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València, Spain, Chosen as European Green Capital of 2024

by Ron Bernthal

Apr 15, 2024

© VisitValència

Daily

The Spanish city of València has been chosen as European Green Capital 2024, a designation the European Commission recognizes and rewards to cities with a population of more than 100,000 that have implemented projects that reduce their environmental impact and improve quality of life for residents. València earned this recognition for its work on sustainable urban development and its commitment to becoming a climate-neutral and smart city by 2030.

Valencia

© VisitValència

Awarded every year since 2010, the European Green Capital designation is designed to raise awareness and share best practices on environmental issues in urban Europe. The Estonian city of Tallinn was last year’s European Green Capital 2023.

In addition to the creation and protection of València’s green spaces, including Albufera Natural Park and Turia Gardens, the city is also involved in sustainable mobility initiatives, excellent urban waste management, and the revitalization of many public spaces like Town Hall Square and Plaza de la Reina.

Valencia

© VisitValència

During the past several years València has received numerous sustainability awards, including the title of European Capital of Smart Tourism 2022 and the Capital of Sustainable Food 2017.  València has also been a pioneer in measuring and offsetting the carbon and water footprint of tourism. It was one of 100 cities selected by the European Union for the Cities Mission project, with the aim of achieving climate neutrality by 2030.

It is the first time València has bid for the European Green Capital award, and only one other Spanish city, Vitoria in 2012, has won the Green Capital designation. This award, worth €600,000 (about $657,000), provides the city with additional funds to continue its efforts to make València one of the greenest cities in the world.

Visitors to València will find green landscapes throughout this Mediterranean coastal city. One of the most-visited green spaces in the city is Turia Gardens, transformed from the old bed of the Turia river. Since it opened in 1986, Turia Gardens has constantly evolved and adapted to the city’s ongoing sustainability work. With almost 300 acres of surface terrain and 7.5 miles in length, it is now the longest urban park in Europe.

bike

© VisitValència

In recent years other city neighborhoods have experienced changes resulting from ongoing green projects. The recently opened Plaza de la Reina and streets surrounding Central Market, and soon Plaza del Ayuntamieto, will free the city center from traffic by converting streets filled with automobiles to pedestrian-only thoroughfares, while at the same time reducing noise and air pollution. Bikers already appreciate València’s network of 99 miles of bike lanes.

Many of the ongoing “green” projects in València have been developed within the València 2030+ Urban Straegy plan, which local urban planners expect will make València one of the first carbon-neutral European cities.

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