How the city of Essen has become “European Green Capital 2017”

The city of Essen is the first city of the mining industry in the history of the European Green Capital that won the award. The successful 150-year transformation story, from a city of coal and steel to the greenest city in North Rhine-Westphalia, is a role model of structural change for many cities in Europe.

About the green capital award

Every year the “European Green Capital Award” is given to one European city that has a consistent record of achieving high environmental standards and that is committed to ongoing and ambitious goals for further environmental improvement and sustainable development.

The award aims to provide an incentive for cities to inspire each other and share best practices, while at the same time engaging in friendly competition.

In the course of the competition all participating cities have to answer questions regarding the following twelve environmental criteria:

How the city of Essen has become “European Green Capital 2017”

The city of Essen is the first city of the mining industry in the history of the European Green Capital that won the award. The successful 150-year transformation story, from a city of coal and steel to the greenest city in North Rhine-Westphalia, is a role model of structural change for many cities in Europe.

The city of Essen was particularly able to convince in the environmental criteria “Waste Water Management” and “Integrated Environmental Management System”:

The conversion of the wastewater treatment system “Emscher”, which was launched by the Emschergenossenschaft, is one of Europe´s largest infrastructure projects. The conversion with underground sewers and water body renaturalisation has received a number of awards to date.

Essen’s vision of the future is one of a prosperous, economically sustainable major city, which is resistant to climate change, and which offers its population opportunities to develop in a healthy environment. Essen promotes green infrastructure with high water quality and parks with high recreational value, innovative and environmentally friendly businesses (Green Economy), integrative education and sustainable mobility concepts.

 

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