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News article5 October 2023Directorate-General for Environment4 min read

Urban sustainability: Vilnius, Viladecans and Treviso win 2025 European Green City awards

Cityscape of Vilnius with European Green Capital logo


Today, the winners of the European Green Cities 2025 Awards were announced in Tallinn, Estonia, this year’s European Green Capital. Vilnius (Lithuania) will be the 2025 European Green Capital, and the title of European Green Leaf 2025 for smaller cities went to Viladecans (Spain) and Treviso (Italy)

Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said:   

Bravo to Vilnius, Viladecans and Treviso! Welcome to the European Green Cities group. You have been working hard to make your cities greener, healthier and more pleasant places to live for your people. This ceremony follows a summer marked by floods and wildfires that caused devastation across Europe. Climate change will exacerbate these extreme weather trends, meaning cities will need to adapt to unpredictable weather as well as drastically cut their emissions. The answer has to be greener cities – cities with lower pollution, which care more for citizens’ well-being. That is exactly what today’s winners are doing.

The jury crowned Vilnius as the 2025 European Green Capital Winner, and especially liked their down to earth approach. Their motto “Vilnius - the greenest city in the making” is guided by a clear vision and tangible actions. The jury recognised that Vilnius has successfully reduced emissions through various measures, such as increasing renewable energy sources and renovating heating infrastructure with the the aim to become climate neutral by 2030. The city intertwines its sustainability efforts with the happiness of its residents, connecting initiatives to clean air, clean water, biodiversity preservation, green spaces, and more. Vilnius’ tech-oriented approach to citizen engagement and participation is innovative, using an app for citizens to engage in all relevant areas of city management and planning.

The jury commended all finalist Green Capital cities for their outstanding achievements and commitments. They acknowledged it was a tough competition between three excellent candidates, and that they are an inspiration for other cities.

Both Green Leaf winners, Viladecans and Treviso, impressed the jury with their unique approaches to engaging their communities in the green transition.

The jury were impressed with Viladecans approach to inspire behaviour change through a culture of positivity and enthusiasm. The jury also recognised that residents and stakeholders at different levels participated in various decision-making processes, and that the city has made significant strides in renewable energy and energy efficiency. As Green Leaf winner, the city will focus on two goals in parallel: the ecological transition and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Viladecans convinced the jury that a positive approach to sustainability challenges brings hope and inspires their own residents and will encourage other cities to work towards a greener future. 

Treviso impressed the jury with their powerful commitment to embrace change, and their variety of innovative approaches. This includes the use of storytelling and communication at intergenerational level and using gamification to engage young people. The jury also recognised the importance of the various ambitions and measures proposed by the city, for example, doubling the number of trees. Treviso is determined to use its past achievements as encouragement to do better and to push boundaries in terms of sustainability.

Vilnius will be granted a financial prize of €600,000. The prize will support the winning city to implement measures to enhance the city’s environmental sustainability as part of the European Green Capital 2025. European Green Leaf 2025 winners Viladecans and Treviso will receive a financial prize of €200,000 to support their efforts. 

A total of 14 cities competed for these awards. An international expert panel of seven independent urban sustainability experts evaluated each application and shortlisted 5 finalist cities. The finalists were interviewed by an international jury comprising representatives from the European Commission, Committee of the Regions, Covenant of Mayors Office, European Environment Agency, European Environment Bureau.


The EU recognises that cities play a crucial role in implementing the European Green Deal, to deliver a low carbon, resource-efficient, clean, sustainable and resilient society. With over 70% of Europeans living in urban areas, cities play an important role in the environmental and economic transformation.  

The European Green Capital Award was launched in 2010 by the European Commission to encourage cities to become greener and cleaner, and thereby to improve the quality of life for their citizens. The Award recognises cities that are committed to achieving the European Green Deal’s ambitious goals and more specifically the Zero Pollution Action Plan, the Circular Economy Action Plan and the Biodiversity Strategy. 

The European Green Leaf Award was established to recognise the environmental efforts and achievements of smaller towns and cities (20 000 – 100 000 inhabitants). 

Being a European Green Capital or a European Green Leaf city brings many benefits: from increasing the city’s profile to building new alliances. Winning also creates a spirit of optimism, attracting investments and building a better quality of life for citizens.

More background information can be found in our press kit.

Discover more about the European Green Cities Award, the current and the previous winners.


Publication date
5 October 2023
Directorate-General for Environment

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