First, Bilbao wins the “Nobel prize” of cities. Then Donostia is chosen as European Cultural Capital. Not to be outdone or left behind, Vitoria-Gasteiz, capital of the province of Araba and of the Basque Autonomous Community, has been chosen as the European Green Capital 2012. Vitoria-Gasteiz was chosen because of its environmental policies, including its public transportation infrastructure and parks. As a Green Capital (previous winners were Stockholm and Hamburg), Vitoria-Gasteiz also has some new challenges to live up to as it continues down the green path. These include a further increase in the use of public transportation as well as a decrease in water usage.
The prize is meant to highlight efforts of cities to develop a more sustainable and “green” approach to their functioning. It is meant to thus inspire other cities to follow similar practices, to learn “best practices” from one another, and to therefore increase the overall quality of life of all cities in Europe.
The Basque Country is certainly on a role with all three provincial capitals being recognized for significant efforts. Zorionak!