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Ljubljana: One Of The Most Eco-Friendly Cities in The World

In several last years, eco-friendliness became a very significant trend. We would say it’s beneficial a lot. Finally, people started to think about their future. Moreover, we, humans, started to think about the lives of the next generations, about our children and furthermore children of our children. We begin to care about nature, about our health, about the food we eat and the air we breathe in. That’s why eco-friendliness is the trend now.

Ljubljana is ahead of the world as usual. While some of the European cities only started to reach this point, the capital of Slovenia is one of the most eco-friendly cities in the world already. This is beneficial a lot. BBC Travel claimed the city as “the perfect eco-friendly city”. Moreover, the city was awarded by the European Commission for this field.

So, we suppose it’s worth to find out how come. Let’s take a look!

European Commission Recognition: European Green Capital 2016. 

European Commission started this award project in 2010, and the first city that got the award was Stockholm. After that, Hamburg, Nantes, Copenhagen, Bristol received this award. Let us notice that Ljubljana is the first city from all the Slavic nations to get it. After the capital of Slovenia, this list was spread with Essen, Nijmegen. Oslo and Lisbon. 

In recognizing candidates for this prize, the European Commission takes into consideration the level local authorities play in improving the environment as well as their high level of commitment to genuine progress. Furthermore, The European Green Capital Award not only creates a good vibe around the value of participation but creates a competition between European cities. Therefore, every year cities try to make as many eco-friendly improvements as they are possible to do. 

In the official report on the site of the European Commission, it was written that Ljubljana impressed the jury with significant transformation done in the last 10-15 years. First of all, the jury appreciated the number of green zones. Ljubljana showed an incredible result with three quarters of the territory of the city are green zones. Of course, contiguous aquatic, forest, and agricultural areas as well.

On the other side, local authorities implement a lot of green, even in urban areas. For example, they planted 2,000 trees in several last years, built five new parks, and revitalized the embankments of the River Sava. The most significant from those parks is the Path of Memories and Comradeship. This is the longest tree-lined avenue in the city, along with 7,000 trees, numerous memorials, rest points, and so on. By the way, the Slovenian government declared 1,400 ha of the territory of the city as forest in order to be ready for recycling amounts of CO2 suitable for healthy living of every citizen. 

As the city transformed tremendously since 2007, the government decided to agree Vision 2025. It is the strategic plan for improving the city. They proclaimed that they would like to do Ljubljana “a mecca for the eco-conscious”.  By it, motorized vehicles are banned from the entire center, free fountains offer naturally potable water, buses are methane-powered that helps to reduce emission waste. Also, litter has not existed here, so living in Ljubljana, you have to study how to sort your trash into a variety of recycling bins.

The City of Wheels

First of all, the cool fact – Ljubljana has 230km of cycling routes. Pretty close to any Dutch city, isn’t it? Moreover, there is BicikeLJ bicycle-sharing system in the city. It gives you a free ride up to one hour. There is a web of cycling routes in the center. Old Town, the Central Market, Triple Bridge, Prešeren Square, and Trubarjeva Street. All these are perfect to see from a bike. 

After that, you can ride to Tivoli Park, which is the perfect place for a picnic with five kilometers of open space. Very near, there is Jakopič Promenade, an outdoor photo gallery, open year-round. Worth to see. Riding further, you can become acquainted with the city’s history, because a section of the Path of Remembrance and Comradeship, which circles Ljubljana, is 35km trail and represents a whole story of fighting with Fascists and Nazis during WWII. 

UNESCO World Heritage

Riding a little bit out of the city, you can find a miracle. The Ljubljana Marshes were included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage. This is a natural area of swamps. That covers about 160 square kilometers. The marshes are also known for rare animals and plant species. Here you can find 160 bird varieties, 86 of which are endangered. 

The place is located near the Ljubljanica River. The river is well known for its archeological findings. The scientists found here items from various historical as well as prehistoric periods because the river was on the crossroad of people’s moving and settling. Now, the findings are exhibited in the City Museum of Ljubljana, The National Museum of Slovenia, and the Ljubljanica River Exposition. Some of them dating back to 3350-3100 BC.

