A total of 12 cities have entered a competition in the hope of being crowned the greenest city in the EU.
The European Green Capital Award for 2017 is a recognition of a city “at the cutting edge of environmentally-friendly urban living”, the European Commission said.
An international expert panel will assess each entry on the basis of 12 indicators, including air quality, climate change mitigation and adaptation and environmental management.
Janez Potočnik, EU Environment Commissioner said: “The European Green Capital Award is a mark of excellence for cities cherishing their environment.”
The 12 cities are – Bursa (Turkey), Cascais (Portugal), Cork (Ireland), Essen (Germany), Hertogenbosch (Netherlands), Istanbul (Turkey), Lahti (Finland), Lisbon (Portugal), Nijmegen (Netherlands), Pécs (Hungary), Porto (Portugal) and Umeå (Sweden).
The winner will be announced in June 2015 in Bristol, UK – the 2015 European Green Capital. The 2016 award was given to Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia.