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Greenest Cities of 2022

Greenest Cities of 2022

Amid more warnings of climate doom from the COP27 conference, some cities won awards for their green initiatives. Here are the award-winning greenest cities of 2022.

The EU Green Cities Awards

When it comes to cities that take climate change action, there are the good, the bad, and the ugly. However, for those cities that show they care about the planet, there are some awards up for grabs. The European Green Capital and European Green Leaf awards recognise green credentials that have been achieved, as well as plans for the future. The award recipients get a tidy sum of cash to fund their green efforts. So which cities won the title of greenest city of 2022?

The Greenest Cities of 2022

European Green Capital: Valencia, Spain

Valencia is no stranger to awards. The city won the European Capital of Smart Tourism in 2022 and the Capital of Sustainable Food in 2017. It has also pioneered the measuring and offsetting of the carbon and water footprint of tourism. It has been so successful that it's on course to be climate neutral by 2030.

It was the first time that Valencia entered the race to become the European Capital. Now it has achieved the accolade, it’s a benchmark for a modern sustainable city. So why exactly is Valencia one of the greenest cities of 2022?

Creation and Protection of Green Spaces

Visit Valencia and the first thing that strikes you is how green the city is, literally. It boasts Turia park, Europe’s largest urban park at 300 acres. Then there’s the Albufera Natural Park and the suburban orchard which bring climate and health benefits.

Sustainable Mobility

Valencia has pedestrianised its centre and the surrounding areas. As well as this, the city has a network of 160km of cycle lanes.

The Green Leaf Award: Elsinore, Denmark

Elsinore is one of the greenest cities of 2022 thanks to its initiatives to mitigate the energy crisis. It has sped up plans to make buildings more efficient and to establish district heating systems. It’s also reconstructed its sewage system to separate rainwater from wastewater. This has improved water quality and encouraged climate adaptation. The city’s achievements in getting residents and local businesses involved in green initiatives received special recognition from the award judges.

The Green Leaf Award: Velenje, Slovenia

Velenje was one of the first municipalities in Slovenia to set up a system of separate waste collection. It also has the only active mine in the country, yet it’s working on phasing out coal and investing in green jobs.

In a time when almost every climate headline we read is bad, it’s nice to see cities getting recognition for doing their bit. Not only are green cities better for the planet, but they’re also better and healthier places for us to live and work.

So What Was The Greenest City of 2022?

Well done to the entire world for improving their green credentials. But the results are in:

1st - Valencia, Spain,

2nd - Elsinore, Denmark,

3rd - Velenje, Slovenia,

For more interesting articles on sustainability and the environment, check out the rest of our blog.

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