Great awards for great cities: does your city have what it takes?

By Fiona Twisse / Updated: 13 Jun 2018

The European Commission recognises cities that take bold measures to tackle environmental and social challenges with City Awards.  

These prestigious awards promote and reward the efforts that individual cities make in a wide range of areas from fair and ethical trade, accessibility, environmental sustainability and transport, tourism, to innovation and tackling cultural challenges.

  • The European Green Capital Award (EGCA) recognises outstanding green cities.  Eligible cities are those with over 100,000 inhabitants that show leadership in encironmental, social and economic sustainability.  Check if your city is eligible for the EGCA 2021 award.  The winner of the 2021 award will receive €350,000 to kick-start its year as a European Green Capital and the call for EGCA applications is now open.
  • The European Green Leaf Award (EGLA) call is now open to smaller towns and cities with inhabitants number between 20,000 and 100,000 to recognise and promote their efforts towards better environmental management and outcomes.  Check if your city is eligible for the EGLA 2020 award.  The 2020 award winner will receive €75,000 to support its activities throughout its European Green Leaf year.
  • Launched in 2010, the Access City Award recognises outstanding efforts for accessibility and the call will open this month with the awards ceremony to take place on 4 December 2018 during the European Day of Persons with Disabilities.  Further information can be found on the European Commissions Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion web pages.
  • The European Capital of Innovation (iCapital) 2018 recognises cities that demonstrate a contribution to open and dynamic urban innovation, public engagement and inclusion in governance and decision-making and innovative approaches to improving resilience ad sustainability of their city.  To join Barcelona and Amsterdam as recipients of this prestigious award, apply by 21 June.
  • EU Cities for fair and Ethical Trade is a Directorate-General for Trade (DG Trade) initiative that focuses on trade between the EU and third countries with the next award planned for 2020.  A particular emphasis is given to fair and ethical trade schemes as well as other non-governmental sustainability schemes that may bring more sustainable opportunities to small producers in third countries and thus support sustainable and inclusive development.  Visit for more information.
  • The European Capital of Smart Tourism recognised outstanding achievements in sustainability, accessibility, digitisation, cultural heritage and creativity.  All finalists must demonstrate excellence across all categories and the application deadline for this award is 30 June 2018.

All awards offer the opportunity to showcase city achievements to a wide audience.

Monitoring and evaluation
Quality, audits and benchmarking
Walking and cycling
Collective passenger transport
Clean and energy-efficient vehicles
Urban freight/city logistics
Transport for people with reduced mobility
Mobility management
Traffic and demand management