Bristol wins the European Green Capital Award

June 17, 2013

Funding Scheme: 2013-06-17

Pgm2014 2020: Yes


The Bristol City was rewarded for her efforts to improve the environment and quality of life of its citizens while providing new opportunities for businesses by receiving Friday the  European Green Capital Award for 2015 in Nantes, the current European green Capital.

Bristol was awarded the prize in particular because of its investments in the field of transport and energy, but also because of its active communication through social media, engaging citizens to participate more effectively in sustainable development


The European Green Capital Award is an annual event to encourage cities to improve the quality of life by systematically taking the environment into account in urban planning and management. The Commission’s proposed 7th Environmental Action Programme (EAP) underpins the initiative as a way of encouraging local authorities and citizens to make cities better places to live.

The Jury considered Bristol’s sustainable community projects to be good examples of citizen engagement to tackle environmental, economic and social issues. The city has committed a budget of EUR 500 million for transport improvements by 2015 and up to EUR 300 million for energy efficiency and renewable energy by 2020. Bristol’s transport and urban policies have contributed to achieving better air quality. Thanks to its efforts the number of cyclists has doubled in recent years, and the city is committed to doubling this number again by 2020 (based on 2010 baseline figures).

Bristol has carried out pioneering communication actions, especially through social media to involve citizens in improving the quality of life in the city. Bristol’s tag line “Laboratory for Change” evokes innovation, learning and leadership, and live lab conferences will be made available through social media to build bridges between Bristol and other European cities.


Eight cities applied to become European Green Capital 2015. Each entry was assessed by an international panel of 12 experts and four cities were shortlisted – Bristol, Brussels, Glasgow and Ljubljana. Representatives from the shortlisted cities were interviewed by a Jury which comprised members from the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions, the European Environment Agency, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the Covenant of Mayors Office and the European Environmental Bureau.

The European Green Capital Award is ultimately about making cities more pleasant places in which to live and work. The award is given to a European city that has a record of achieving high environmental standards, is committed to ambitious goals for future environmental improvement and sustainable development and can act as a model to inspire other cities.

Cities entering the European Green Capital Award are assessed in 12 areas – climate change, transport, green urban areas incorporating sustainable land use, nature and biodiversity, ambient air quality, quality of the acoustic environment, waste, water consumption, waste water treatment, eco-innovation & sustainable employment, environmental management and energy.

The European Green Capital Award was conceived by Mr Jüri Ratas, former Mayor of Tallinn, Estonia in 2006, as an initiative to promote and reward efforts, to spur cities to commit to further action, and to showcase and encourage the exchange of best practice among European cities. Six cities – Stockholm, Hamburg, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Nantes, Copenhagen and now Bristol – have won the award so far, from 2010 to 2015 respectively. 

Url description: European Commission Press