cities – those that are making urban environments better and healthier places to live.

 

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