Denmark wins Green Cities Europe Award 2023
Denmark has won the Green Cities Europe Award 2023 with “Basecamp Lyngby”. France and the Netherlands landed in second and third place, respectively. A total of 13 projects from an equal number of European countries competed. The winner was announced in Brussels on 7 November. Several Members of the European Parliament attended the award ceremony, where they took extensive note of the successful urban greening projects.
The winning project in a Copenhagen suburb is an unusually designed residential complex for students and senior citizens. The 15-member international expert jury was particularly positive about the coherence in the architecture of the building and its surroundings: “It is a very impressive approach to design the architecture and landscape in such harmony with a sustainable approach.” Social cohesion was rated highly, with residents – students and senior citizens – having plenty of (outdoor) space to meet each other. Practically all judges also praised the approach to biodiversity, including the use of diverse, often indigenous planting.
France won the second prize with a major urban redevelopment project. The Montreynaud district in Saint Etienne is a socially deprived area that has been transformed through greening: “In terms of urban transformation, it offers a striking example of transforming the concrete pile in the city into living spaces that add meaning to people’s lives.” Words like “social”, “economy” and “climate” featured frequently in the positive jury reports.
Utrecht won the third prize on behalf of the Netherlands. With a combination of three large-scale greening projects, the city shows that it is replacing logistical space (tracks and roads) for green and blue (parks and water). The jury sees this creating connections for both people and flora and fauna: “dismantling the barriers previously imposed by fast-moving traffic, replacing them with pedestrian-friendly, communal, and nature-infused spaces”. Climate adaptation and the economic and tourist value for the city were other points that won over the jury.
The other 10 projects were also very diverse, successful examples of urban greening that were all rated highly by the jury. Each participating country had delegated a professional as a jury member (who did not judge the project from their own country). In addition, delegates from the ELCA (European Landscape Contractors Association) and the IFLA (International Federation of Landscape Architects) completed the 15-member jury.
Inspiration for greener cities
Each year, the Green Cities Europe Award highlights outstanding urban greening projects across Europe. The aim is to reward inspiring projects that make excellent use of plants and green solutions to combat climate change, stem biodiversity loss and improve social cohesion and local urban life.
About Green Cities Europe
The Green Cities Europe Award is an initiative of the European Nurserystock Association (ENA) and nursery stock organisations united in the Green Cities Europe international campaign. In this programme, 13 European countries work together to highlight the added value of greenery in the urban environment. The participating countries are Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Sweden.