10th Anniversary of Vitoria-Gasteiz as European Green Capital
On 21 October 2010, Vitoria-Gasteiz was elected, by the European Commission, European Green Capital 2012. This distinction recognises each year cities that have consistently proven to meet environmental standards and are committed to setting new ambitious targets for environmental improvement and sustainable development, inspiring other cities.
In the case of Vitoria-Gasteiz, this award was the highest recognition for more than 30 years of environmentally friendly proposals and initiatives and a commitment to sustainable development policies. This aspect, together with the commitment and involvement of the citizens, finally led to the highest European recognition for the capital.
Ten years later, the commitment has been maintained and strengthened. The Vitoria-Gasteiz Green Capital brand defines the positioning of the city, where sustainability is a cross-cutting approach in all its development actions, including those of its tourist activity.
It was one of the reasons for achieving the European Green Capital status. It is a set of parks surrounding the city, a major project that is still being developed today. It has its origins in an environmental restoration project initiated in 1993, which has transformed the degraded periphery into a natural space of high ecological value and the main recreational area of the city.
The main icon of the park belt around Vitoria-Gasteiz and one of the most important continental wetlands in its geographical surroundings. Its interpretation centre, Ataria, is in luck: it has just welcomed its millionth visitor. A privileged spot in the capital, where visitors can enjoy a unique ecosystem associated with water, trails and birdwatching.
The Olarizu Botanical Garden has opened Infogune, an information centre at the end of Avenida Olarizu. Located in the south of the city, this public park of more than 120 hectares houses different collections of plants, including a representation of the main forests of Europe, with more than a thousand different species. An ideal place for strolling and learning about the world of plants.
The green spirit
The city has many other letters of introduction to its environmental commitment, such as its 42 square metres of green spaces per person. Florida Park is also part of the city's history, and after its 100th anniversary, it now has its own app available: 'La Florida de Gala'. Another of the city's 'green' proposals is the range of routes linked to sustainability offered by local guide companies. An offer that is completed with tours in the Medieval Quarter, literary visits, visits about legendary characters or about unique spaces and initiatives such as the Cemetery of Santa Isabel or the Route of the Murals.
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