Town Planning Review

European Green Capital: environmental urbanism, or an addition to the entrepreneurial toolbox?

Town Planning Review (2020), 91, (4), 357–372.

Abstract

Since 2010, cities across Europe have served as ‘European Green Capital’ (EGC), an initiative celebrating the contribution of environmental action to urban life. Drawing together the experiences of initial EGC winners, for the first time this paper considers what EGC means to city managers as a way of celebrating and driving forward environmental performance, as well as promoting their own cities. Through a discussion of the experiences of the initial host cities, the paper outlines a typology of EGCs. In doing so the paper notes a shift to a harder-edged economic outlook, which increasingly incorporates themes of entrepreneurial economic growth and competitiveness.

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References

AGUADO-MORALEJO, I., ECHEBARRIA, C. and BARRUTIA, J. M. (2013), ‘The green belt of Vitoria-Gasteiz: a successful practice for sustainable urban planning’, Boletín de la Asociación de Geógrafos Españoles, 61, 181-94. Google Scholar

ANDERSON, K. and BOWS, A. (2012), ‘Executing a Scharnow turn: reconciling shipping emissions with international commitments on climate change’, Carbon Management, 3, 615-28. Google Scholar

ANDERSSON, I. and JAMES, L. (2018), ‘Altruism or entrepreneurialism? The co-evolution of green place branding and policy tourism in Växjö, Sweden’, Urban Studies, doi: 0042098017749471. Google Scholar

BAADE, R. A., BAUMANN, R. and MATHESON, V. A. (2010), ‘Slippery slope? Assessing the economic impact of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah’, Région et développement, 31, 82-91. Google Scholar

BÉAL, V., EPSTEIN, R. and PINSON, G. (2015), ‘La circulation croisée: modèles, labels et bonnes pratiques dans les rapports centre-périphérie’, Gouvernement et action publique, 3, 103-27. Google Scholar

BEATLEY, T. (ed.) (2012), Green Cities of Europe: Global Lessons on Green Urbanism, Washington, DC, Island Press. Google Scholar

BECKER, A., INOUE, S., FISCHER, M. and SCHWEGLER, B. (2012), ‘Climate change impacts on international seaports: knowledge, perceptions, and planning efforts among port administrators’, Climatic Change, 110, 5-29. Google Scholar

BIN, D. (2017), ‘Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic dispossessions’, Journal of Urban Affairs, 39, 924-38. Google Scholar

BOLAND, P. (2010), ‘“Capital of Culture: you must be having a laugh!” Challenging the official rhetoric of Liverpool as the 2008 European cultural capital’, Social & Cultural Geography, 11, 627-45. Google Scholar

BRISTOL (2015), In It for Good: Bristol European Green Capital Citywide Review, Bristol, BristolCityCouncil, https://bristolgreencapital.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/bristol-2015_annual-review.pdf (accessed 1 June 2020). Google Scholar

BULKELEY, H. and BETSILL, M. M. (2013), ‘Revisiting the urban politics of climate change’, Environmental Politics, 22, 136-54. Google Scholar

BULKELEY, H., CASTAN BROTO, V. and EDWARDS, G. (2012), ‘Bringing climate change to the city: towards low carbon urbanism?’, Local Environment, 17, 545-51. Google Scholar

BUNDRED, S. (2016), Review of Bristol 2015 European Green Capital Year, Bristol, Bristol City Council. Google Scholar

CASTÁN BROTO, V. and BULKELEY, H. (2013), ‘A survey of urban climate change experiments in 100 cities’, Global Environmental Change, 23, 92-102. Google Scholar

CUADRADO-ROURA, J. R. and MAROTO, A. (2016), ‘Unbalanced regional resilience to the economic crisis in Spain: a tale of specialisation and productivity’, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 9, 153-78. Google Scholar

DAVOUDI, S. (2014), ‘Climate change, securitisation of nature, and resilient urbanism’, Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 32, 360-75. Google Scholar

