VALENCIA has been crowned European Green Capital 2024 after beating the Italian city Cagliari at a ceremony in Grenoble, France on Thursday afternoon.
Valencia’s mayor, Joan Ribó, as well as the city’s two deputy mayors, Sandra Gómez and Sergi Campillo, travelled to Grenoble to support Valencia’s bid, giving their presentation explaining why their city deserved to be European green capital.
Valencia’s candidacy was based on four axes: the increase of green infrastructure and the promotion of urban biodiversity, climate mission and energy efficiency, sustainable mobility and the recovery of public space, as well as sustainable food linked to the area of l’Horta.
Speaking after the event, a delighted Ribó said: “We have travelled a road full of great achievements, and together, we are making Valencia an exemplary city, which is very motivating.”
The decision was made by the European Commission which positively assessed Valencia’s 12 indicators: air quality, noise measurement, waste management, water quality, nature and biodiversity, land use, eco-innovation, climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, mobility, energy efficiency and governance.
Benefits of the award
Winning the green capital award means Valencia will receive 600,000 euros in European aid for the implementation of environmental policies. But, beyond the economic benefit, the award means an increase in the prestige of the city, which is positioned as a European leader in green policies.
With this award, Valencia joins the club of Stockholm (Sweden), Hamburg (Germany), Vitoria, Nantes (France), Copenhagen (Denmark), Bristol (United Kingdom), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Essen (Germany), Nijmegen (Netherlands), Oslo (Norway), Lisbon (Portugal), Lahti (Finland), Grenoble (France) and Tallinn (Estonia), the European cities that have held the capital status until now. Valencia will also be the second Spanish city to be awarded this distinction, along with Vitoria which achieved it in 2012.
Valencia celebrated the European Green Capital status with a toast of the typical local drink, horchata, which was enjoyed by councillors and others who followed the broadcast of the award ceremony from the Agora in Plaza del Ayuntamiento. At the same time, a mini fireworks display illuminated the square with its multicoloured palm trees and a green firework display.
Throughout the night, the façades of the City Hall, the Porta de la Mar, the Veles e Vents building, the Palau de Congressos, the Palau de la Música, the fountain in Plaza del Ayuntamiento and the fountain on Avenida del Cid will be lit up in green. In addition, the balcony of the City Hall will display a banner saying “Congratulations, Valencia. We are European Green Capital 2024”.