Vitoria-Gasteiz is the European Green Capital 2012

The capital of the Basque country in northern Spain has been granted with the title European Green Capital 2012. This title recognises and rewards cities that are at the forefront of environmentally-friendly urban living and which can act as role-models to inspire other cities.

The European Commission handed over the title of European Green Capital from Hamburg to Vitoria-Gasteiz in a ceremony held in the European Parliament. According to the Commission, Vitoria-Gasteiz is one of Europe’s greenest cities, in more than one sense. Vitoria-Gasteiz is the living result of over 30 years of commitment to sustainability. With its good practices in urban planning, green spaces, recycling, mobility and water consumption, the city has become an example for Europe.

The Committee of the Regions President, Mercedes Bresso, underlined that European Green Capitals are leading the way, with green public transport, energy efficient public buildings and many more examples of outstanding local projects often co-funded from the EU cohesion budget that go far beyond targets set by EU directives. She also added that the CoR is ready to work together with the European Commission to establish a community that will allow the experience of the European Green Capitals to be more widely shared.

The title will pass to Nantes in 2013 as it was announced by the Commission in October 2010. The competition to find the 2014 European Green Capital is currently underway with 18 cities contending for the title. The 2014 winner will be announced in June 2012 following an assessment of entries by an international jury supported by a panel of experts in different environmental fields, including a Member of the Committee of the Regions.