Friday night it was officially announced that Copenhagen is awarded the title of European Green Capital 2014. The title is awarded by the European Commision in Bruxelles and given once a year to the city in Europe that shows the most initiative and innovation in creating green, sustainable solutions for cleaner and healthier city life.
Copenhagen competed with 19 other cities in Europe for the award. Three cities were selected to present their bid in front of a jury in Bruxelles. Frankfurt Am Main, Bristol and Copenhagen were the final three candidates.
Stagis’ role in Copenhagen’s bid for the award was to help the Municipality of Copenhagen to put into words and images the many great green initiatives and innovative solutions that Copenhagen offers its citizens. The end result was a great presentation; although deciding on which green activities and initiatives to include in the hour-long presentation was a difficult task – Copenhagen really has so much to offer in this regard. For instance, Copenhagen has a unique central heat distribution, we are becoming the no. 1 city in the World in terms of using the bicycle to get around the city, and the city is developing new recreational areas to make life in Copenhagen greener and easier.
Through a workshop and several meetings with the Technical and Environmental Adminstration of Copenhagen, Stagis helped to concentrate the many green initiatives and solutions into a concept which provided a red thread through the presentation. The concept, which we named ”Sharing Copenhagen”, describes not only the green solutions and the benefits to all Copenhageners, but more so the actual way the City of Copenhagen works in creating a better, cleaner, healthier and greener city. The Municipality of Copenhagen has a unique approach to making the green growth happen: Whenever there is a problem to be solved, they try to find a solution that will work in several ways. For instance, there is a growing problem with traffic congestion (just like so many other big cities) and the solution doesn't only solve congestion - it also aims to create long term health improvement, more green areas, less air pollution and lower cost. That's why the streets close to my house at Dronning Louises Bro has wider bicycle lanes than car lanes. It helps more people bicycle and less people to choose the car. So, the way we solve problems in Copenhagen is by thinking "smart" solutions across several boundaries. The other strength that is important in Copenhagen is our ability to share. We share ideas, we get people to participate, and the city is open to share solutions with the rest of Europe. We thought "sharing" was a key concept in the way Copenhagen works. And certainly an important part of the role Copenhagen takes on in 2014.
I am really proud and happy that my team has helped Copenhagen (and all you copenhageners!) claim the title as European Green Capital 2014. I think there are so many things that we can share and teach to other cities in Europe, and around the World. Although I might be a little biased, I believe that it is well deserved. First of all it is well deserved by the team that did an extraordinary effort during May, developing the concept and preparing the copy and design for the presentation for Bruxelles (well done, Marc, Søren and Michael!). Secondly, I think it's well done by the City counsil and everyone in Copenhagen. We look forward to 2014 when Copenhagen will have many great activities celebrating the city’s year as the greenest, most livable city in Europe. We might not be the biggest city or the biggest country, bu we should still participate in being a role model that others can follow.
Here is a selection of the 66 slides of the one hour-long presentation that was delivered by the director of, and his colleagues from, the Technical and Environmental Adminstration of Copenhagen in Bruxelles:
There is an article on the award on Danish newspaper Politiken.