The European City of Trees title is awarded to a city or town by the European Arboricultural Council (EAC) in recognition of its role in caring for trees in the urban environment. The Council seeks to promote urban forestry with the aim of reducing pollution and create awareness about the conservation of trees. The EAC passed a resolution in 2007 to recognize city efforts in conserving trees and since then, there have been eleven award ceremonies. No city has won the award more than once.
2017 - Trnava - Slovakia
In 2017, the Slovak city of Trnava became was awarded the title of the European City of Trees after it launched an initiative to become environmentally friendly by planting more trees within the urban environment. In 2016, Trnava planted more trees than it had planted in the past 10 years. The initiative brought together city authorities, the public, students, the national government, and businesses.
2016 - Winterthur - Switzerland
In 2017 the city of Winterthur was awarded the title after city successfully protected the tree from the Asian longhorn beetle that invaded plants in the summer of 2012. The beatles had threatened to wipe out the trees but the city’s concerted effort prevented further damage. The damaged trees were pruned while the lost trees were replaced.
2015 - Tallinn - Estonia
In 2015 the city of Tallinn was awarded the European City of trees award for its role in tree conservation. The city impressed the jury with its policy of planting trees in replacing those that are cut down. There are about 52 species of trees in the city. A venerable linden planted in 1680 is the oldest tree in the city
2014 - Frankfurt - Germany
The city of Frankfurt was awarded the title in 2014. The city is home to about 200,000 trees most of which are found along the streets and in public places. About 52% of the city consists of open spaces or is covered by water. The trees are protected by the city authorities. The Municipal forest lies within the Frankfurt Metropolitan and consists of 6,000 hectares of oak, beech, and pines.
2013 - Kraków - Poland
The city of Krakow is the polish green city. The city boast of thousands of trees that earned it the European City of Trees title in 2013. However, in 2017 city authorities passed laws legalizing the “massacre” of trees. The law allows developers to cut down trees without acquiring permits or informing city authorities.
2012 - Amsterdam - Netherlands
Amsterdam is known for a lot of things including lax laws on the use of marijuana. However, several people are not aware that Amsterdam is among the cities with the highest number of trees. While Amsterdam boasts of 400,000 trees, Paris has 95,000. It was voted the European city of trees in 2012 and the Elm city of Europe in 2005 due to a large number of Elms. The first trees were planted in the city in the 1340s and to date, damaging trees within the city boundaries is considered a crime.
2011 - Turku - Finland
Turku is the oldest city in Finland. It is locally known as the green city because of the trees that grow in the city. Turku is the birthplace of Finnish urban gardening culture. The first urban tree in the country was planted in Turku. It is uncommon to see old and large trees in the streets. There are about 35,000 trees in the urban environment and parks with 400-600 planted every year. They are protected by the local authorities while city laws require developers to factor trees during planning.
2010 - Prague - Czech Republic
The Czech capital of Prague held the title in 2010. Trees are apart of everyday life in the city. They are found between buildings, in the parking lots, in school fields, and along the streets. Parks such as Havlíčkovy Sady, Břevnovský klášter, Vyšehrad, Karlovo náměstín and several others are characterized by several species of trees.
2009 - Malmö - Sweden
In 2009 the city of Malmo, Sweden was awarded the title. Malmo is the third largest city in Sweden. It was once a declining industrial center with several brownfields but the implementation of several award-winning projects including soil treatment has seen the city rise from the ashes to one of Europe’s green cities. The transformation process saw the city plant thousands of trees, rehabilitate parks and initiate waste recycling measures.
2008 - Torino - Italy
In 2008 the city of Torino, Italy was awarded the title. Turin is among the greenest cities in Europe boasting of about 25 parks, several small gardens, and tree-lined boulevards. The Pellerina and Parco del Valentino are the two largest parks in the city. Tree lines run along the streets and the river bank. The city’s botanical gardens offer city residents and visitors a quiet and peaceful natural environment, unlike the nightlife.
2007 - Valencia - Spain
The first city to be recognized as the City of Trees was Valencia, Spain, in 2007. The city is remarkably green with trees lining up the streets. Fruit trees such as orange trees are found in plenty. Huge old ficus trees are spread across the city providing a habitat for birds to nest. The Riverbed Park hosts hundreds of trees that keep the park green throughout the year. The Bioparc Zoo also host several trees that provide a habitat for small animals including lemurs.
About the Author
Victor Kiprop is a writer from Kenya. When he's not writing he spends time watching soccer and documentaries, visiting friends, or working in the farm.
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