State secretary Stientje van Veldhoven from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management attended the ceremony. ‘It is special and important that a medium-sized city such as Nijmegen is playing a leading role and serving as an example as a European Green Capital for all the other cities.’
The state secretary signed the ‘Book of Nijmegen’, where prominent visitors of the city congratulate it with the title of EU Green Capital.
Old city, green vibe
Nijmegen is the first Dutch city to be awarded the title of greenest city of Europe this year. In short, ‘old city, green vibe.’ The EU Green Capital award is a European initiative and falls under the DG Environment of EU commissioner Karmenu Vella. Vella praised Nijmegen and especially its inhabitants profusely: ‘The dedication and efforts of Nijmegen’s inhabitants in the areas of waste, energy transition, circular economy and sustainable mobility have been massive. It is quite unique for a city’s residents to put their city forward for the Green Capital Award and work so hard to make their city greener and more sustainable. The people are the green capital here.’
Mayor Bruls announced an impressive and busy Green Capital programme for the coming year with many appealing events about topics such as a sustainable and circular procurement policy and sustainable inland ports and inland shipping. State secretary Van Veldhoven also emphasized that ‘the Green Capital is providing many opportunities, if only because of all the attention the city is receiving in Europe, so we really must take full advantage of that this year.’