European train of green thought

Europe’s Green Capital Hamburg has hit the railways, in a novel way to encourage and share methods of best practice and demonstrate how cities can be both attractive and sustainable […]

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By Tom Gibson

Europe’s Green Capital Hamburg has hit the railways, in a novel way to encourage and share methods of best practice and demonstrate how cities can be both attractive and sustainable in the future.

EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik and Hamburg’s Mayor Olaf Scholz started a six-month tour of 18 European cities on Friday, via train.

Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: If we want our cities to change for the better then we cannot keep all the good ideas to ourselves. Hamburg has much to teach other cities. It has shown that economic growth and environmental protection are not conflicting issues. I encourage as many Europeans as possible to visit this exhibition when it pulls in to their cities.”

The tour will allow Europe’s cities demonstrate novel ways of increasing sustainability in cleaner cities.

Hamburg was chosen as the European Green Capital 2011 from 35 applicants. The city has introduced ambitious climate goals such as reducing its CO2 emissions by 40% by 2020 and by 80% by the year 2050.

Over 200,000 conventional lamps in more than 400 public buildings have been replaced, saving energy and €3.4 million per year, and in recent years €18 million has been spent replacing over 600 boiler systems with modern condensing boilers.