Press release

Top city prizes at Eurocities Awards 2021

5 November 2021

Nice Cote d’Azur, Copenhagen and Ghent have triumphed at the Eurocities Awards 2021. Each demonstrated outstanding commitment to this year’s theme, ‘The power of cities – transforming society’.

“Recovery is urgent. In cities, this is clearer than anywhere else since they have been deeply affected by the pandemic,” said Dario Nardella, President of Eurocities and Mayor of Florence. “Meanwhile, we must not forget our commitments to ensure a digital, green and fair transformation as the projects shows: cities are a font of a million good ideas that can be shared, reused, upscaled and adapted and you just have to take a look at them to get inspired” he added.

The awards were selected by a panel of expert judges across three categories:

  • For ‘zero pollution’ Nice Cote d’Azur won with its Recyclerie des Moulins initiative – a space where pre-loved objects find new life while boosting the local economy.
  • For ‘planning public spaces’ Copenhagen won with its Cloudburst initiative – a city-wide design initiative comprising 300 sites that stores excess rainwater while enhancing public space.
  • For ‘from farm to fork’ Ghent won with its ‘Ghent en Garde’ urban food system initiative – a push to provide a shorter, more visible food chain, more sustainable food, more social value for food initiatives, reduced food waste, and optimum reuse of food waste as raw material.

Copenhagen was also won the Eurocities’ members vote in a special extra category that was created this year.

Eurocities 2021 in Leipzig

During the three-day conference, delegates from over 85 cities around Europe focussed on what cities must do to become more resilient, to modernise governance structures and reach out to and support surrounding areas

While national governments are starting to recognise that they cannot tackle global challenges alone, cities are stepping up and taking more responsibility. It is also clear that to deliver on European post-pandemic priorities towards a more sustainable, people-centric economy, cities play a key role.

The more than 500 delegates to the Eurocities annual conference, counting many who attended online, also took part in elections for Eurocities Executive Committee – the governing board of the city network. With four places open this time round, the three-year new mandates go to: Barcelona, Ghent, Leipzig and Tallinn.

Mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, who was also reelected as Eurocities President, said:
“I have been honoured to represent Eurocities over the past year as President and am grateful to the members for their trust in voting for me again this year. This is an important decade for cities, where we must all act together to prioritise a just recovery, based on a sustainable and inclusive society”

Eurocities Awards winners, Nice Cote d’Azur
Eurocities Awards winners, Copenhagen
Eurocities Awards winners from Ghent
Family photo – politicians at Eurocities 2021


Notes to Editors

  1. The Eurocities conference focuses on a different theme each year. More information on Eurocities 2021is available here:
  2. The Eurocities Awards showcase outstanding achievements by our member cities in the delivery of local activities or practices which improve the quality of life for citizens. Nine cities were shortlisted for the awards across the three categories: for ‘zero pollution’ Ghent, Nice Cote d’Azur and Prague; for ‘planning public spaces’ Copenhagen, Ljubljana and Utrecht; and for ‘from fark to fork’ Brighton & Hove, Ghent and Turin.
  3. Take a close look at the 2021 finalists here:
  4. The Eurocities Awards are judged by an expert panel each year. For 2021 this was: Thomas Dienberg, Kato Allaert, Ugo Guarnacci, Martin Sandbu, Sena Segbedzi. More info here:
  5. Eurocities wants to make cities places where everyone can enjoy a good quality of life, is able to move around safely, access quality and inclusive public services and benefit from a healthy environment. We do this by networking almost 200 larger European cities, which together represent some 130 million people across 38 countries, and by gathering evidence of how policy making impacts on people to inspire other cities and EU decision makers.
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Media contact:
Alex Godson: +32 495 298 594 //


Alex Godson Eurocities Writer