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Ljubljana is the European green capital for 2016

The European Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik, has rewarded the city’s sustainability strategy

MILAN – The Slovenian city beat the other four contenders, Essen, Nijmegen, Oslo and Umeå. The jury recognised Ljubljana in view of its sustainability strategy, known as “Vision 2025”, which combines the Environmental Protection Programme, the Sustainable Mobility Plan, the Sustainable Energy Action Plan and the Electromobility Strategy. Many sectors with a shared goal, namely reducing pollution and promoting a sustainable lifestyle.

Ljubljana’s progress

Ljubljana has made significant progress. Transport has changed radically here over the past decade. Although in the past the Slovenian capital was swarming with cars, these have now given way to eco-friendly alternatives. For instance, last year Ljubljana changed the traffic flow within the city in order to limit cars and motorcycles and to give priority to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.

Bikes are also on the rise, with over 1.6 million trips made using the ‘BicikeLJ’ bike-sharing scheme since 2011. That’s not all. Future transportation plans include even more ambitious aims, including for an equal amount of public transport, non-motorised traffic and private vehicles by 2020.

European Green Capital Award

The aim of the European Green Capital Award is to make cities more pleasant places in which to live and work. Each year the award is given to a European city that has achieved high environmental standards and that is committed to ambitious goals for the future. Candidate cities are assessed on 12 criteria: 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, waste water treatment, eco-innovation and sustainable employment, energy performance, and integrated environmental management.

Before Ljubljana, the previous European green capitals have included: Bristol in 2015, Copenhagen in 2014, even though Turin was one of the candidates, Nantes in 2013, Vitoria-Gasteiz in 2012, Hamburg in 2011 and Stockholm in 2010.

by editorial staff