Ljubljana to pay farewell as European Green Capital
Ljubljana, 2 January - Ljubljana is on Monday marking the end of its spell as the European Green Capital of 2016, a project which the city says has raised the environmental awareness of the residents, local authorities and companies.
The Slovenian capital will observe the occasion with an open-air event in Congress Square featuring an address by Mayor Zoran Janković and a concert by vocal ensemble Perpetuum Jazzile.
The European Green Capital is an honour given out annually by the European Commission in recognition of the winning city's high environmental standards and commitment to ambitious goals in sustainable development.
The title was presented for the first time in 2010 to Stockholm, Sweden, and since then to Germany's Hamburg, Spain's Victoria-Gasteiz, France's Nantes, Denmark's Copenhagen and Great Britain's Bristol.
The main reason for Ljubljana's winning the title was the assessment that the Slovenian capital made the most changes in the right direction in the shortest time.
Ljubljana picked a different theme to focus on in each of the 12 months of its stint as the European Green Capital, such as water, sustainable tourism, climate change and environmental innovation.
The programme was centred at a information point erected in front of Town Hall with the city's boroughs involved in the many activities.
During its stint, the city further upgraded its green infrastructure, including by launching a EUR 110m sewage development project, a zero-emission tourist train and a new electric car-sharing model.
The residents have accepted the title well as a "contribution to a greater quality of urban life at all levels," Ljubljana Deputy Mayor Tjaša Ficko has assessed.
Ljubljana will hand over the title to Germany's Essen, while the Dutch city of Nijmegen was picked at a ceremony in Ljubljana last year as the European Green Capital of 2018.