The European Green Leaf is a new initiative aimed at cities with a population between 50,000 and 100,000 inhabitants. It is an award that recognises commitment to better environmental outcomes, with a particular accent on efforts that generate green growth and new jobs. The objectives of the European Green Leaf are threefold:
1. To recognise cities that demonstrate a good environmental record and commitment to generating green growth;
2. To encourage cities to actively develop citizens' environmental awareness and involvement;
Slovenian capital Ljubljana has been named European Green Capital 2016 at a ceremony in Copenhagen, the current holder of the Green Capital title.
Ljubljana was commended for raising environmental awareness amongst its citizens. The jury also recognised its sustainability strategy 'Vision 2025', which brings together plans covering environmental protection, mobility, energy and electric transport. In addition, Ljubljana has made significant progress in implementing green procurement policies covering 70 % of all city purchases.
Copenhagen officially took the title of European Green Capital 2014 at the end of December. The city was awarded the title in recognition of its progress towards becoming more sustainable, environmentally friendly and resource efficient, and improving the quality of life for its residents. Copenhagen will pass the title to Bristol in 2015.
The European Commission hosted the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) conference ‘Smart Cities and Communities: Leading the Way in Making Europe’s Cities Smarter’ in Brussels on 26 November 2013. Participants included city leaders, CEOs and civil society leaders who met to discuss how to implement the actions outlined in the (SIP). As a result, the Commission announced that in spring 2014 it will launch an 'Invitation for Smart City and Community Commitments' to mobilise work on the action plan's priorities.
Many cities in Europe are changing, according to a new EEA report which points to rapid transformations in urban transport in some areas. While cycling and efficient public transport are becoming the norm in some urban areas, Europe’s transport sector is still a major contributor to excessive levels of greenhouse gases, air pollution and noise, the report says.
The global management consultancy, McKinsey & Company, has published a new report on the factors that make a city a superior place to live and work. The report, ‘How to make a city great’, evaluates a number of indicators to establish some key steps that leaders can take to make their cities economically, socially and environmentally world class.
Eighty percent of Chinese cities are failing to achieve a balance between economic growth, resource efficiency and sustainable development, according to a study by Accenture and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The joint research, covering 73 cities, also shows that China’s mid-sized cities are in the best position to achieve that balance in the future.
The European Commission has today started the search for the first European Capital of Innovation, or iCapital. The prize will reward the city which is building the best “innovation ecosystem”, connecting citizens, public organisations, academia, and business. Given that 68% of the EU population now lives in urban areas, it is these areas that will contribute the most to making Europe more innovative.
Kitakyushu - a Japanese town that serves as an example of city paying strong attention to environmental issues in its development
One of the greatest challenges facing the EU is how best to design and adapt cities into smart intelligent and sustainable environments. Almost three quarters of Europeans live in cities, consuming 70% of the EU's energy. Congestion costs Europe about 1% of its GDP every year; most of it is located in urban areas. Smart urban technologies can make a major contribution to tackling many urban challenges.