With all the fuss yesterday over semlor and the Princess's engagement I didn't get a chance to either read or write about the European Commission's Green Capital Award.
Many of my family and friends have heard me rant and rave about environmental issues, and about how conscious the Swedes are in many ways, in comparison to other nationalities - it is that love of the environment, of nature, of the great outdoors that does it I think. Needless to say I was thrilled to read about this award and hope it will inspire people - big and small - to even greater things.
Here is part of the motivation behind the award:
The award will be given to a city that has a consistent record of achieving high environmental standards, is permanently committed to ambitious action, further environmental improvement and sustainable development, and can act as a role model to inspire other cities and promote best practices in all other European cities.
And why Stockholm?
Ten per cent of the city area is water, and the many lakes and water sheds are highly valued for recreational purposes. In fact, 95% of the population live only 300 m away from green areas, thus augmenting recreation, swimming, boating, better well being, water purification, noise reduction, enhancement of biodiversity and ecology.
The city council's holistic vision combines growth with sustainable development and includes the ambitious target of becoming independent of fossil fuels by 2050.
....emissions per person have, since 1990, been reduced by 25%. Transport emissions are relatively low, and all public transport (all trains, and all inner city buses) run on renewable fuels....
You can read more here:
The Stockholm City Council has a barometer outlining the indicators that are used to assess a city for the Green Capital Award. It is a wealth of information and includes statistics and links to strategic environmental policy and programs:
With all the talk at the moment of what the royal wedding will do for Sweden, tourism and the economy, as well as how businesses will milk it for all it is worth, I really hope Stockholm will be able to use all this international attention to bring focus to the award and environmental sustainability in general.
Woohooo Stockholm! Well done!
SvD, DN, Metro