Five cities have been awarded with the title of European Green Capital. Stockholm was the first in 2010, followed by Hamburg in 2011, and Vitoria (Spain) in 2012. Nantes will take this title in Copenhagen in 2014. It is France’s sixth largest city, and has a metropolitan area comprising 600,000 inhabitants. Nantes, in western France, taking the 2013 title in a sign of recognition for good environmental practice.
Over the past 10 years, Nantes has developed a sustainable transport policy with a focus on public transport and bicycles. Development within the city centre is planned to minimise car transport and to provide pedestrians with optimal conditions. Nantes was the first city in France to successfully re-introduce electric tramways. This effort will continue in the coming years and investments in new tramways, high quality buses service and bicycle infrastructure are foreseen.
The ambitious transport policy shows improvements in reduced air pollution and CO2 emissions. All air pollution indicators (NO2, PM10 and ozone) are below limit values. This transport policy, together with an ambitious climate plan, has reduced CO2 emissions to 4.77 tonnes per capita.