The French city of Grenoble has officially taken over as the European Green Capital for 2022 at the Green Capital Opening Ceremony on the 15 January 2022, taking over from the Finnish city of Lahti.
The European Commission launched the European Green Capital Award in 2010 to encourage cities to become greener and cleaner, and to improve the quality of life for their inhabitants. Each year since, a city has been awarded the title with the mission of showcasing its green actions to a wider audience, as well as to further develop its own actions.
Grenoble gained the title as a frontrunner in its sustainable transition, notably as the first French local authority to adopt a Climate Plan in 2005. In transport and mobility, Grenoble’s urban planning projects include successfully implementing a 30 km/h speed limit throughout the city in 2016. The lower speed limit has allowed the city to reduce air and noise pollution and in turn make the city more pedestrian friendly. This outcome has been seen in the impressive cycling rates throughout the city, which have meant that Grenoble has become France's top city for bicycle commuting. The high levels of cycling in the city have been attributed to incentives, reimbursements and the pedestrianisation of the city.
European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Sinkevičius said “Grenoble has earned the Green Capital title thanks to its unwavering commitment to create a healthier city for and with its citizens. I hope Grenoble’s Green Capital year will give a further boost to its green leadership and inspire other cities around Europe to take advantage of the opportunities of the European Green Deal.”
During its Green Capital year, Grenoble will challenge local stakeholders to commit to taking action on one or more of 12 indicators for the green transition, potentially spurring further changes in its urban mobility. Tallinn will be the next Green Capital holder in 2023.
The original article was first featured on the European Commission website.
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