Krupp Park | Copyright: Johannes Kassenberg
ESSEN 2017


About the green capital award

Every year the “European Green Capital Award” is given to one European city that has a consistent record of achieving high environmental standards and that is committed to ongoing and ambitious goals for further environmental improvement and sustainable development.

The award aims to provide an incentive for cities to inspire each other and share best practices, while at the same time engaging in friendly competition.

In the course of the competition all participating cities have to answer questions regarding the following twelve environmental criteria:

The winning city acts as a role model to inspire other cities and to promote best practices to all other European cities. The winning cities to date include: Stockholm in 2010, Hamburg in 2011, Vitoria-Gastiez in 2012, Nantes in 2013 and Copenhagen in 2014. Bristol will hold the title in 2015, Ljubljana in 2016 and Essen in 2017.

The jury includes representatives from the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions, the European Environment Agency, the Local Governments for Sustainability, the European Environmental Bureau and the Covenant of Mayors Office.

How the city of Essen has become "European Green Capital 2017"

The city of Essen is the first city of the mining industry in the history of the European Green Capital that won the award. The successful 150-year transformation story, from a city of coal and steel to the greenest city in North Rhine-Westphalia, is a role model of structural change for many cities in Europe.

The city of Essen was particularly able to convince in the environmental criteria “Waste Water Management” and “Integrated Environmental Management System”:

The conversion of the wastewater treatment system “Emscher”, which was launched by the Emschergenossenschaft, is one of Europe´s largest infrastructure projects. The conversion with underground sewers and water body renaturalisation has received a number of awards to date.

Essen's vision of the future is one of a prosperous, economically sustainable major city, which is resistant to climate change, and which offers its population opportunities to develop in a healthy environment. Essen promotes green infrastructure with high water quality and parks with high recreational value, innovative and environmentally friendly businesses (Green Economy), integrative education and sustainable mobility concepts.

Our demand

We offer a city that is oriented towards sustainability. We gather people to share knowledge and to learn from each other. We offer events, possibilities to participate and activities and create recurring events all year long. We create identification.

Our vision and message

We are on our way to tomorrow‘s Essen – to a more livable city that is going to be more social, more environmentally friendly, more low-carbon , more resilient and which has a high quality of life. Economic and ecological growths go hand in hand with each other in this process. Our competence of change and our holistic approach exceed the urban borders and affect the whole Ruhr Metropolis. We are creators of the future.

Essen is the European Green Capital. Our competence of change and our holistic approach exceed the urban borders and affect the whole Ruhr Metropolis. They serve as a model for others. We have already made a difference and are on our way to create a living environment that will be even more sustainable and livable. You are part of it.