Today, the Norwegian city of Oslo has won the European Green Capital Award for 2019. The title of European Green Leaf 2018 goes jointly to the Belgian city of Leuven and the Swedish city of Växjö. These prestigious titles were awarded by the EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, at an awards ceremony in Essen, Germany, the current European Green Capital.
The jury was particularly impressed by the holistic approach demonstrated by Oslo covering topics ranging from biodiversity, public transport, social integration and citizen health accompanied by the theme ‘City for everyone, putting people first’.
The press release from the committee wrote that Oslo was commended for working systematically to re-open waterways with 3,000 waterways re-opened so far. The jury appreciated Oslo’s active approach to connecting with their citizens particularly with the use of technology and innovation in citizen participation such as text message invitations to public consultations and politician speed-dating. The jury also appreciated Oslo’s objective to address common challenges such as reclaiming space for citizens over cars by working with other cities.
– It is a great recognition for Oslo to be named Europe’s environmental capital in 2019. We are fully committed to green innovation, green jobs and green city life. The whole city is invited. By 2019 we will show the environmental solutions of the future together with Europe, says city council leader Raymond Johansen to VG.
– The role of cities has never been more important. While Trump denies climate change, we now see that cities around the world are at the forefront of climate and environmental work. As Europe’s environmental capital, we can show how good urban life and good politics are connected, says the Vice Mayor for Environment and Transport, Lan Marie Berg.
About the Award
The European Green Capital Award and the European Green Leaf Award recognise a city’s commitment to a better urban environment. Cities with populations over 100,000 inhabitants are eligible to apply for the European Green Capital Award. The European Green Leaf is open to cities of between 20,000 and up to 100,000 inhabitants. Both competitions are open to EU Member States, EU Candidate Countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Winners demonstrate well-established records of high environmental standards and a commitment to setting ambitious goals for future environmental progress, underpinned by the practical application of sustainable development. The schemes have a particular focus on green growth and job creation. Winners act as ambassadors to inspire other cities and to promote best practices in pursuit of sustainable urban development.
Ten cities have now won the European Green Capital Award: Stockholm (2010),Hamburg (2011), Vitoria-Gasteiz (2012), Nantes (2013), Copenhagen (2014), Bristol (2015), Ljubljana (2016), Essen (2017), Nijmegen (2018) and Oslo (2019).