The European Commission has awarded Leuven and Växjö (Sweden) the European Green Leaf 2018, a massive reward for Leuven's efforts in sustainability and quality of life. Leuven and Växjö both leave the other finalist, the German city of Ludwigsburg, behind them.
In April, Leuven managed to qualify for the final which took place on the 2nd of June in Essen, Germany. Deputy Mayor Mohamed Ridouani and Katrien Rycken, coördinator of Leuven 2030, represented Leuven in the final.
The award is given out each year to cities who make efforts to battle climate change & energy efficiency, mobility, biodiversity & use of land, air quality & environment, waste & circular economy and water & waster treatment.
"I will never forget the moment when the envelope was opened and Leuven was named European Green Leaf 2018. We're incredibly proud of this achievement. Companies, inhabitants, organisations, knowledge institutions and governments from Leuven have collaborated brilliantly to deliver this effort for sustainability and climate neutrality. This European recognition means more wind in our sails", Katrien Rycken happily mentions.
Also Mohamed Ridouani was proud as punch: "This is a memorable moment for our city and for Leuven 2030. It's a recognition for every Leuvenite. This collaboration allows us to keep on working and make Leuven one of the most livable and healthy cities of Europe. The award shows that we are heading in the right direction and puts Leuven on the international map which, in turn, opens doors for collaborating with other cities."
Picture: Deputy Mayor Mohamed Ridouani holds a speech at the finals in Essen, Germany
The judges gave Leuven the highest score for mobility. The new traffic circulation plan, new bicycle policy plan and the efforts for car sharing and bicycle infrastructure all received high marks. Also the monthly CO2 monitoring by Leuven 2030, collective neighborhood renovations, climate action plans by Leuven 2030's partners and Leuven 2030's roadmap received a high quotation as well.