Copenhagen Takes European Green Capital Crown
Today Copenhagen is officially crowned the European Green Capital 2014, taking the title from Nantes, France at a handover ceremony in Brussels. The Danish capital was awarded the title following an intensive Europe-wide competition.
Commissioner Potočnik said “I congratulate Copenhagen on winning the title of European Green Capital 2014. Europe has much to learn from Copenhagen’s efforts to improve environmental sustainability, and from the quality of life its citizens enjoy. This Award recognises Copenhagen as a city that is making substantial efforts to improve the urban environment, and to provide a healthier and more sustainable way of living. I look forward to their full programme of activities, and I wish them the best of luck.”
Frank Jensen, Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, said: “This award is an international recognition of Copenhagen’s dedicated efforts to create a green and sustainable city with a high quality of life. We will share our knowledge and show examples of how to develop sustainable urban solutions with other cities. At the same time, we want to learn new things from other cities all over Europe so we can make Copenhagen an even better place to live and do business.”
Copenhagen has many ‘green’ credentials that helped it to win the title of European Green Capital 2014, including:
• 36 % of commuters and 55 % of Copenhageners cycle to work or school/college
• District heating serves 98 % of households
• 90% of building waste is reused
• There was a 24 % cut in carbon emissions between 2005 and 2012
• 96 % of residents live within 15 minutes’ walk of a recreational area
• Copenhagen has twice been voted the world’s most livable city by Monocle magazine (2008 and 2013)
• In 2008, transport experts named the city’s urban train system ‘The Best Metro in the World’
Copenhagen plans to use its year as European Green Capital to emphasise the importance of finding shared solutions to environmental challenges. It will host a new network with membership offered to cities that have been shortlisted for the European Green Capital Award. This network will enable the most progressive green cities in Europe to share knowledge and drive the environmental agenda forward together.
Copenhagen succeeds Nantes, the 2013 European Green Capital. Nantes introduced, among other initiatives, the ‘European Green Capital’ label to acknowledge companies committed to sustainable development. It was awarded to companies with impressive strategies for environmental protection and eco innovation.
The European Green Capital Award is presented to a city that is at the forefront of environmentally friendly urban living. A panel of independent experts assesses the performance of the competing cities against 12 environmental criteria. A jury then evaluates their commitment to ongoing environmental improvement and sustainable development, as well as their skills in communication, and the extent to which they could act as a role model by showcasing best practices for use elsewhere. In addition to providing inspiration to other cities, the winner benefits from an increased profile, which serves to enhance the city’s reputation and makes it attractive as a destination for people to visit, work and live in.
Six cities have been awarded the title of European Green Capital since its inception in 2010. Stockholm won the inaugural title, followed by Hamburg in 2011, Vitoria-Gasteiz in 2012 and Nantes in 2013. Copenhagen will pass the title to Bristol in 2015.