(07 November 2013) – The deadline for submitting entries to become European Green Capital 2016 is now closed and 12 cities from 11 different countries have entered the competition.
The candidates are: Dabrowa Gornicza (Poland), Essen (Germany), Larissa (Greece), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Nijmegen (Netherlands), Oslo (Norway), Reggio Emilia (Italy), Santander (Spain), Tours (France), Umeå (Sweden), Zaragoza (Spain) and Pitesti (Romania).
The European Green Capital Award is presented to a city at the forefront of environmentally friendly urban management. These cities aim to set higher standards in sustainable urban development, listening to what their citizens want and pioneering innovative solutions to environmental challenges.
This year, for the first time, cities across Europe with at least 100,000 inhabitants were eligible to apply for the 2016 title. In previous years, only cities with a population of 200,000 or more were eligible. Opening the award to smaller cities has led to over half the applications coming from cities with less than 200,000 inhabitants.
An international Expert Panel will perform a technical assessment of each entry on the basis of 12 indicators covering climate change, mitigation and adaptation; local transport; green urban areas incorporating sustainable land use; nature and biodiversity; ambient air quality; quality of the acoustic environment; waste production and management; water management; wastewater treatment; eco-innovation and sustainable employment; energy performance; and integrated environmental management.