In June of 2014 Ljubljana was awarded the prize of being the Green Capital of Europe for 2016, beating Oslo, Umea, Nijmegen and Essen to the prize. The panel was particularly impressed by the progress Ljubljana made towards its green vision over the past decade and its commitment to sustainable living. The award is given to the city most committed to improving the urban environment, that has a well-established record of achieving high environmental standards and that is truly committed to the ambitious goals set out for future environmental improvement.
Ljubljana has a truly green soul, goes above and beyond the call of duty to increase awareness of environmental issues and has reinvented the old core of its city centre to become an oasis for pedestrians and cyclists. The awards continued to roll in for Ljubljana in April 2015 when the city was awarded the Tourism for Tomorrow award by the World Travel & Tourism Council, a prestigious award for the most sustainable travel destination.
Even the most cursory stroll through Ljubljana will make one aware of the green spaces. This is even true smack bang in the centre, as Ljubljana Castle and the greener-than-green Castle Hill tower over everyday life here. Trees and greenery surround the embankments of the Ljubljanica, designed by the late and great Jože Plečnik. Ljubljana is also home to one of the oldest botanical gardens in Europe as well as four nature parks, the most well known being Tivoli Park. Walking and cycling paths traverse the city and the city area is also home to a vast array of fountains with excellent drinking water.