LJUBLJANA, EUROPEAN GREEN CAPITAL 2016
Each year, the European Commission rewards cities’ efforts and commitment to improving the urban environment. The awarded cities in turn are signaled out as ambassadors for sustainable urban development, which can positively affect business, investment, and tourism. Ljubljana impressed the Jury by the significant transformation which has been made by the city in sustainability over the previous 10 – 15 years. This transformation has been achieved in areas including local transport and the pedestrianizing of the city centre, which is one of the reasons Ljubljana has become European Green Capital 2016.
People have quickly got used to these changes for the better and so can quickly forget how the city centre was choked with traffic, how hard it was to get from one side of the river to the other, how much time was spent waiting for the bus and when the riverbanks were a car park rather than a place of pleasant cafes. It’s hard to believe that today’s green capital was so very different less than a decade ago.
The city centre, which was once the domain of cars and buses, is now mostly dedicated to pedestrians and cyclists. The city’s public transport is becoming ever more accessible and user-friendly to passengers.
WATER The Slovenian capital is one of the few European capitals which can boast of having tap water which is perfectly drinkable without pre-treatment.
Ljubljana is high on the list of the world’s most sustainable tourist destinations, as shown by winning the Destination Award in the 2015 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.
NATURE Ljubljana has 542 square metres of public green space per resident, while the city features 80 hectares of newly maintained green spaces, and maintained green spaces are still being created from degraded urban land.
WASTE Ljubljana is the European capital with the highest share, 63%, of separated waste collected and is the first capital in the EU in the ‘zerowaste’ programme.