The European Green Capital is a prestigious title awarded to a city that stands out for its advanced environmental practices and innovative approach to environmental protection. Previously, we wrote about the nominees for this award, and now it’s time to announce the winner: Vilnius the Green Capital of Europe for 2025. The city defeated two contenders, Portugal’s Guimaraes and Austria’s Graz.
On the same day, it was also announced which cities were the winners of the European Green Leaf Award for 2025. The title went to Treviso in Italy and Viladecans in Spain.
Vilnius the Green Capital of Europe – success and inspiration for others
The decision to award Vilnius the title of European Green Capital 2025 was announced at an official ceremony, which received a lot of attention both at home and abroad.
“This prestigious award is an important assessment for our city and confirmation that we are moving in the right direction. We want Vilnius to become a completely climate-neutral city by 2030. With each passing year, we are paying more and more attention to biodiversity concerns, climate change mitigation, more sustainable transportation and more efficient management of urban life. The vision for development is based on being open-minded, innovative and unafraid of experimentation.” – said Vilnius Mayor Valdas Benkunskas on October 5 in Tallinn, at the award ceremony for “Vilnius the Green Capital of Europe 2025.”
His words underscore the importance of the title not only as an award, but also as an affirmation that sustained and conscious care for the environment is the path to success. Being the Green Capital of Europe is a tremendous achievement for both the city itself and Lithuania as a whole. Vilnius the Green Capital of Europe, however, is not only a local or national success, it is also an inspiration for other cities in Europe and around the world to move in the direction of sustainable development and environmental protection.
Vilnius the Green Capital of Europe 2025 – why has the city earned this honorable title?
Here are some key reasons:
- Green infrastructure
Vilnius is investing heavily in developing environmental infrastructure. The city has an extensive network of bike paths, city parks and recreational areas that encourage residents to be active outdoors.
- Public transport
The city is working hard to improve the quality of public transportation. It is expanding the streetcar and bus network and promoting the use of public transportation as an alternative to private cars. This helps reduce emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere.
- Nature conservation
Vilnius cares about urban greenery and nature. The city is conducting projects to protect biodiversity, and is creating places where residents can enjoy nature, even in the heart of an urbanized area.
- Environmental education
Vilnius is betting on environmental education for residents and tourists visiting the city. Numerous workshops, lectures and awareness-raising events are being held to raise the public’s environmental awareness.
- International cooperation
Vilnius actively cooperates with other cities and organizations to protect the environment, and engages in international projects and initiatives to improve the quality of life and reduce environmental impact.
Vilnius the Green Capital of Europe – what are the benefits of this title?
Receiving the title of European Green Capital brings many benefits to the city. This distinction adds prestige and recognition, which can attract investment and financial support from the EU. The awarded cities can use the funds for projects related to energy efficiency in buildings, transportation systems and other areas important for improving the quality of life of their residents.
Holding this title also means political support from the EC. Laureates gain a prominent place in key events and policy initiatives that shape the direction of environmental development within the EU. In addition, a grant of 600,000 is being awarded. euros for the organization of EU-wide events, enabling the promotion of green practices and initiatives at the European level.
Vilnius the Green Capital of Europe – the city ready to do more to protect the environment
Vilnius faces an opportunity and a challenge to maintain and expand its environmental initiatives and serve as a model for other cities. This success is proof that environmental care can and should go hand in hand with economic development and improved quality of life for residents. As the mayor of Vilnius stressed, the city’s goal is to remain open, innovative and ready for experimentation. This approach can inspire other cities that also want to move toward a sustainable future.