Lisbon has won the European Green Capital Award for 2020. Awarded by the EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. The award recognises best practice environmental management, good urban planning, putting citizens at the heart of green transformation, showing how to turn environmental challenges into opportunities, and making the city a healthy and enjoyable place to stay, live and work in.
Lisbon started its journey towards sustainability during a period of economic crisis, believing that sustainability and economic growth go hand in hand. Lisbon is particularly strong in the field of sustainable land use, sustainable urban mobility (transport), green growth & eco innovation, climate change adaptation and waste. Lisbon was the first capital in Europe to sign the New Covenant of Mayors for Climate Change and Energy in 2016, after achieving a 50% reduction in C02 emissions (2002-14); reducing energy consumption by 23% and water consumption by 17% from 2007 to 2013.
The city has a clear vision for sustainable urban mobility, with measures to restrict car use and prioritise cycling, public transport, and walking. In 2017 Lisbon launched a bike-sharing scheme, with electric bikes comprising two thirds of the fleet to encourage cycling in the hillier parts of the city. It has one of the world’s largest networks of electric vehicle charging points, 39% of the municipal car fleet is electric. 93.3% of people in Lisbon live within 300 m of a frequent public transport service and 76% of people in Lisbon live within 300 m of green urban areas.
There is a strong commitment to sustainable land use with particular focus on establishing green infrastructure, or connected networks of green space, to counteract the effects of climate change, such as drought, extreme heat, and storm flooding. The entire city is littered with little parks and hidden gardens, which provides respite to its residents and also counteract pollution. The photos here are some of my favourite green spaces.