Behörde für Umwelt und Energie

Programme and Objectives Hamburg’s Year as European Green Capital

Having been awarded the title of European Green Capital, Hamburg had set itself the goals of advancing its own environmental protection in a sustainable fashion and of conceptually developing its environmental policy, and doing it in dialogue with like-minded members of the European public. Additional objectives included raising environmental awareness in Hamburg and other European cities; publicising Hamburg as European Green Capital 2011 both locally and nationally as well as Europe-wide; and developing new ideas and giving fresh impetus for the years to come and for future Green Capitals. These objectives were to be achieved during Hamburg’s year as European Green Capital through a number of different aspects of the programme.

Hamburg’s Year as European Green Capital

For example, the Info Pavilion, located at the Central Station, acted as a central meeting point for citizens of Hamburg and visitors alike, providing them with information about events, publications and the European Green Capital itself. Ten additional information points were also installed across Hamburg and its Metropolitan Region where visitors could discover more about the Green Capital’s central themes. In 2011, a total of over 36,000 people visited the Info Pavilion alone.

Environmental tours gave people the opportunity to explore the green spaces of the Hamburg metropolitan region and to discover local nature conservation and environmental protection projects. In addition to the “City Tour – Hamburg for Green Explorers”, numerous partners from industry, academia, environmental associations and other institutions also offered their own special tours. In total, the official guided tours were enjoyed by over 12,000 people.

Among other things, the Train of Ideas met the European Commission’s requirement to involve the residents of other European cities in Hamburg’s year as European Green Capital. The rolling exhibition, consisting of seven carriages, visited a total of 17 cities in ten European countries in addition to Hamburg. In ten cities (Malmö, Gothenburg, Zurich, Riga, Vienna, Barcelona, Marseille, Nantes, Paris and Antwerp), the Train of Ideas’ destination was the train station; in the other seven cities (Copenhagen, Oslo, Munich, Warsaw, Tallinn, Brussels and Amsterdam), a suitable alternative was found in a public space.

The exhibition in the Train of Ideas focused on the challenge of how European cities of the future can be shaped in a sustainable, environmentally friendly manner, while at the same time making them a desirable place to live. The presentation of projects from many European cities was a consistent feature of the interactive, educational exhibition, which took a hands-on, thought-provoking approach. A further aim of the Train of Ideas was to raise international awareness of Hamburg as a Green Capital, with its innovative projects and concepts, and as a green, waterfront metropolis for tourists and companies.

A new series of events was created on the occasion of being named European Green Capital. Over the course of eight European Green Capital Dialogues, citizens of Hamburg were invited to discuss with experts the central environmental issues affecting the city, such as climate protection, stormwater management and sustainable consumption, in order to inspire new approaches and to produce results through dialogue. Altogether, some 1,600 guests attended the eight discussions. After each dialogue, participants had the opportunity to continue debating via an internet discussion group.