Ljubljana becomes European Green Capital
Ljubljana, 1 January - For a year starting today, Ljubljana will be the 2016 European Green Capital, taking the title over from England's Bristol.
Having launched a special website to raise the awareness about the environment, the Slovenian capital will also organise a number of events throughout the year.
Each month an environmental issue will be out in the focus of activities around the city. The mayor's office has stressed "awareness of the importance of responsible and environmentally friendly action".
The city set up the www.greenljubljana.com site, which tries to promote green action through its Green Yourself section. In the section, small changes that can help improve living in Ljubljana are presented.
Ljubljana received the recognition in Copenhagen in 2014 for raising environmental awareness amongst its citizens, for its sustainability strategy, its implementation of a range of urban green measures and its developing transportation network.
The municipality highlighted green areas as one of its main features, as Ljubljana has 542 square metres of public green space per inhabitant. Moreover, Ljubljana is Europe's capital with the highest share of sorted rubbish at 63%.
Ljubljana's sustainability strategy envisages 93 big infrastructural projects to improve the environment and the quality of living by 2025.
The European Green Capital Award was conceived by the European Commission as an initiative to promote and reward environmental efforts in urban environments.
It is conferred annually by a jury of environmental experts. Each year, a capital with the highest environmental standards which is committed to its environmentally-oriented goals wins the title for a year.
A total of twelve cities have presented their candidacies to become the European Green Capital 2016. Ljubljana was short-listed alongside Germany's Essen, Netherlands's Nijmegen, Norway's Oslo and Sweden's Umea.