The European Commission awards the title of European Green Capital annually. How did Valencia earn it this year?
The European Green Capital title has been awarded annually since 2010. Its purpose is to encourage healthy competition among European Union cities in terms of transitioning to clean energy, protecting nature, and improving the quality of life for residents. In 2024, the Spanish city of Valencia will hold the title.
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Valencia: European Green Capital 2024
At the inauguration ceremony on 11 January at the Palau de la Música, EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said: "Valencia has earned the Green Capital title because of its ambitious sustainability strategy, and it has learned from lessons in the past. For many decades, the city has been driven forward by a bold civic movement that sustains genuine change. People are Valencia’s asset."
Valencia, the third largest city in Spain with a population of almost 800,000, won the title for its achievements in sustainable tourism, climate neutrality, and fair and inclusive green transformation.
Valencia is a city where 97% of people live within 300 meters of green urban areas, with over two million square meters of gardens. The city is committed to improving air quality and restoring natural ecosystems such as the Devesa dune and wetland ecosystems. Valencia also promotes healthier, sustainable, and inclusive food production through its "Neighborhood and Food Program."
During the launch event, the Mayor of Valencia, María José Catalá, announced that the city would host almost 400 events in 2024 in connection with its title as the Green Capital of Europe. This title was previously held by Tallinn, Estonia, in 2023. Vilnius is set to be the European Green Capital in 2025. Other cities can apply for the title for 2026 until 30th April 2024.