[May 2022] – Grenoble has won the title of Green Capital of Europe 2022 and activities are in full swing!
The title was conquered against Tallinn, Dijon and Turin, thanks to the pioneer character of the city’s initiatives in favour of “ecological transition”, an imperative challenge amongst the European cities of the 21st century.
Grenoble inherits the title from Lahti in Finland and it is the second French city after Nantes in 2013 to have obtained this recognition.
Settled in the valley surrounded by the Vercors, Chartreuse and Belledonne pre-alpine massifs, Grenoble’s 160.000 inhabitants (450.000 with the surrounding urban area) are dynamic, sport oriented, close to Nature, looking to the future thanks to the hi-tech excellence that has grown in the city – but aware of their ancient history dating more than 2000 years.
In practical terms, Grenoble has elaborated since 2005 its own local Climate Plan, reducing gas emissions by 30% through its electric powered public transport system, by limiting traffic speed to 30 km/h and by incentivizing the use of bicycles with 475 Km of cycle paths. In the second most dense city of France, the administration has planted 5500 trees in 8 years and plans to plant a further 10.000, and it has contributed to the installation of systems providing 80% of renewable and recycled energy from zero in 1960. 125 buses use Biogaz, produced by the city’s water treatment plant Aquapole. 60% of schools’ canteens use local bioproducts originating from the city farm of Grenoble and a regional program teaches school pupils and students how to reduce food waste.
Within the UE’s Green Deal articulated in its missions ‘Climate-Neutral Cities’ and ‘European Urban Initiative’, several inspiring citizens have been chosen as reflecting the spirit of the Green Capital, such as two female engineer students who are touring Europe by bike in search of all ‘low tech initiatives’, a plumber carrying his workshop around by bike, a chef fighting food waste, a retired lady who creates social gardens in various neighbourhoods, a bike-taxi driver, a team of bio-climate architects and a producer of photovoltaic panels, as well as owners of repair-cafés that have sprung up to avoid technological waste. (photo by Silvana Olivo above: Jardin des Plantes).
The quality of life in this city embraced by Nature is a growing inspiration for the Grenoblois; in its own small way, The Wild Charm Factory represents a green micro-company based in Grenoble, aiming to support biodiversity projects, through the sale of its products and events inspired by Nature, while conveying online information about the local natural treasures and how to enjoy them.
The Green Capital’s links:
https://youtu.be/lS9s_U4kq3I : Official video
@GreenGrenoble22 : Facebook and Twitter
@greengrenoble22 : Instagram
www.greengrenoble2022.eu : program articulated in 12 themes, showcased throughout 2022, involving citizens, organizations and institutions.
#ishere : the brand showcasing the origin of each local farm product, the benefits to the producers and the eco-friendly transformation process (local, ethical and responsible). See here for more details.