More Trees

Ljubljana is the place of one of the oldest botanical gardens in Europe. It was established in 1810. Moreover, this is the oldest cultural, scientific, and educational institution operating uninterruptedly since its foundation. Even two words wars hadn’t stopped it. The garden is home for 4,500 different species and subspecies. One-third of them are endemic to Slovenia, and the rest are from other corners of Europe. 

Furthermore, the garden collaborates with an extended number of botanical gardens worldwide, around 270, to be precise. Also, it plays a great role in protecting rare and endemic species. 

Ljubljana botanical garden includes a tropical glasshouse as well. Thus, you can experience the jungles here. It was built on the garden’s 200th anniversary. The glasshouse includes 380 plant species native to tropical parts of the world. The prices are €2.80 for an adult ticket, €1.30 for schoolchildren, pupils, and students as well as €6.00 for a family ticket. 

Electric Wheels

Electric scooters are a trend nowadays. People buy new models as well as rent them frequently on the streets. This is convenient and ecological. However, what if we say that Ljubljana joined this trend even before it comes to be a trend.

We mean Kavalir now. This is electric-powered vehicles, and they are free public transport of Ljubljana city center. They can be used by the elderly, mobility-impaired people as well as tourists who want some new experience. Nowadays, there are four vehicles, two of them open-sided and two glazed and heated in wintertime. They can reach the speed of up to 25 kilometers per hour and can carry up to five passengers. This makes the sightseeing process really amusing and fun. Moreover, because of them, Ljubljana won two European Mobility Week Awards (prized out by the European Commission), one in 2003 and the other in 2013.

Also, you can buy eco-friendly souvenirs in Ljubljana. Such shops as Smetumet, Star Roba, Nova Raba, and 3muhe provide various flabbergasting items made from recycled products. Those shops together create the cultural and ecological society, a brand new eco-friendly project. You can find there a variety of arts and crafts items, suitable decorations or as gifts, musical instruments, jewelry, textile products, and so on. Also, there is a range of food products, including various kinds of coffee, tea, herbs and spices, rice, pasta, sugar, and chocolate.

To Sum Up

Only those who change themselves can change their environment. Humanity has been developing itself for centuries. Now, it is finally ready to change the environment. This is awesome that caring about nature is a trend now. Moreover, forcing the authorities to do this is double as beneficial. 

Such programs as European Green City Award is the great motivation for our governments to compete while improving our environment, our home. For example, Slovenia can be considered as the first Slavic country to get this award. Furthermore, this can improve the traveling market as well as advertise the fame of the country. Maybe, because of this award, people discovered one more adorable city for them.

Therefore, taking care of nature is not about just reducing pollution. This creates its own ecosystem of benefits and leverage. Today, we have a world of opinions. The internet gives freedom of speech, and therefore, it creates a big mass opinion. So, people who care about the environment can influence governments and big corporations.

Sometimes, this does not work because corporations make fraud, fakes, and cheat. For example, McDonald’s was hyping on their new straws from paper. However, a moment later, it turned out that their straws are harder to recycle than plastic ones. After that, the company got a lot of hate and returned the plastic straws.

On the other hand, sometimes it happened like with European Green City Award. The prize created a challenge around governments and made them compete to give us a better living place. We suppose this as the perfect idea. Moreover, we are proud that our city is one of the winners.

Care about nature, and one day it will care about you!

Thank you for reading our article. We do our best to provide you with first-hand information about Slovenia and its wonders. We know we are not infallible though. In case you encounter any mistakes in our articles or you have any suggestions, please contact us. Let us know how we could improve. It will help us to keep our information updated and deliver to readers the most valuable possible content.  We will gladly take your suggestions!

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  1. Pingback: Ljubljana Europe Green City 2016 (and Other Awards Received) | Slovenia Tour

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