From the decision to apply to collecting the necessary data and writing a successful application, a new toolkit guides cities through every step. Based on insights and first-hand experience from previous winners and finalists of the European Green Capital Award, it contains all you need to know to bring home this coveted award.
More and more of European cities are committed to becoming sustainability leaders, but many still wonder how to gain recognition for their green efforts. The European Green Capital Award, an initiative of the European Commission to promote and reward cities that are committed to raising standards in improving their urban environment, is the most widely recognised way to earn your place on the map of Europe’s greenest cities.
The toolkit, published by the European Green Capital Network, offers specific guidance and insider tips on how to submit a high-quality application and make the most of the application process to generate long-term sustainability benefits.
The award is not only a prestigious seal of approval by the Commission, but also a way cities can align their efforts with European policies, programmes and perspective, all the while contributing to a bigger, global picture. The application process enables cities to accelerate their efforts to achieve an urban sustainability vision and helps them find ways to continue raising the bar.
Reaping the rewards
In addition to a financial prize – amounting to €600,000 (US$705,200) for the 2023 winning city – and increased international media coverage, winning the award also brings cities a range of long-standing benefits. Previous winners have reported a boost in local pride and foreign investment, and a greater focus on environmental projects.
Benefits begin to appear during the application process. One example is 2019 winner Oslo (Norway), where the application process created the necessary environment for cooperation between different city experts, bringing them together to work more closely across departments. 2018 finalist Umeå (Sweden) used the award application as a hook to get people to talk more about sustainability and started a fund to support green projects, which is still ongoing.
These are only a few of the stories featured in the toolkit, which also contains hints on how applications are evaluated and tips on how to prepare for the presentation to the jury.
The toolkit concludes that, even if applicants do not succeed in their first attempt to win, applying is nonetheless worth it, as it sets a city on the right path for a sustainable urban transition.
Winners and finalists of the award gain access to the European Green Capital Network, through which members can exchange best practices, challenges and potential solutions, while also encouraging other European cities on their own paths towards a more sustainable future by providing guidance and support.
About the EGCN
The European Green Capital Network (EGCN) is a network of former European Green Capital Award winners and finalists. Founded by the city of Copenhagen during its own award-winning year in 2014, the Network’s main role is to:
- share best practices, discuss challenges and create solutions for impactful sustainable urban development in Europe, and
- serve as a platform for change, representing European cities in relevant European and global political processes.
Member cities include Stockholm, Hamburg, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Nantes, Copenhagen, Bristol, Ljubljana, Essen, Nijmegen, Oslo, Lisbon, Lahti, Amsterdam, Freiburg, Münster, Barcelona, Malmö, Nuremberg, Reykjavik, Frankfurt, Brussels, Glasgow, Umeå, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Ghent, Tallinn, Lille, Strasbourg, Dijon, Grenoble and Turin.
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