Cities are at the forefront of numerous contemporary environmental issues, given that a significant majority of Europeans reside in urban areas. The dedication and creative solutions required to address and overcome these challenges can be supplied by local governments and authorities.
So this is why the European Commission created 2 awards: The European Green Capital for cities over 100.000 habitants and the European Green Leaf for smaller cities as of 20.000 habitants. The awards recognise and reward local action towards a transition to a greener, more sustainable future. Winning cities are including their citizens in this transition, improve the urban environment, combat pollution and mitigate and prepare for more resilience to climate change.
So do you know which cities are the winners ?
For 2023, Tallinn is the winning city. Tallinn is the capital of Estonia with a population of 447,032. With its strategic location on the Gulf of Finland,Tallinn has been a significant center since the 10th century, emerging as a key trade hub in the region for many centuries.
Tallinn boasts diverse landscapes and communities, providing habitats for rare species. The prominent natural feature is the Baltic klint, a limestone escarpment, with the city’s highest point reaching 48 meters. The old town of Tallinn, hosting Estonia’s most popular tourist attractions, is easily navigable on foot.
Under the ambitious development strategy “Tallinn 2035,” the city addresses carbon neutrality, climate adaptation, innovation, health, mobility, biodiversity, circular economy, sustainable energy, and food production. Tallinn has a longstanding commitment to climate adaptation, evident in measures such as stormwater management systems and street remodeling.
In terms of urban mobility, Tallinn aims for citizens to access all necessary infrastructure within a 15-minute radius via soft transport modes. Since 2013, the city has offered free public transport to its residents.
So this is naturally that the title of Green Capital has been given to this splendid city.
For next year in 2024 it will be Valencia that will receive the title of European Green Capital.
Valencia is located on the southeastern coast of Spain, counts 837,000 inhabitants and is the capital of the province that has the same name. The city earned the European Green Capital 2024 title due to its past and current achievements in the field of sustainable tourism, climate neutrality, as well as fair and inclusive green transition.
97% of city’s inhabitants live within 300 metres of green urban areas. The city has also proven commitment to improving air quality and restoring nature ecosystems, such as the Devesa dune and wetland ecosystems. Valencia also stimulates a healthier, sustainable, and inclusive food production through its “Neighbourhood and Food Programme”.
What do you think about this European Green Capital Award ?