The City of Växjö, Sweden has been named the ‘Greenest City in Europe’, and this week hosts the ‘Greenest Cities Worldwide’ 2011 Conference. Based on information from ICLEI, the International Organization of Local Governments for Sustainability, Växjö has identified and invited the greenest city from each of the other five continents to present at the conference.
Seattle is honored to be named as the green city representative for North America, and I will be speaking at the conference on Thursday, September 14. The other four cities are:
- City of Darwin, Australia, Australia
- City of Curitiba, Brazil, South America
- City of Durban, South Africa, Africa
- City of Singapore, Singapore, Asia
It is honor to receive this international recognition for our work in energy, transportation, climate protection, and other sustainability efforts. It’s a great group of cities to be in the same league with.
I’m looking forward to learning from Växjö about their work, as well as talking to representatives of the other cities. While in Sweden, I will spend a couple of days in Stockholm as well, looking at some of their green initiatives. No City funds are being used for this trip. Växjö is paying for my travel, and I am personally funding the time in Stockholm.
Here’s what Växjö says they have done to deserve the designation of ‘greenest city in Europe’:
“The carbon dioxide emissions per capita in Växjö are less than half of the average of the industrial countries in the EU and almost a fourth of that of the U.S. The goal is to become completely free from fossil fuel by year 2030. The municipality of Växjö works continuously with:
- Efficient energy usage
- Continuous and increasing work with sustainable transport alternatives
- Organic and locally cultivated foods in the kitchens of the municipality
- Wooden housing
- Development of greenbelts
- Increased share of renewable sources of energy
- New alternatives within renewable sources of energy
- Coordinated transportation within the municipality operations.”