In 2018, Nijmegen will be the first city in the Netherlands that can call itself the ‘Green Capital of Europe’. The manifesto and the programme were presented on Friday, 30 June. Royal HaskoningDHV is providing support for the organisation, setting up the budget/business case, and the fundraising plan.
Nijmegen is faced with the challenge of making Green Capital 2018 an international success. This recognition offers unique opportunities for the city to put its leading position in sustainability on the European map even better, and to create a legacy for years to come.
Els Le Large, Legal Consultant at Royal HaskoningDHV: “It is crucial for us to think in terms of this legacy and take meaningful steps toward a healthy, circular and energy-neutral city for the future – one in which businesses can thrive and communities can flourish.
The European Commission has awarded the annual Green Capital Award since 2008. Stockholm, Hamburg, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Nantes, Copenhagen, Bristol, Ljubljana and Essen have all been awarded the prestigious title in the past. The goal is to recognise local efforts for the environment, sustainable economy and living environment at the European level. The winning city is a role model for other European cities.
“The genuine involvement of residents, knowledge institutions and businesses form the rock-solid foundation on which Nijmegen, as a smaller city, has been building a green, future-oriented city. Many other cities can learn something from this, and this has permeated as far as the European level,” says Mayor Bruls of the municipality of Nijmegen.
Shared ownership is the key concept
Pieter van Ree, Strategy and Management Consultant at Royal HaskoningDHV, has been part of European Capital 2018 since the beginning of this year to work on the organisation and content of the programme. Together with his colleague Maike de Lange, he is helping the municipality to plan routes through the city on the themes of smart mobility, circular city, health & liveability, energy transition and climate adaptation that make big and small stories visible. “An important part of our job is to expand the partner network further, to form a management board and to set up a working organisation. Shared ownership by the municipality and social parties is the key concept. The municipality wants to give the green movement in the city impulse boost that will bring sustainability to a higher level, even after 2018,” says Pieter van Ree.
Leader of a green movement
For a year, Nijmegen will be the sustainable capital Europe. The whole city and its area won the award by working hard for years to become more green and to improve sustainability. In 2018, Nijmegen will show the Netherlands and Europe that it is possible and how so by the way it invests in food, health and a green living environment – and also in sustainable business and technical innovations. Nijmegen, the oldest city in the Netherlands, is a city of the future more than ever. Leader of a major green movement. Royal HaskoningDHV is proud to have the opportunity to help organise and support this together with the municipality and all the stakeholders.