European Green Capital Award: how green is your town?
Based on an idea put forward by several European cities in 2006, the European Commission has launched the European Green Capital Award to reward cities for their efforts to improve the urban environment and move towards healthier and sustainable living areas. From 2010 onwards, one European city will be selected as the 'European Green Capital of the year'. The award scheme is still open for applications for 2010 and 2011.
The title will be given to a city with a consistent record of high environmental standards and a strong commitment to further improvement. The winner should also inspire other cities and promote best practices.
How to apply?
The award scheme is open to applications from the 27 EU Member States, candidate countries (Turkey, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Croatia) and European Economic Area countries (Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein). All cities with more than 200 000 inhabitants are eligible to apply for the European Green Capital Award. In the absence of such cities in the country, the largest city is eligible to apply.
Entries will be assessed on the basis of 10 environmental criteria including impact on climate change, local transport, air quality, water consumption, and waste and water treatment practices. The deadline for applications for the first two years of the award — 2010 and 2011 — is 1 October 2008.
Applications may be submitted online. After an initial selection by an evaluation panel, three cities for 2010 and 2011 respectively will be invited to submit a detailed application. The final decision will be taken later this year by a jury, which includes the European Environment Agency.
Although the award does not grant any specific financial reward, all urban conglomerations in the EU may receive grants from several programmes, including Life+ and Structural Funds, to improve the environment in urban areas.