DCMS (2013), London 2012 Meta-evaluation, Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Google Scholar

EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2018), ‘European Green Capital: FAQs’, http://ec.europa.eu/environment/europeangreencapital/about-the-award/faqs/ (accessed 26 March 2018). Google Scholar

FLYVBJERG, B. and STEWART, A. (2012), Olympic Proportions: Cost and Cost Overrun at the Olympics 1960-2012 (working paper), Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. Google Scholar

GARCIA, B. (2005), ‘Deconstructing the city of culture: the long-term cultural legacies of Glasgow 1990’, Urban Studies, 42, 841-68. Google Scholar

GARCIA, B. (2017), ‘“If everyone says so …” Press narratives and image change in major event host cities’, Urban Studies, 54, 3178-98. Google Scholar

GARCIA, B., MELVILLE, R. and COX, T. (2010), Creating an Impact: Liverpool’s Year as Capital of Culture, Liverpool, Impacts08. Google Scholar

GARCIA-RAMON, M.-D. and ALBET, A. (2000), ‘Pre-Olympic and post-Olympic Barcelona: a “model” for urban regeneration today?’, Environment and Planning A, 32, 1331-34. Google Scholar

GOLD, J. R. and GOLD, M. M. (2008), ‘Olympic cities: regeneration, city rebranding and changing urban agendas’, Geography Compass, 2, 300-18. Google Scholar

GREER, J. and BRUNO, K. (1998), Greenwash: The Reality behind Corporate Environmentalism, IBON Foundation Incorporated, Third World Network. Google Scholar

GRIFFITHS, R. (2006), ‘City/culture discourses: evidence from the competition to select the European capital of culture 2008’, European Planning Studies, 14, 415-30. Google Scholar

GROSS, D. (2010), ‘3rd European Fair on Education for Sustainable Development, Hamburg’, Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, 4, 23-24. Google Scholar

GULSRUD, N. M., KRAJTER OSTOIĆ, S., FAEHNLE, M., MARIC, B., PALOMIENI, R., PEARLMUTTER, D. and SIMSON, A. J. (2017), ‘Challenges to governing urban green infrastructure in Europe: the case of the European Green Capital award’, in D. Pearlmutter, C. Calfapietra, R. Samson, L. O’Brien, S. Krajter Ostoić, G. Sanesi and R. Alonso del Amo (eds), The Urban Forest: Cultivating Green Infrastructure for People and the Environment, Cham, Springer International Publishing, 235-58. Google Scholar

HAMBURG (2013), Hamburg: European Green Capital 2011 (final report). Google Scholar

HAMBURG (n.d.), Hamburg Application, EU Commission. Google Scholar

HARVEY, D. (1989), ‘From managerialism to entrepreneurialism: the transformation in urban governance in late capitalism’, Geografiska Annaler. Series B, Human Geography, 71, 3-17. Google Scholar

HARVEY, D. (2001), ‘From managerialism to entrepreneurialism: the transformation in urban governance in late capitalism’, in D. Harvey (ed.), Spaces of Capital, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 345-68. Google Scholar

HELBRECHT, I. and DIRKSMEIER, P. (2012), New Urbanism: Life, Work, and Space in the New Downtown, Abingdon, Ashgate Publishing Ltd. Google Scholar

JESSOP, B. (1997), ‘The entrepreneurial city: re-imagining localities, redesigning economic governance or restructuring capital?’, in N. Jewson and S. MacGregor (eds), Transforming Cities, London, Routledge, 28-41. Google Scholar

JESSOP, B. (1998), ‘The narrative of enterprise and the enterprise of narrative: place making and the entrepreneurial city’, in P. Hubbard and T. Hall (eds), The Entrepreneurial City, Chichester, Wiley, 77-99. Google Scholar

JONES, P. and WILKS-HEEG, S. (2004), ‘Capitalising culture: Liverpool 2008’, Local Economy, 19, 341-60. Google Scholar

