8 January 2019

Oslo, the capital city of Norway, has officially become the 2019 European Green Capital. In 2019 and beyond, it will act as an ambassador for sustainable urban development, sharing and promoting best practices that have been tried and tested in this Norwegian city to inspire others to make meaningful environment changes.

The start of the city’s year as European Green Capital 2019 was officially marked on 4 January in the world famous Nobel Peace Prize Hall at Oslo City Council, where Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, handed over the Green Book to Oslo’s Governing Mayor Raymond Johansen.

Among the achievements of Norway’s capital is the improvement of cycling infrastructure, encouraging its citizens to use active transport. Citizen participation is an integral part of city planning process: Oslo pursued an active and innovative approach to connecting with and including its citizens in their plans.

In this framework, it is essential to highlight the crucial role that sport plays for sustainable development. The regular practice of sport and physical activity contribute to a better society and to the safeguard of the environment.

As stated in the Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC encourages potential and actual Olympic Games organisers to integrate and implement sustainability measures that encompass economic, social and environmental spheres in all stages of their project.


With nearly 70% of Europeans now living in towns or cities, cities have an increasingly larger role to play in addressing environmental challenges to ensure the health and wellbeing of its citizens. The European Green Capital Award rewards European cities for their work and commitment to improving their urban environments, while also recognising cities’ important role in driving sustainable development.

To date, eleven cities have been awarded the title of European Green Capital since it began in 2010. Stockholm, Sweden, won the inaugural title, followed by Hamburg in Germany (2011), Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain (2012), Nantes in France (2013), Copenhagen in Denmark (2014), Bristol in the UK (2015), Ljubljana in Slovenia (2016), and Essen in Germany (2017). Nijmegen winner of the 2018 Award will now pass the title to Oslo in Norway (2019), followed by Lisbon in Portugal in 2020.

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