Lisbon awarded as European Green Capital 2020

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“The award European Green Capital 2020 provides an incentive for cities to share best practices and inspire each other, while engaging in friendly competition.”

The Portuguese capital has recently won the title of European Green Capital Award (EGCA) for 2020. The Dutch city of Nijmegen currently owns the title for 2018, while Oslo (Norway) will take the lead during the next year 2019.

Logo European Green Capital Award

The call for applications to participate in the competition for the European Green Capital Award 2020 was closed last October 2017 with a total of 13 cities engaged in the contest, namely: Aberdeen (UK), Budapest (Hungary), Bursa (Turkey), Ghent (Belgium), Guimarães (Portugal), Lahti (Finland), Lisbon (Portugal), Ostrava (Czech Republic), Prato (Italy), Reykjavik (Iceland), Seville (Spain), Tallinn (Estonia) and Wrocław (Poland).

The final EGC 2020 Award Ceremony just took place on the 22nd June 2018 in the city of Nijmegen. For the first time – and because of the 10 years anniversary of the EGCA – the European Commission has rewarded Lisbon with a financial incentive of EUR 350,000.

According to the Jury, Lisbon is strongly committed to sustainable land use and urban mobility, green growth and eco-innovation, climate change adaptation and waste management.


What are the main objectives and benefits of the EGCA for our cities?


  • To reward cities that have a consistent record of achieving high environmental standards.
  • To encourage cities to commit to on-going and ambitious goals for further environmental improvement and sustainable development.
  • To provide a role model to inspire other cities and promote best practice and experiences.



  • Positive European and international media coverage
  • Increased international profile, networking and new alliances
  • Increased tourism
  • More public financial support
  • Creation of jobs, as it increases attractiveness for foreign investors
  • More emphasis on environmental projects (through grants and sponsorship)
  • Boost local pride and generates a feeling of belonging
  • Momentum to continue improving environmental sustainability
  • Access to the EGC Network of previous winners and shortlisted cities to share ideas and experiences


Who can apply for the EGCA competition?

The competition is open to cities from EU Member States, EU Candidate Countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland with over 100,000 inhabitants.


How is the evaluation procedure?

The European Green Capital Award has a two-stage evaluation process. First, an international independent Expert Panel will assess each city’s application, selecting a shortlist for the next stage of the competition. Applicants are assessed based on 12 environmental indicators: climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, sustainable urban mobility, sustainable land use, nature and biodiversity, air quality, noise, waste, water, green growth and eco-innovation, energy performance, and governance.

Secondly, shortlisted cities will present in front of an International Jury, which will assess selected cities based on the following criteria:

  • Overall commitment, vision and enthusiasm as conveyed through the presentation.
  • Capacity to act as a role model, inspiring other cities, promoting best practices and raising awareness European Green Capital model further.
  • Communication strategy and actions, which should address the extent of the city’s partnering to gain maximum social leverage or how they intend to fulfil the role of EU Ambassador, amongst others.


The role of Horizon 2020 Programme

In the pursuit of urban sustainability, cities are encouraged to contemplate the Horizon 2020 Programme as a green vehicle towards the implementation of research, development and innovation within an urban context.

Throughout the societal challenges covered in this programme, H2020 projects provide cities with an opportunity to implement a wide range of strategies, policies and other measures related to all environmental areas evaluated during the European Green Capital Award contest.

BIOAZUL is well-aware of the importance of H2020 in promoting urban sustainability and currently participates in two R&D projects devoted to boost environmental, social and economic benefits in a great number of European cities.

The first project is UrBAN-WASTE, which includes the participation of 11 tourist cities fully involved in the implementation of sustainable strategies to reduce waste generation and increase recycling rates while applying an urban metabolic approach. The cities involved are Florence (IT), Nice (FR), Lisbon (PT), Syracuse (IT), Copenhagen (DK), Kavala (GR), Santander (ES), Nicosia (CY), Ponta Delgada (PT), Dubrovnik – Neretva county (HR) and Tenerife (ES).

The other project is Connecting Nature, where a total of 11 cities (front-runner and fast-follower) are working together in developing policies and practices to scale-up urban resilience, green innovation and governance via nature-based solutions in their cities. The participating cities are Glasgow (GB), Genk (BE), Poznan (PL), A Coruna (ES), Bologna (IT), Burgas (BG), Ioannina (GR), Malaga (ES), Nicosia (CY), Sarajevo (BA) and Pavlos Melas (GR).

More information about the EGCA is available here.

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