JONES, Z. M. and PONZINI, D. (2018), ‘Mega-events and the preservation of urban heritage: literature gaps, potential overlaps, and a call for further research’, Journal of Planning Literature, doi: 0885412218779603. Google Scholar

KRUEGER, R. and GIBBS, D. (2007), The Sustainable Development Paradox: Urban Political Economy in the United States and Europe, New York, Guildford. Google Scholar

LAUERMANN, J. and VOGELPOHL, A. (2017), ‘Fragile growth coalitions or powerful contestations? Cancelled Olympic bids in Boston and Hamburg’, Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 49, 1887-904. Google Scholar

LORD, A., SYKES, O. and STURZAKER, J. (2015), Planning as ‘Market Maker’, London, RTPI. Google Scholar

LOVERING, J. (1995), ‘Creating discourses rather than jobs’, in P. Healey, S. Cameron, S. Davoudi, S. Graham and A. Madani-Pour (eds), Managing Cities: The New Urban Context, Chichester, John Wiley and Sons, 109-26. Google Scholar

LOWNDES, V. and PRATCHETT, L. (2012), ‘Local governance under the coalition government: austerity, localism and the “big society”’, Local Government Studies, 38, 21-40. Google Scholar

MALPASS, P. (1994), ‘Policy making and local governance: how Bristol failed to secure City Challenge funding (twice)’, Policy & Politics, 22, 301-12. Google Scholar

METZGER, J. and OLSSON, A. R. (2013), Sustainable Stockholm: Exploring Urban Sustainability in Europe’s Greenest City, New York, Routledge. Google Scholar

MINNAERT, L. (2012), ‘An Olympic legacy for all? The non-infrastructural outcomes of the Olympic Games for socially excluded groups (Atlanta 1996-Beijing 2008)’, Tourism Management, 33, 361-70. Google Scholar

MOONEY, G. (2004), ‘Cultural policy as urban transformation? Critical reflections on Glasgow, European city of culture 1990’, Local Economy, 19, 327-40. Google Scholar

NORTH, P., NURSE, A. and BARKER, T. (2017), ‘The neoliberalisation of climate? Progressing climate policy under austerity urbanism’, Environment & Planning A, 49, 1797-815. Google Scholar

NURSE, A. and NORTH, P. (2013), An Environmental Audit of Liverpool, Liverpool, Low Carbon Liverpool. Google Scholar

OWENS, S. and COWELL, R. (2002), Land and Limits: Interpreting Sustainability in the Planning Process, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

PAILLOUX, A.-L. (2015), ‘Deferred Development Zone (ZAD) versus “Zone to Be Protected”: analysis of a struggle for autonomy in/of rural space’, Justice spatiale-spatial justice, 7, https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01512403/ (accessed 1 June 2020). Google Scholar

PARKINSON, M. and HARDING, A. (1995), ‘European cities toward 2000: entrepreneurialism, competition and social exclusion’, in M. Rhodes (ed.), Cultural Policy and Urban Regeneration, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 53-77. Google Scholar

PECK, J.(2012), ‘Austerity urbanism’, City, 16, 626-55. Google Scholar

PIEPER, A. (2013), ‘Land grabbing in France: the case of the Notre-Dame-des-Landes Airport’, Land Concentration, https://www.tni.org/files/download/06_france_0.pdf (accessed 25 March 2020). Google Scholar

RUTHERFORD, J. (2013), ‘The vicissitudes of energy and climate change policy in Stockholm’, Urban Studies, 51, 1449-70. Google Scholar

STOCKHOLM (2011), Stockholm: The First European Green Capital (final report). Google Scholar

STRATTON, A. (2008), ‘Bristol named UK’s first “cycling city”’, The Guardian, 19 June. Google Scholar

