Third time lucky? Bristol makes the final shortlist for 2015 EU Green Capital award - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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Third time lucky? Bristol makes the final shortlist for 2015 EU Green Capital award

Monday, 25 March 2013
The capital of the West Country, Bristol, has made the final shortlist for the European Green Capital award for the second year running and in its third attempt.

In the final shortlist for the 2015 award, Bristol will face off against two European Capital cities: Brussels and Ljubljana, as well as Scotland’s largest city Glasgow.

After sensationally reaching the final shortlist for the 2014 award and learning they had lost out for the second time last June, the bid team revealed last July they had submitted another application for the 2015 award and faced competition from Bydgoszcz, Dublin and Kaunas to make the shortlist.

At the same time, the European Commission has published the full technical appraisal of all the candidate cities for 2015, in which Bristol ranked number 1 in many of the catagories for assessment. While I must stress this is a comparative assessment, not the absolute one that will ultimately define who wins, it certainly gives cause for optimism for Bristol's third bid for the title.

The European Green Capital Award is presented to a city in the vanguard of environmentally friendly urban living. Stockholm (Sweden) won the inaugural title, followed by Hamburg (Germany) in 2011. The current holder is Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain) and the French city of Nantes will hold the title in 2013.

Reacting to the announcement today, the Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson said "this is tremendous news. We narrowly missed out on winning the prize last year but with determination we can do it this time round. However, we need to up our game and ambition, and I am determined that Bristol becomes an environmental role model to inspire other cities around the globe." The Bristol bid team were also delighted, tweeting:

All four bid teams will now convene in Brussels to present their case before a panel of judges with the winner to be announced in June 2013 in Nantes, France (the 2013 European Green Capital).

UPDATE: 26/03 (10:45)
South West Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson, who was part of the team that made its pitch to the judging panel in Brussels last year, has welcomed the city's inclusion on the European Green Capital shortlist for 2015. He said: "I am delighted to see that the judges have recognised the improvements the City is making year after year when it comes to sustainable living and creativity in city management. Let us hope we can do one better than last year and win the title!".

Speaking to Quadrant RadioEP, Sir Graham added that he is proud of how Bristol has improved its management of waste and transport, which he says is more important than winning an award: "What is most important is that the city has not rested on its laurels from last time [and] it has gone on trying to be greener all the time," he said. "If we are going to leave the world for our grandchildren in the same way as we inherited it from our grandparents then we have to stop the environmental damage that we have been doing and work with the grain or nature and not against the grain of nature. Bristol has been doing that and I’m very proud of that."

"So whether we win the award or not is to me less important than the kind of efforts we are making, but of course it would be great to have it recognised and become Europe’s Green Capital."


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