Nijmegen wins award for Europe’s greenest city
The Dutch city of Nijmegen has been announced as this year’s winner of the European Green Capital award.
Nijmegen impressed the judges through a variety of sustainable initiatives the city has implemented in recent years. These include recycling 67% of its waste; creating 80km of special cycle routes; running the entire bus fleet on biogas, and ensuring all citizens live within 300m of green space.
The award was created in 2008 by the European Commission to encourage cities to make urban environments cleaner and more sustainable. Previous winners include Stockholm, Nantes and Bristol.
The Mayor, Hubert Bruls, commented: “For years now, we have been working hard to make the municipality of Nijmegen more sustainable. Our goal is to have a climate-neutral city by 2045. This requires many long-term measures and the collaboration of various partners, including business and residents.”
He added: “There are rewards every time we take another step and accomplish something that results in a cleaner, healthier, safer and greener city. We have achieved something that really matters, both now and in the future”
The city had already been voted Cycling City of the Netherlands in 2016, an impressive feat for a country well known for its strong bicycling culture.
Karmenu Vella, the European Commissioner for the Environment, handed over the title at a ceremony in the German city of Essen, last year’s winner.
Mr. Vella said: “From its ambitious energy targets and commitment to circular economy, remarkable cycling movement and green transport, to impressive flood protection measures at the River Waal, Nijmegen has proven itself as a leader in urban sustainability. I am confident it will inspire and support other European cities on their path towards a greener future. I wish Mayor Bruls, his team and the people of Nijmegen the very best."
Throughout 2018, Nijmegen will host a series of events focussing on different environmental themes, such as the circular economy, sustainable transport and climate change.
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