SYKES, O. and BROWN, J. (2015), ‘European capitals of culture and urban regeneration: an urban planning perspective from Liverpool’, Urbanistica, 155, 79-82. Google Scholar

WHILE, A., JONAS, A. E. G. and GIBBS, D. (2010), ‘From sustainable development to carbon control: eco-state restructuring and the politics of urban and regional develolment’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 35, 76-93. Google Scholar

AGUADO-MORALEJO, I., ECHEBARRIA, C. and BARRUTIA, J. M. (2013), ‘The green belt of Vitoria-Gasteiz: a successful practice for sustainable urban planning’, Boletín de la Asociación de Geógrafos Españoles, 61, 181–94. Google Scholar

ANDERSON, K. and BOWS, A. (2012), ‘Executing a Scharnow turn: reconciling shipping emissions with international commitments on climate change’, Carbon Management, 3, 615–28. Google Scholar

ANDERSSON, I. and JAMES, L. (2018), ‘Altruism or entrepreneurialism? The co-evolution of green place branding and policy tourism in Växjö, Sweden’, Urban Studies, doi: 0042098017749471. Google Scholar

BAADE, R. A., BAUMANN, R. and MATHESON, V. A. (2010), ‘Slippery slope? Assessing the economic impact of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah’, Région et développement, 31, 82–91. Google Scholar

BÉAL, V., EPSTEIN, R. and PINSON, G. (2015), ‘La circulation croisée: modèles, labels et bonnes pratiques dans les rapports centre-périphérie’, Gouvernement et action publique, 3, 103–27. Google Scholar

BEATLEY, T. (ed.) (2012), Green Cities of Europe: Global Lessons on Green Urbanism, Washington, DC, Island Press. Google Scholar

BECKER, A., INOUE, S., FISCHER, M. and SCHWEGLER, B. (2012), ‘Climate change impacts on international seaports: knowledge, perceptions, and planning efforts among port administrators’, Climatic Change, 110, 5–29. Google Scholar

BIN, D. (2017), ‘Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic dispossessions’, Journal of Urban Affairs, 39, 924–38. Google Scholar

BOLAND, P. (2010), ‘“Capital of Culture: you must be having a laugh!” Challenging the official rhetoric of Liverpool as the 2008 European cultural capital’, Social & Cultural Geography, 11, 627–45. Google Scholar

BRISTOL (2015), In It for Good: Bristol European Green Capital Citywide Review, Bristol, BristolCityCouncil, https://bristolgreencapital.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/bristol-2015_annual-review.pdf (accessed 1 June 2020). Google Scholar

BULKELEY, H. and BETSILL, M. M. (2013), ‘Revisiting the urban politics of climate change’, Environmental Politics, 22, 136–54. Google Scholar

BULKELEY, H., CASTAN BROTO, V. and EDWARDS, G. (2012), ‘Bringing climate change to the city: towards low carbon urbanism?’, Local Environment, 17, 545–51. Google Scholar

BUNDRED, S. (2016), Review of Bristol 2015 European Green Capital Year, Bristol, Bristol City Council. Google Scholar

CASTÁN BROTO, V. and BULKELEY, H. (2013), ‘A survey of urban climate change experiments in 100 cities’, Global Environmental Change, 23, 92–102. Google Scholar

CUADRADO-ROURA, J. R. and MAROTO, A. (2016), ‘Unbalanced regional resilience to the economic crisis in Spain: a tale of specialisation and productivity’, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 9, 153–78. Google Scholar

DAVOUDI, S. (2014), ‘Climate change, securitisation of nature, and resilient urbanism’, Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 32, 360–75. Google Scholar

DCMS (2013), London 2012 Meta-evaluation, Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Google Scholar

EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2018), ‘European Green Capital: FAQs’, http://ec.europa.eu/environment/europeangreencapital/about-the-award/faqs/ (accessed 26 March 2018). Google Scholar

