The Danish city of Copenhagen has won the European Green Capital Award for 2014. The award was presented by EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik at a ceremony in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, the current holder of the title, on Friday evening. Copenhagen received special praise for its achievements, notably in terms of eco-innovation and sustainable mobility, its commitment to act as a role model for the green economy, in Europe and beyond, and for an exceptionally promising communication strategy.
Commissioner Potočnik said: "I congratulate Copenhagen on the example they are setting. We have much to learn from the city's efforts to improve the environment and quality of life for citizens, whilst creating new business opportunities, and I look forward to their year as European Green Capital. They will have numerous occasions to showcase their expertise and their creative approach to urban planning and to developing a green economy."
The European Green Capital award is an annual prize that encourages cities to improve the quality of urban life by systematically taking the environment into account in urban planning and management. One city is chosen from a large field of applicants every year. The Award jury considered Copenhagen´s Green Business Model to be an example of sustainable economic development, tackling environmental, economic and social concerns, with good potential for replication in other cities of the world.
Copenhagen has placed public-private partnerships at the core of its approach to eco-innovation and sustainable employment. The city works with companies, universities and organisations in dedicated forums to develop and implement green growth. Its North Harbour project, for example, will include a "Green laboratory" that will focus on eco-technologies, a model that can be transferred to other towns and cities.
The jury singled out Copenhagen as a good model in terms of urban planning and design. It is also something of a transport pioneer, aiming to become the world´s most practicable city for cyclists. Its goal is to have 50 % of people cycling to their place of work or education by 2015 (35 % cycled to their workplace or school in 2010), helping the city reach an ambitious goal of being CO