Oslo municipality has set off NOK 118 million to mark Oslo-Europe’s environmental capital in 2019. Over 170 companies and organizations wish to contribute.
“By 2019 we will show ‘the green change of the people’ – both what citizens do and what business is contributing to. The interest for Oslo as the environmental capital will be good for business, trade and tourism,” says city council leader Raymond Johansen (Ap).
In competition with 13 other European cities, in 2017, Oslo was designated to be Europe’s environmental capital in 2019. The candidate cities have been assessed on climate policy, air quality, green innovation, public transport, biodiversity, water quality and outdoor life.
In the revised budget for Oslo, no less than NOK 118 million has been set aside for Oslo’s implementation of the Environmental Capital Year. A total of 170 organizations and businesses have signed up with events and activities they will conduct in 2019, including Oslo Bislett Games, Routes and Municipal Land Pension Fund (KLP).
Bislett as Oslo ‘environmental lighthouse’
Bislett General Steinar Hoen believes the world record arena Bislett should be central when Oslo celebrates as “European champion” in climate and the environment. The former high jumper now wants Bislett to show way in the green shift.
“Oslo Bislett Games will be the world’s most sustainable sports event, and Bislett Stadium will be the Eco-lighthouse by 2019. This is something both sports and Oslo’s citizens can be proud of,” says Hoen, who will use the year to speed up his own environmental work.
Green public transport
Public transport has gradually become a defining part of the cityscape in Oslo, and also there is a green shift. Oslo will next year have 76 electric buses on 13 central lines in the city, which gives less noise pollution from the buses and better local city air quality. Ruter says the goal is also to electrify the Nesodden boats in 2019. Tram and subway are already on stream.
– “Bus, tram, subway and boats connect this city together, and the environmental capital year is a great opportunity to showcase green public transport. The city’s citizens can enjoy themselves,” says Bernt Reitan Jenssen, CEO of Ruter.
When Oslo won the prestigious environmental award in 2017, it became a hub and it hastily hung up a big congratulations banner at Rådhusplassen. Environment and Transport Bureau, Lan Marie Berg (MDG) believes it’s time for Oslo to set a good example for the development of environmentally friendly cities.
“In cities across Europe, we see that people want more urban life, more green spaces and better conditions for pedestrians and cyclists. Therefore, we will establish a study program to share Oslo’s solutions with foreign delegations, says Berg.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today