FLYVBJERG, B. and STEWART, A. (2012), Olympic Proportions: Cost and Cost Overrun at the Olympics 1960–2012 (working paper), Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. Google Scholar

GARCIA, B. (2005), ‘Deconstructing the city of culture: the long-term cultural legacies of Glasgow 1990’, Urban Studies, 42, 841–68. Google Scholar

GARCIA, B. (2017), ‘“If everyone says so …” Press narratives and image change in major event host cities’, Urban Studies, 54, 3178–98. Google Scholar

GARCIA, B., MELVILLE, R. and COX, T. (2010), Creating an Impact: Liverpool’s Year as Capital of Culture, Liverpool, Impacts08. Google Scholar

GARCIA-RAMON, M.-D. and ALBET, A. (2000), ‘Pre-Olympic and post-Olympic Barcelona: a “model” for urban regeneration today?’, Environment and Planning A, 32, 1331–34. Google Scholar

GOLD, J. R. and GOLD, M. M. (2008), ‘Olympic cities: regeneration, city rebranding and changing urban agendas’, Geography Compass, 2, 300–18. Google Scholar

GREER, J. and BRUNO, K. (1998), Greenwash: The Reality behind Corporate Environmentalism, IBON Foundation Incorporated, Third World Network. Google Scholar

GRIFFITHS, R. (2006), ‘City/culture discourses: evidence from the competition to select the European capital of culture 2008’, European Planning Studies, 14, 415–30. Google Scholar

GROSS, D. (2010), ‘3rd European Fair on Education for Sustainable Development, Hamburg’, Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, 4, 23–24. Google Scholar

GULSRUD, N. M., KRAJTER OSTOIĆ, S., FAEHNLE, M., MARIC, B., PALOMIENI, R., PEARLMUTTER, D. and SIMSON, A. J. (2017), ‘Challenges to governing urban green infrastructure in Europe: the case of the European Green Capital award’, in D. Pearlmutter, C. Calfapietra, R. Samson, L. O’Brien, S. Krajter Ostoić, G. Sanesi and R. Alonso del Amo (eds), The Urban Forest: Cultivating Green Infrastructure for People and the Environment, Cham, Springer International Publishing, 235–58. Google Scholar

HAMBURG (2013), Hamburg: European Green Capital 2011 (final report). Google Scholar

HAMBURG (n.d.), Hamburg Application, EU Commission. Google Scholar

HARVEY, D. (1989), ‘From managerialism to entrepreneurialism: the transformation in urban governance in late capitalism’, Geografiska Annaler. Series B, Human Geography, 71, 3–17. Google Scholar

HARVEY, D. (2001), ‘From managerialism to entrepreneurialism: the transformation in urban governance in late capitalism’, in D. Harvey (ed.), Spaces of Capital, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 345–68. Google Scholar

HELBRECHT, I. and DIRKSMEIER, P. (2012), New Urbanism: Life, Work, and Space in the New Downtown, Abingdon, Ashgate Publishing Ltd. Google Scholar

JESSOP, B. (1997), ‘The entrepreneurial city: re-imagining localities, redesigning economic governance or restructuring capital?’, in N. Jewson and S. MacGregor (eds), Transforming Cities, London, Routledge, 28–41. Google Scholar

JESSOP, B. (1998), ‘The narrative of enterprise and the enterprise of narrative: place making and the entrepreneurial city’, in P. Hubbard and T. Hall (eds), The Entrepreneurial City, Chichester, Wiley, 77–99. Google Scholar

JONES, P. and WILKS-HEEG, S. (2004), ‘Capitalising culture: Liverpool 2008’, Local Economy, 19, 341–60. Google Scholar

JONES, Z. M. and PONZINI, D. (2018), ‘Mega-events and the preservation of urban heritage: literature gaps, potential overlaps, and a call for further research’, Journal of Planning Literature, doi: 0885412218779603. Google Scholar

