Santander competes with eleven other European cities to become the “European Green Capital” in 2016, an annual title that recognizes the efforts of urban centers to preserve the environment, reported the European Commission (EC). Also, last week, the city received a flag of the European Parliament for its merits in the promotion of sports.
Other applicants are cities in Poland (Dabrowa Górnicza), Germany (Essen), Greece (Larissa), Slovenia (Liubliana), Netherlands (Nimega), Norway (Oslo), Italy (Reggio Emilia), France (Tours), Sweden (Umeå) and Romania (Pitesti), and also Zaragoza in Spain.
«This is but one example of the commitment of European cities to improving the quality of life of its citizens and the environment “, said the EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik in a statement. The EU executive recalls that the award is given to cities «at the forefront of urban management that respects the environment”, and that applicants must set higher standards in sustainable urban development and innovative solutions to environmental challenges.
The year 2016 will also be the first time that cities of less than 100,000 inhabitants can participate. Each application will be studied in relation to 12 environmental indicators, including issues such as air quality, the waste management or sewage treatment.
The name of the winner will be announced in June 2014 in Copenhagen, which is the European Green Capital 2014. This event has recognized several times the success of environmental policies of the Atlantic Cities, with awards to Vitoria (2012), Nantes (2013) and Bristol (2015).