The Portuguese city of Lisbon has won the European Green Capital Award for 2020. These prestigious titles were awarded by the EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, at an awards ceremony in Nijmegen, the Netherlands – the current European Green Capital.
Lisbon receives a 350000 euros financial incentive from the European Commission to kick-start its green capital year. Commissioner Vella said: “I am delighted to be awarding Europe’s green city awards for the eleventh time to a new champion of urban sustainability, and for the sixth and seventh time to smaller green cities. Globally we are faced with enormous environmental challenges. Climate change, over consumption, plastic waste and biodiversity loss are major threats to our cities and our future. It is heartening and inspiring to see such strong leadership from Lisbon, and other European Green Capital winners. With best practice environmental management, good urban planning, and citizens at the heart of their green transformation, they showed how to turn environmental challenges into opportunities, and make their cities healthy and enjoyable places to stay, live and work in.”
The Expert Panel highlighted that Lisbon is particularly strong in the field of sustainable land use, sustainable urban mobility (transport), green growth & eco innovation, climate change adaptation and waste: Lisbon was the first capital in Europe to sign the New Covenant of Mayors for Climate Change and Energy in 2016, after achieving a 50% reduction in C02 emissions (2002-14); reducing energy consumption by 23% and water consumption by 17% from 2007 to 2013;
It has a clear vision for sustainable urban mobility, with measures to restrict car use and prioritise cycling, public transport, and walking. In 2017 Lisbon launched a bike-sharing scheme, with electric bikes comprising two thirds of the fleet to encourage cycling in the hillier parts of the city; It has one of the world’s largest networks of electric vehicle charging points, while 39% of the municipal car fleet is electric; 93.3% of people in Lisbon live within 300 m of a frequent public transport service; 76% of people in Lisbon live within 300 m of green urban areas, and It has a strong commitment to sustainable land use with particular focus on establishing green infrastructure, or connected networks of green space, to counteract the effects of climate change, such as drought, extreme heat, and storm flooding.