‘Train of Ideas’ gets Hamburg a green award

Hamburg will be the European Commission's European Green Capital for 2011. The award was announced at the first European Green Capital Conference, currently taking place in Stockholm.

The conference brings together decision-makers in politics, administration and business from Europe’s cities to discuss sustainability in urban environments.

The award is a new initiative, having started only last year when Stockholm became the first to win the title. The title is awarded to cities that have excelled in the field of environmental protection. The purpose of the award is to encourage cities to put the environment at the fore of their activities and to share best practice.

Hamburg’s environment senator, Anja Hajduk, presented the conference with on-going projects in the German city including the expansion of its public transport system.

She unveiled an innovative exhibition, ‘The Train of Ideas’, which is an interactive exhibition on tracks. It will travel through Europe displaying best practices in the cities it stops in on its journey. It starts in April 2011 and will pass through 17 European cities, among them Copenhagen, Brussels, Paris, Barcelona and Vienna.

Hajduk said: “We want to inspire people beyond the borders of Hamburg and motivate them into protecting the environment. Similarly, we are also happy to bring home new ideas from other cities.

“European cities are all facing the same challenges and can learn from each other. As Europe’s Green City of 2011, Hamburg is going to advance communication among European cities”.

Hamburg has 4.3 million inhabitants and is Europe’s third largest port. It is an impressively green city with over 16.7 percent of the urban area consisting of forest, recreation and green spaces.

Alison Brown

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