SUSTAINABILITY

The European Green Capital

Network to share its expertise:

Learn how your city can become future-proof!

April 24, 2019

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Active citizens in the Green Connects Campaign, Nijmegen

IMAGE: Ton Verhoeven

The European Green Capital Network is set to launch its Future-proof Toolkit in April/May 2019. The Toolkit includes case studies, guidance and insider tips on how cities can become more resilient towards climate change. It is the first in a series of five toolkits on different themes, which guide cities to become more sustainable.

 

 

 

Senior citizen taking care of the dementia garden in a senior centre in Inselpark, Wilhelmsburg, Hamburg

IMAGE: Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg / BUE / Isadora Tast

The European Green Capital Network is a network of all the former European Green Capital Award winners and finalists – an initiative of the European Commission to promote and reward the efforts of cities that have shown commitment to improving the urban environment. Through the Network, the members continue to serve as role model cities, encouraging other European cities to also go green. Last November, experts from member cities of Barcelona, Bristol, Essen, Hamburg, Lahti, Lisbon, Nijmegen, Oslo, Reykjavik, Stockholm, Umeå, Vitoria-Gasteiz and ‘s-Hertogenbosch gathered in Nijmegen to provide content for this Future-proof Toolkit.

 

 

Open retention basin for stormwater in the student city of Bjølsen, Oslo

IMAGE: Tharan Fergus

The case studies covered in the Toolkit showcase Oslo’s storm-water management strategy, Nijmegen’s citizen-led approach to reducing flood risk, Hamburg’s plans to build 100 hectares of green roofs, and Lisbon’s green infrastructure programme. Not only do the case studies highlight the ideas, approaches taken and achievements, but they also present the challenges faced. They are also open about the fact that even the green capitals of Europe face obstacles and are still learning, and that by working together and sharing insights, cities can move forward.

 

 

Open retention basin in new development Ensjø, Oslo

IMAGE: Tharan Fergus

In addition to the case studies, the Toolkit provides links to useful tools, videos, information sources and also advice on broader topics such as inequality and uncertainty. Key themes throughout include the potential of nature-based solutions, embracing the expertise of local citizens, and recognising that green transformation is not only about making cities resilient towards climate change, but it is also about the social and about working together with locals to provide access to nature that all communities can enjoy.

 

 

A biodiverse rainfed meadow installed as a response to water scarcity in a central green corridor, Lisbon

IMAGE: Duarte Mata / Lisbon Municipality / CML

As noted in the Toolkit, “acting as a community to build a resilient city makes the community more resilient in turn”. As an example, the aim of Lisbon’s green corridors and planting its 80,000 new trees was not only to reduce air pollution and vulnerability towards heat waves; it was also about becoming more socially inclusive by improving public access to nature, enabling more people to cycle to work and involving citizens via initiatives such as Lisbon’s tree-planting Saturdays. “With green infrastructure, there is a wide range of challenges you can address through the same solution,” explains Duarte Mata of the City of Lisbon.

The Network’s message for other cities is clear; through green and inclusive infrastructure, all European cities have the potential to become future-proof.

 

 

 

The toolkit will be available here:

 

 

For more information and questions, please contact the Network:

 

 

Learn more about the European Green Capital Network:

 

 

 

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