Ten European cities are showing the way to resilience and sustainability as they enter the final stage of the European Green Capital and Green Leaf Awards in these times of unprecedented health, social and economic crises.
Three out of the four finalists for the title of European Green Capital 2023 are Central and Eastern European cities: Krakow (Poland), Sofia (Bulgaria) and Tallinn (Estonia), while the Romanian city of Bistrița has been shortlisted for the title of European Green Leaf 2022.
The cities have been shortlisted based on their commitment in addressing urban environmental challenges and making their cities fit for life. The European Green City Awards aim to show that going green is possible, no matter your starting point.
“As we slowly start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for the pandemic, the fight continues for our climate and the environment,” said Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius. “A systemic change in our societies and economies is needed, to shape them more in balance with the needs of the planet. We all have a part to play but in particular, our cities, who provide a home to 75 per cent of the European population. I am pleased to see that despite these challenging times, European cities are taking the lead in making their urban environment better and healthier places to live. If they can do it, others can do it too. This is one of the tools European cities can resort to in order to implement the climate and environment objectives of the European Green Deal.”
In their role as Ambassadors for Change, title winners will motivate and inspire other cities in Europe and increasingly the world by promoting sharing knowledge and expertise and driving innovation as well as cooperation with citizens and businesses. They will show that green cities do better, not only environmentally but also economically and socially. They provide a better quality of life for their citizens.