Green Cities Award

Michal Slawski of Bord Bia on the search for ambitious, inspiring and innovative Irish ‘green’ building projects to take part in The Green Cities Award 2021


The More Green Cities for Europe campaign is inviting nominations from Irish building projects that demonstrate an innovative use of green landscaping, and that make a substantial difference to people’s lives, for the Irish Green Cities Award 2021. 

This annual European Union award recognises and profiles building projects that add value to the area in which they are located and bring social, economic or environmental benefits through the successful incorporation of green planting in their designs. 

The Irish Green Cities Award winner will represent Ireland in the European Green Cities Award 2022, where it will be showcased at a prestigious European-wide ceremony attended by MEPs and other dignitaries. Shortlisted entrants will be profiled on social media in Ireland by the Irish More Green Cities for Europe campaign.

More Green Cities for Europe is an initiative that aims to increase the proportion of green landscaping in building projects in Ireland while encouraging the use of locally-grown planting stock. Supported by funding from the European Commission, the initiative is coordinated in Ireland by Bord Bia, in conjunction with the Irish Farmers Association, on behalf of the Irish Hardy Nursery Stock Association. 


Projects eligible for the Irish Green Cities Award are wide-ranging, and can include school grounds and business parks, hospitals and residential areas. Submissions from other EU Member States have included: urban public parks of various sizes in France, Sweden, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Denmark and Greece; a primary school in the Netherlands; and a large-scale commercial unit in Germany. Full details of all entries from other EU Member States can be found at

Live plants should comprise a substantial part of a given building project. Projects must demonstrate the added-value brought by the inclusion of planting, and the positive impact it has on social cohesion; biodiversity; economic factors; climate; and human health and wellbeing. Entries are welcome from the private and public sectors. The project must be fully realised and in use, and have been completed no later than January 1, 2016. 

Entrants must detail the selection, origin and quality of greenery and construction materials used; and offer an overview of the design, its environmental impact and its innovation. Entries can be supported by visual materials, including videos, photographs or artists’ impressions. The application form is available via the More Green Cities for Europe website. The award process has been designed so that the application process should take no more than 30 minutes.

Projects will be assessed by a jury that consists of representatives from the Irish Hardy Nursery Stock Association, Bord Bia and an independent judge with an academic background. 

Commenting on the announcement of the Award, CEO of Bord Bia, Tara McCarthy said: “The potential for urban greening projects to bring tangible economic, social, human, environmental and other benefits is increasingly well-recognised. The Irish Green Cities Award highlights efforts from local building projects in this regard, encouraging successful, ambitious, inspiring and innovative green infrastructures projects. 

“The Irish Green Cities Award is an opportunity to identify leading projects, which can serve to influence future developments and the building sector at large, and make clear the case for enhanced greening when building in our towns and cities. I urge those involved in any manner of building project, in which a meaningful effort to integrate planting into the development can be seen, to submit their project for consideration for this award.”

Chairman of the Irish Hardy Nursery Stock Association, Val Farrell added: “As members of the judging panel for the Irish Green Cities Award, the Irish Hardy Nursery Stock Association will be particularly keen to see the use of locally-grown plants among entrants. The benefits of locally-grown planting are many, not least economically and environmentally, and this award will help to drive home that message. On behalf of the Irish Hardy Nursery Stock Association, we look forward to assessing the submissions received.”

The deadline for receipt of submissions for the Irish Green Cities Award is 5.30pm on Thursday, 11th November 2021.

For more information visit and follow More Green Cities for Europe on LinkedIn.


Michal Slawski is sector manager horticulture at Bord Bia, with responsibility for mushrooms, fruit and protected crops. He has been with Bord Bia for more than 10 years and has a Masters in Project Finance & Venture Management from NUIM