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The winner of the European Green Capital 2021 competition has been announced. On June 20th 2020 in Oslo, Lathi, in Finland was officially proclaimed as the winner of the 2021 EGCA competition, by a unanimous decision from the Judges.

Three cities made it to the final stage of the competition: Lahti (Finland), Lille (France) and Strasbourg (France). They each made presentations to an international jury on 20 June 2019 to outline their overall commitment to sustainable urban development, their capacity to act as a role model for other cities, and their strategy for communicating and engaging with their citizens.

Lahti is particularly strong not only in the fields of air quality, waste, green growth and eco-innovation but also in governance.

  • The central theme and vision for Lahti’s 2018 city strategy is “Bold Environmental City” gathering multiple programmes and plans focused on smart, clean and circular economy, mobility, environment, energy, urban regeneration and citizen science.
  • The city has historically set out an air quality plan in 1997, which has led to a major drop in emissions since. Engaging local businesses in air quality monitoring, and additional air quality regulations the city has established on its own particularly impressed the jury.-The city showcases a clear vision for green growth and eco-innovation demonstrated by the Lake Vesijärvi and innovative projects to promote the reuse and sharing of public spaces in the city.
  • In Lahti, 99% of people live within 300 metres of green urban areas. It enables citizens to enjoy nature in many different ways, offering leisure activities such as skiing, fishing and wild berry and mushroom picking.
  • Lahti demonstrated a high-quality waste system, with a strong and impressive selection of treatment infrastructure servicing the city, including biogas gasification, a power plant and sorting plants.

Nonetheless the European Green Capital Award pays tribute to European cities where innovative urban environmental management and initiatives have taken hold. Award winning cities lead the way in setting higher standards in sustainable urban development, listening to what their citizens want and pioneering innovative solutions to environmental challenges.