(19 June 2015) – The German city of Essen has won the European Green Capital Award for 2017. The Spanish city of Mollet del Vallès and the Portuguese city of Torres Vedras are the winners of the inaugural European Green Leaf.
Essen was singled out for its exemplary practices in protecting and enhancing nature and biodiversity and efforts to reduce water consumption. The city participates also in a variety of networks and initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to improve the city’s resilience in the face of climate change.
Areas that particularly caught the attention of the jury included Essen’s impressive water management system, based on a sound knowledge of water-related problems and an open-minded approach to innovative solutions. Among these were multifunctional green areas which are used for rainwater management, flood prevention and groundwater recharge.
The European Commission also announced the winners of the inaugural European Green Leaf competition. Mollet del Vallès and Torres Vedras became the first cities to receive the accolade in recognition of their commitment to better environmental practices and green growth. The European Green Leaf 2015 targets cities with a population between 50 000 and 100 000 inhabitants.