The French city of Grenoble is the winner of the European Commission’s European Green Capital Award 2022. The title of European Green Leaf 2021 is shared by Gabrovo (Bulgaria) and Lappeenranta (Finland). All 3 cities are signatories to the European Covenant of Mayors!
Announcing the winners, Commissioner Sinkevičius said: The winners and finalists of the green city awards have proven to be resilient and shown that, even in the most difficult circumstances like this year’s, rapid changes are possible. These success stories also show that sustainability and green transition provide solutions to cope with sudden crises and create better and healthier urban areas for EU citizens. As we continue to adapt to a new normal, our award winning cities will continue to play a leading role in implementing green solutions and creating cities that are fit for life.”
The Jury, of which was part the Head of the Covenant of Mayors - Europe Office Frédéric Boyer, was most impressed by the European Green Capital 2022 winner, Grenoble, for its pioneering approach to climate management that includes a strong commitment to systemic change and an innovative participative democracy approach to city governance. Grenoble’s ambitious plans for its European Green Capital Year impressed the Jury for how it will reach cities and citizens across Europe to inspire solutions.
Most notably, the city achieved top ranking in the areas of climate change mitigation, sustainable urban mobility, sustainable land use, noise and energy performance. With a terrain that limits urban sprawl, the city has no choice but to rely on urban regeneration and rehabilitation, efficient public transport and quality public spaces to renew itself.
>> Discover our case study "Grenoble, France - Retrofitting private buildings to reduce energy consumption"
>> See Grenoble's signatory profile
Gabrovo was commended for its commitment to energy efficiency and clean technology implementation over the past decade. This has resulted in initiatives with citizen involvement, focused on the provision of sustainable transport and maintenance of green areas. Gabrovo has a wide variety of natural habitats and species and has ongoing measures in place to protect and conserve these biodiversity assets.
>> Check out the case study "Gabrovo, Bulgaria: The first passive building in Bulgaria"
>> See Gabrovo's signatory profile
Lappeenranta was recognised for its commitment to developing into a model green city and ranked highly in all the award indicators. The city is home to the world-class research and innovation university which contributes to the city in areas such as clean energy research, sustainability, circular economy and water technology. Guided by the Lappeenranta 2033 Strategy, it was the world’s first city to start solely using EKOenergy certified renewable electricity.
In addition to the responsibilities of winning the title, Grenoble will receive a €350,000 financial incentive from the European Commission to kick-start its European Green Capital year. The winners of the European Green Leaf 2021 title will each receive €75,000. A total of 36 cities competed for these prestigious awards – the highest ever number in the competition’s 13-year history.
The European Green Capital 2022 winner Grenoble, and finalists Dijon, Tallinn and Turin, have each earned a place in the European Green Capital Network to share best practices and motivate other cities. Similarly, the other European Green Leaf 2021 finalists, the Danish cities of Elsinore, Nyborg and Ringkøbing-Skjern will join Gabrovo and Lappeenranta and previous winners and finalists in the European Green Leaf Network.
Photo Bertrand Marion CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons