Throughout next year, the north German port city of Hamburg will demonstrate how economic and ecological objectives can be reconciled. While Stockholm currently holds the title for 2010, Hamburg has been awarded ‘European Green Capital 2011’ by the European Commission. By displaying various best practice examples, Hamburg is proving how even a highly industrialised port city can succeed in combining ecological sustainability with economic growth.
The title “European Green Capital” has been awarded to individual European cities by the European Commission since 2010. The title is awarded to cities that have excelled in the field of environmental protection. At the same time, the EU commission is hoping that the award will make European cities advance their environment-related activities, while exchanging best practice examples and competing with each other.
To enhance the exchange of ideas among European cities, Hamburg has come up with the ‘Train of Ideas’, an interactive exhibition on tracks, informing of major ecological projects such as HafenCity, the new inner city district, and the reintroduction of a tram system. The exhibition will also display best practices from those cities in which the Train of Ideas will stop during its journey through Europe. The Train of Ideas starts in April 2011 and will pass through 17 European cities, among them Copenhagen, Brussels, Paris, Barcelona and Vienna.
But also in the City of Hamburg itself, the year 2011 will ignite the debate about exemplary concepts and solutions for the future of European cities. Several high-calibre events are planned, among them the first International Day of Environmental Law, during which legal guidelines for maritime environmental protection will be drafted. Another event to take place in 2011 will be the Green Port Congress, a conference for international experts who will discuss solutions for sustainable development in the maritime trade.