KRUEGER, R. and GIBBS, D. (2007), The Sustainable Development Paradox: Urban Political Economy in the United States and Europe, New York, Guildford. Google Scholar

LAUERMANN, J. and VOGELPOHL, A. (2017), ‘Fragile growth coalitions or powerful contestations? Cancelled Olympic bids in Boston and Hamburg’, Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 49, 1887–904. Google Scholar

LORD, A., SYKES, O. and STURZAKER, J. (2015), Planning as ‘Market Maker’, London, RTPI. Google Scholar

LOVERING, J. (1995), ‘Creating discourses rather than jobs’, in P. Healey, S. Cameron, S. Davoudi, S. Graham and A. Madani-Pour (eds), Managing Cities: The New Urban Context, Chichester, John Wiley and Sons, 109–26. Google Scholar

LOWNDES, V. and PRATCHETT, L. (2012), ‘Local governance under the coalition government: austerity, localism and the “big society”’, Local Government Studies, 38, 21–40. Google Scholar

MALPASS, P. (1994), ‘Policy making and local governance: how Bristol failed to secure City Challenge funding (twice)’, Policy & Politics, 22, 301–12. Google Scholar

METZGER, J. and OLSSON, A. R. (2013), Sustainable Stockholm: Exploring Urban Sustainability in Europe’s Greenest City, New York, Routledge. Google Scholar

MINNAERT, L. (2012), ‘An Olympic legacy for all? The non-infrastructural outcomes of the Olympic Games for socially excluded groups (Atlanta 1996–Beijing 2008)’, Tourism Management, 33, 361–70. Google Scholar

MOONEY, G. (2004), ‘Cultural policy as urban transformation? Critical reflections on Glasgow, European city of culture 1990’, Local Economy, 19, 327–40. Google Scholar

NORTH, P., NURSE, A. and BARKER, T. (2017), ‘The neoliberalisation of climate? Progressing climate policy under austerity urbanism’, Environment & Planning A, 49, 1797–815. Google Scholar

NURSE, A. and NORTH, P. (2013), An Environmental Audit of Liverpool, Liverpool, Low Carbon Liverpool. Google Scholar

OWENS, S. and COWELL, R. (2002), Land and Limits: Interpreting Sustainability in the Planning Process, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

PAILLOUX, A.-L. (2015), ‘Deferred Development Zone (ZAD) versus “Zone to Be Protected”: analysis of a struggle for autonomy in/of rural space’, Justice spatiale-spatial justice, 7, https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01512403/ (accessed 1 June 2020). Google Scholar

PARKINSON, M. and HARDING, A. (1995), ‘European cities toward 2000: entrepreneurialism, competition and social exclusion’, in M. Rhodes (ed.), Cultural Policy and Urban Regeneration, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 53–77. Google Scholar

PECK, J.(2012), ‘Austerity urbanism’, City, 16, 626–55. Google Scholar

PIEPER, A. (2013), ‘Land grabbing in France: the case of the Notre-Dame-des-Landes Airport’, Land Concentration, https://www.tni.org/files/download/06_france_0.pdf (accessed 25 March 2020). Google Scholar

RUTHERFORD, J. (2013), ‘The vicissitudes of energy and climate change policy in Stockholm’, Urban Studies, 51, 1449–70. Google Scholar

STOCKHOLM (2011), Stockholm: The First European Green Capital (final report). Google Scholar

STRATTON, A. (2008), ‘Bristol named UK’s first “cycling city”’, The Guardian, 19 June. Google Scholar

SYKES, O. and BROWN, J. (2015), ‘European capitals of culture and urban regeneration: an urban planning perspective from Liverpool’, Urbanistica, 155, 79–82. Google Scholar

WHILE, A., JONAS, A. E. G. and GIBBS, D. (2010), ‘From sustainable development to carbon control: eco-state restructuring and the politics of urban and regional develolment’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 35, 76–93. Google Scholar

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Nurse, Alexander

North, Peter