On November 29th I was asked to represent the European Commission as Speaker at an Agenda 21 Sustainability Conference in
- 'Think Global Act Local'. This was in my role of Director of the EU Commission Secretariat for the European Green Capital City (EGCA) award (http://ec.europa.eu/environment/europeangreencapital/index_en.htm). Lisbon
Similar to the 'European City of Culture', the EU Commission initiative is to find a different European city each year based on current high environmental performance, ambitious goals for the future and how the city can act as a role model for Sustainable Urban Living. Only capital cities of European states or cities with a population of 200,000 or over may enter.
The inaugural EU Green Capital of Europe was
Stockholm in 2010 and this year in 2011. Both were chosen in the first round of the competition in 2008. Hamburg
Yesterday at a ceremony in Brussels EU Commissioner Janez Potocnik handed over the title of the European Green Capital to the Spanish Basque city of
(pop 235,445) which is the 2012 Winner. Vitoria Gasteiz
The competition is very dynamic as this year for the first time we add two economic criteria - eco- innovation/job creation and secondly energy efficiency in accordance with the Resource Efficiency pillar of the EU 2020 Strategy Roadmap to better integrate new enterprise with sustainable development in accordance with the Lisbon Treaty objectives. The other criteria or indicators for the EGCA are climate change, sustainable transport, water consumption, waste management, air quality, noise, wastewater treatment and overall environmental management systems.
The Lisbon Conference was in fact held in the beautiful town of
Cascais about half and hours drive along the coast north of . The conference was opened by the Portuguese Secretary of State for Environment Dr Pedro Afonso de Paulo. My speech detailed the objectives of the European Green Capital award scheme and how each detailed application from each city is assessed and analysed by a Panel of Evaluation Experts appointed by the Commission and drawn from the 27 Member States. The Speakers were a combination of engineers, architects, town planners and social scientists drawn from municipalities, business and academia. Lisbon
Dublin entered the first round of the European Green Capital award in 2008 and scored 16th position out of a total of 35 cities who entered - well behind the shortlist of 8 cities from which Stockholm and Hamburg emerged. The other shortlisted cities were
Amsterdam, Bristol, Copenhagen, Freiburg, Munster and . Oslo has however improved greatly in transport mobility and water conservation terms from its position in 2008 and may now re-enter the competition. Dublin