Tallinn, Winterswijk, and Valongo are the New Winners of the European Green City Awards
The Estonian city of Tallinn won the European Green Capital Award of 2023 and the Winterswijk City of Netherlands and Portuguese city of Valongo won the title of European Green Lead 2022. During the ceremony, Mr. Virginijus Sinkevičius, the commissioner of Fisheries, Oceans, and Environment, highlighted the important role these cities played to earn the European Green Deal objectives.
Remarks by the Commissioner
Mr. Virginijus Sinkevičius said that the cities of Tallinn, Winterswijk, and Valongo have shown their commitment and devotion to create a greener, better, and healthier place for their communities. He added that it shows that the ambitions to provide people with a better place to live remain high despite the COVID-19 constraints.
Role of Tallinn
The systematic approach of the city of Tallinn to achieve the interlinked goals of green governance has pleased the international jury. Not only does it offer people a better place to live but it also reflects that the city is ambitious to perform according to the European Green Deal objectives.
The city now will lead the network of 19 different cities in Europe. The newly launched network aims to comply with the UN SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) by focusing on employment, economic growth, energy sustainability, sustainable cities, climate change, clean water, gender equality, and poverty eradication.
The city has also earned a finance price of 600,000 pounds. Not only will it encourage the city but it’ll also allow it to improve its environmental sustainability.
Role of Winterswijk
The jury was also pleased by the role of the Dutch city, Winterswijk, that was presented by the inhabitants. They revealed that the community of the city is working as the core of the sustainability strategy of the city. After seeing the presentation of the inhabitants, the jury got convinced that they are actually working with commitment and devotion to making the green transition.
The total population of Winterswijk is only about 30,000 which means it’s a very small city but it actually punched above its weight. In order to drive the ecological transition, the advanced initiatives taken by the inhabitants are very impressive. It includes initiatives such as the energy tables, which aim to drive the local energy transition by bringing together all the regional stakeholders. The city also has a revolving fund that is dedicated for the citizens to enhance the energy efficiency of each household.
Role of Valongo
Another city, Valongo which is situated in Portugal, successfully convinced the jury that it’s performing well to manage the environmental issues. It emphasises citizen involvement and demonstrates a high level of political commitment. Nearly 60 percent of the city’s municipality is covered in green forest. Therefore the city prioritises environmental preservation. Due to the fact that most of these places are owned privately, implementing public policy for the city is much more difficult. The panel also praised the city’s multiple programs for helping low-income residents make the transition to sustainability, Valongo also showed that it has built a strong cooperation with its neighbouring communities to protect the surrounding environment.
The European Commission launched the EGCA (European Green Capital Award) to encourage all the cities that are working to become cleaner and greener. It’s important to note that about 75 percent of the population of the European Union lives in cities. Moreover, it’s also estimated that the urban population will further increase in the near future.
Each year a jury of independent experts of urban sustainability choose the winning cities by analyzing their performance against 12 different environmental indicators. So far, 13 European cities have won the titles of European Green Capital and this time Tallinn, Winterswijk, and Valongo were the winners.
Written by The Original PC Doctor on 30/09/2021.